Person First Project – Stephan

Person First Project is a photo blog that seeks to give those currently or formerly experiencing homelessness in D.C. the chance to share their stories. In doing this, we hope to reduce the barriers that separate people in D.C. and spark a dialogue. The Person First Project aims to connect us – and to make us all feel a bit more human.

stefan 1

“My name is Stephan. I’m a drug addict and an alcoholic. I’ve been clean and sober for 39 years. I’ll be 66 in 2 months.

I got into the “alcohol counseling” world quite a few years ago because I want to make a difference. Who else can express more about the pain, the agony, and the bad choices of drugs and alcohol than an alcoholic or a drug addict? I understand how to get clean and I know how to stay clean. It’s a matter of choice.

See, we think that alcoholics are another species from another world, but there’s more to it. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t give you the right to give up. So where do we get our strength? It’s through choice, through understanding what we are doing; what we are choosing is not healthy for us. It affects society, the community, the town, the state we live in. It’s a domino effect. You can’t cure it. It has to be a relief from within.”

– Stephan

Author’s Note: Stephan is currently on living on a bench but hopes to go back to Santa Cruz.

2 Comment

  • Thank you for sharing you story with us Stephan. It really inspired me.

  • Stephan,

    This is great. Thanks so much. Please do not be discouraged about the few responses. I would like to see more of you on the web, wish I knew how.

    You say the effect is like a domino effect. This is true. Within the individual him or herself, the effect (it would seem) is cumulative and building. I mean that if I am drinking heavily, I am worse off today than I was three weeks ago – more susceptible to falls and injuring myself, my body’s tissues are a little more damaged. In other words, it’s not a static situation we are talking about.

    I would love to hear more from you about motivation, programs, helping others (interventions and so on).

    Thanks for writing or being interviewed.

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