Happy anniversary, Ron.

Three years ago on Aug. 27, Ron got sober.

Ron (not his real name) began drinking in junior high and drank daily throughout his teens, twenties and thirties. He was a highly functional alcoholic who achieved professional success and thought heavy drinking was normal.

“I thought that I could manage my drinking and be just like other normal people and drink in moderation," he said. 

When Ron met his second wife in 1994, she asked him to quit. And he did for about four years. Then he relapsed, and over the following years of continued drinking, Ron’s wife prayed, sought help from her pastor and tried to get Ron to attend recovery meetings. Her last attempt to help him was a family intervention that did not go well. In 2010, she left.

At first, Ron was glad to be left alone. He had been “isolating” for years, a term he uses to describe how alcoholics pull away from relationships. But two weeks after his wife’s departure, on Aug. 27, he woke up overwhelmed by shame, despair and fear. He asked God for help.

Celebrate Recovery at Christ Community Church in Huntersville became an answer to his prayer. There, he found two game changers: a safe place where he could face up to his wrongs and a powerful God who could help him change.  

Celebrate Recovery was founded by Saddleback Church and is offered at thousands of Christian churches worldwide. The program helps those struggling with “hurts, habits, and hang ups,” emphasizing personal responsibility, the future rather than the past and a spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ.

Besides three years of sobriety, Ron will celebrate another anniversary this year. He and his wife got back together after he began recovery, and they celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary on Sept. 1. 

Celebrate Recovery meets Thursday nights at Christ Community Church, 16301 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville. A no-obligation large group meets 7-8 p.m., and gender-based small groups meet 8-9 p.m. Childcare is provided. Twelve-step groups are offered. A fall kick-off will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 14.

Details: Dan Ripoll, danripoll@gmail.com or www.ccchuntersville.com/recovery.