He's very up front about it. Nate will tell you straight out. "I'm a functioning alcoholic," he said.
The drinking started in his teenage years. Nate never took any drugs, but he drank — all the time. Later, after he left school and started working, he still kept drinking.
It didn't interfere with his work, or so he thought. He was always able to hold down a job, even if his employment was somewhat tenuous at times. But keeping a job just meant that he always had money to buy alcohol. "They always say that alcohol's legal," Nate said "I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. So I drank. A lot."
Over the years, there were lots of jobs and failed relationships. His family tried without success to convince him to get help. Then his mom died when Nate was 25. That loss was devastating, and he began drinking even more. But one incident that happened years after really shook Nate right to his core.
"My girlfriend at the time, she was very firm with me about drinking. We were having an argument one night. I was drunk, of course. My son was there •— he was visiting me. And he had to make a decision whether to come with me — his father — or stay with my girlfriend. And he actually chose to go with her. That's when I really saw that I had a problem."
Nate was determined never to put his son in the position of having to choose someone else. So Nate called his father, and told him that he needed to get help. His father was there in ten minutes, and the two of them came to The Salvation Army.
Thankfully, because of your gifts, The Salvation Army's programs and services are here to help people like Nate. He went through detox. He went through Fresh Start, a Salvation Army program. And he moved into Railton House, a Salvation Army transitional home. At Railton House, Nate worked as a cook part time. Now he's a senior cook there. He has been sober for a year and nine months. He's got his own home. He's married now to the young lady who was his girlfriend, and his son lives with him too. He's happy.
"Without God and The Salvation Army," Nate said, "nothing would have been possible. I know that because of The Salvation Army, I can carry what I've learned wherever I go. Whatever I have today — my wife, my family — is because of The Salvation Army. They saved me from myself. They saved my life."