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Tony Rossi

Radio Host/Producer

A Catholic in Recovery

November 1, 2015

After moving from rural Wisconsin to New York City to attend college, Scott Weeman came to rely on alcohol as a way to relieve stress and fit into this radically different environment. His grades started slipping, but he justified his behavior by telling himself, “I’m in college, where it’s almost expected for people my age to let loose, have a good time, and explore different things.”

Deep down, Weeman knew there was something wrong. That self-awareness brought shame and guilt, which caused him to add drugs to the mix to suppress his emotional pain. He lost his scholarship, moved back to Wisconsin for a while, then eventually to San Diego. Though he got a job there, he gave it up because he didn’t want to wake up so early after a night of drug and alcohol use. At age 21, he was arrested for drunk driving, went to a 15-day in-patient treatment program, and managed to stay sober for eight months. During this time, he also started dating a woman from a devoutly Catholic family. She got him involved with her parish which had a thriving Young Adult community where he made new friends.

The lure of drugs and alcohol resurfaced, though, and Weeman would lie to his girlfriend to cover up his behavior. She soon discovered the truth, and the relationship couldn’t handle the strain.

During an interview on “Christopher Closeup,” Weeman recalled, “I found myself in this place where everything that was important to me—my relationships, my educational and professional interests, who I was—was all gone as a result of drugs and alcohol. I wasn’t certain that there was a solution to this problem, but I reached out to those closest to me and found a group of people who were recovering from the same type of hopelessness. It was through their presence, their encouragement, and the sharing of what they had been through— and [their] putting faith in a higher power—that helped me get back on my feet.”

That sense of community taught Weeman that he’s not alone in this battle: “I’m offered a daily reprieve based on the maintenance of my spiritual condition. And I can only maintain my spiritual condition through prayer and community.”

That’s why he decided to go public with his story and developed the website and ministry CatholicInRecovery.com. He said, “I wanted to shut the door on my past, but I found that dark path has become one of my greatest assets—being able to share with others going through something similar that there’s hope through it all.”

CatholicInRecovery.com is in the midst of getting nonprofit status. While Weeman is already doing much writing and speaking, he also plans to use video content to reach people who are struggling with addiction, as well as others who simply want to “use the principles given by the 12-step program to better their lives. I also see an online community growing, where others can bring their struggles to reach out for help—and their success stories to give others hope.”

Weeman also knows he’s gained a lot of spiritual wisdom in recent years so he wants to share it with others. He concluded, “God never gave up on me, even though I had given up on myself. Jesus Christ is the One who seeks us and will go to great distances to find us, even if we’re not looking to be found.”

 

For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, FINDING SERENITY IN SILENCE, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org