In June 2016, I resigned from my position at a church after eight years in order to seek treatment for alcohol abuse. By the time I resigned, my struggle had grown into full-blown alcoholism. I would drink as often as I could, and as much as I could. What started as a way to unwind after a long, stressful day in ministry or life in general eventually turned into an addiction that I could not stop. There's no exciting start to my addiction, just something that started as once per month turned into once per week, turned into once per day, which turned into whatever I could manage without getting caught.
All the while, I was in a community of people who could have (and would have) stopped me and helped me all along but, instead, I kept my struggles a secret. I tried to solve my problems on my own; this only fueled the addiction, as well as the toxic nature of what I was doing.