2.3 min readPublished On: September 29, 2023

Sober Confessions: Finding Freedom from Alcohol and Anger

Finding freedom from potent combination of alcohol and anger.

It wasn’t enough to get a buzz. When Jimmy Strasser drank, he drank until he passed out. 

His first blackout was at 16.

“Beer, liquor, it didn’t matter,” he recalls. “I was addicted to the feeling of the party and having a great time.” 

During his first month in college, 19-year-old Jimmy received two underage drinking charges . . .  and a disorderly conduct citation for fighting. He lost his license for 15 months and did community service.

Jimmy tried to get his life back on track by joining a Pennsylvania Army National Guard infantry unit in 2003.

He did so with unresolved issues.

Jimmy spent 2008 in Afghanistan. That was a tough year. His unit had several casualties and multiple severe injuries.

Drinking became a way to escape horrors of war.

“Obviously, rage comes with this. You want to even the score and get revenge,” he says.

Focused on his mission, he never drank while deployed, but Jimmy’s anger was seething.

“Even before Afghanistan I was a kid who hated to lose. My parents divorced when I was young. I knew I had anger issues, but never took the time to look into where they came from. I used alcohol to suppress those feelings,” he admits.

Jimmy remained in the National Guard for a little more than 10 years. In 2014, he began working in the federal prison system in New York. He and his wife Samantha moved to Florida in 2016.

His drinking was under control. At least, he thought it was.

Everything started to change after his best friend died in a motorcycle accident in the spring of 2018. 

“It was a blessing and a curse because I quit drinking, but I lost him,” says Jimmy.

That same year, Jimmy drank at a cousin’s wedding. Afterwards, his wife photographed him passed out in the yard while playing with their two daughters. 

“When Samantha showed me that picture, it broke me mentally and emotionally. I quit drinking (again) from then,” he says.

Now a father of three, Jimmy, 37, has been sober for five years. 

Currently a lieutenant at FCC Coleman, Jimmy works the active gang yard.

“My wife was going to church regularly at The Father’s House in Leesburg. Eventually, it started resonating with me; walls started breaking down. I committed my life to Jesus Christ in 2019. Ever since I submitted to Him, life has been a lot better. I took the ‘scenic route’ before I figured out that I couldn’t make it on my own.

“People who see me now don’t realize how far gone I was spiritually and emotionally,” says Jimmy, who regularly shares his story in hopes of helping others.

About the Author: Cynthia McFarland

Cynthia McFarland

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