Helping Up Podcast
About This Show
The Helping Up Podcast is all about addiction, recovery, and grace. We tell stories and share conversations from around the campus of Helping Up Mission, a Christian addiction recovery program for men in Baltimore, MD.
Most Recent Episode
"This is the first time that my wife and I have been clean together" - Doug's recovery story
Born in Chesapeake, Virginia, Doug Coffield’s parents divorced and he was raised by his grandmother at age five. “Grandma was like mom to me and living with her was the happiest part of my childhood,” he recalls.
But, at 12, he was sent to live with his now-remarried father and there was constant strife between Doug, his stepmother and stepbrother. So, by age 16, he started experimenting with a variety of chemicals – and alcohol became his drug of choice. Looking back, Doug says, “I wasn’t addicted yet, just trying to fit in with friends. I was really shy and it gave me courage.”
Out of high school, he started working construction and quickly moved to driving trucks. “The big rigs came naturally to me; like I was born to do this,” Doug says. He became a professional long-distance truck driver. He also kept up his drinking and using drugs. “Looking back,” Doug says, “I’d become an alcoholic in my early 20’s. I had to have a bottle of Jack Daniels with me in the truck all the time. By this time, I was getting high on almost everything – including doing speed (methamphetamine) to stay awake driving all night.”
Then, at 33, Doug had a spiritual moment of clarity – in a prison cell in Hagerstown, Maryland! “One night in a bar, a guy disrespected my girlfriend (now my wife). We got into a fight and I ending up shooting him in the thigh!” Charged with assault and attempted murder, Doug received a 50-year sentence, with all but 5 years suspended. He served 2 ½ years and was released on parole for good behavior.
During that prison time, Doug knew he needed the Jesus his grandmother had introduced to him. He started praying, reading his Bible faithfully every day and attending every church service they had. “It was a true spiritual awakening for me,” he says.
Upon his release, Doug shared it all with his wife. Together, they started attending a small country church regularly and Doug became very active, attending Sunday School classes, participating on the church council and singing in the choir. “But the pressures of life started to build and I didn’t know how to handle them,” Doug recalls. “My wife would use drugs from time to time and my spiritual focus began to deteriorate. After about 6 months I started using again.”
“Sadly, that’s how our marriage has been from the beginning. One of us gets clean and the other doesn’t – then we both wind up using again, together! In my 40’s, we both got hoo