Talksicology Episode 51

Early Bloomer

Episode Synopsis

On this episode, Jason and Joseph talk with Ben Erwin from Austin, Texas. Ben is the clinical manager for Recovery Unplugged -Austin.

Ben was raised in a middle-class family in Houston, Texas. He was the oldest of three siblings and recalled having a good childhood. In elementary school, Ben was in the gifted and talented program.

His parents weren’t big drinkers, but alcohol was present at home. He remembers stealing beer in 6th grade and drinking for the first time at age 12. The reason: it seemed cool.

Ben never got into trouble for drugs or alcohol but found trouble in other ways. He had outbursts at school and found that marijuana would sedate those feelings. His friends were concerned, so he found new friends to enable him.

He saw his parents’ divorce as an opportunity to “start over.” After moving to Illinois, Ben became bored and started drinking. Eventually, he moved back to Houston.

Ben was arrested for the first time at the end of his freshman year. A friend encouraged him to go to a meeting. He immediately declined and, after a few weeks of thinking, decided to take a chance at recovery. He told his parents he went to support his friend.

Ben relapsed three times before calling his sponsor and beginning to work the steps. He got sober at sixteen.

His behaviors were getting worse, and he began committing crimes. He says it stemmed from not replacing the drugs with anything after getting sober.

After missing a substantial amount of school, he met with a social worker and decided to do something different. He finished at a sober high school.

Ben says there is always something he can work on. To end the episode, he advises anyone who is still struggling.

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