By Jessica Easthope
David Clayton knows what it’s like to be in the throws of addiction.
“I was almost at the point where I didn’t know where to look, and the thought that I was reaching for more drink was frightening,” Clayton said.
But he also knows how it feels to make it out and live the life he never imagined.
“I would just be waves of despair and despondence and I had to seek distraction,” he explained. “Today, it’s the reverse.”
David’s life changed when he met David Birtwistle. Birtwistle became David Clayton’s mentor and thanks to him, in the process of getting sober, David found himself on another journey, one that was totally unexpected.
“I was an atheist, pretty sour-minded, cynical, and he said,’If you’re willing to take the actions consistent with the premise that there is a God to help, I believe you can have the life I’ve been given,’” David Clayton said.
It started with some simple exercises, praying, making lists of things he was grateful for and helping others.
“He said, ‘Try this for 30 days and if you don’t like it, we’ll return your misery with interest,’ and I said, ‘I’ll try that,’” David recalled.
David stopped drinking that day, and nearly 32 years later his faith has only grown stronger and is an essential part of his sobriety still to this day.
“It was that that made me seek out religion and Catholicism. I’m as firmly believing now as I ever was, and have those values as deeply as ever impressed upon my soul,” David said.
He’s now guiding other Catholics with his book, “The Vision for You: How to Discover the Life You Were Made For,” teaching them how to tackle recovery by finding a personal vocation.
“It is recovery for Catholics, it’s presented in Catholic language the way David did it for me,” said David Clayton. “I was freed from drinking from it. It’s directions on how to achieve your vocation in life,” David said.
His faith has driven his life’s mission.
“The best years of my life are ahead of me because through this journey, I’m getting ever closer to God,” he added.
He makes the same choice every day. Instead of turning to alcohol, he turns to God, knowing he has a plan.