Rick, who asked to be identified only by his first name, said he knows what it’s like to lose control — and regain it.
He spent five months in jail on a domestic violence charge, he said. Now, he donates money to build awareness and help with prevention.
“I lost my job, and I was in — you could say — a state of depression,” Rick said “I started drinking way more than I should have been. My wife and I got into a disagreement about something. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but one thing led to another, and I grabbed her by the collar of the hoodie and basically verbally abused her — scared her to death — so she called the authorities.”
Charged with domestic violence on a household member with no traumatic injuries, Rick had to make a choice. And programs offered within the jail provided a perfect opportunity to start. And while he found those resources helpful, he said, he thinks they’d be more effective if they were better publicized within the jail walls.
“I had to be held responsible for it. I was in a state of denial there for quite some time,” he said.
Among the most important skills he’s learned: Think before acting, using the word “think” spelled vertically: Consider whether an action is True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary or Kind.
Today, Rick owns his own business, remains married to his wife, and hasn’t had a drop of alcohol in 18 months. And he’s come to realize, he said, that there’s only one thing he can ever really control — himself.
“When it comes to power and control, you’re the only one you can do that with,” he said.