Recovering alcoholic shares story in hopes of inspiring others struggling

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RAINELLE, WV (WVNS) — You may go home and have a beer with dinner or unwind from a long day with a glass of wine. However, people suffering from alcoholism cannot control when to call it quits.

Melissa Manning found herself in this position. She began drinking in her late teens. She said she was one of those people who could just stop drinking, but never for long.

“I wouldn’t say that I was sober, because at any point in time I would just start all over again. It was worse every single time,” Manning said.

The addiction began controlling her life, and the only way to cope was drinking from sun up to sun down.

“I was literally fixing drinks to drink on my way to work in the morning, is when I knew it was bad,” Manning said.

Manning said she watched her older cousin face the same struggles, and she was relentless trying to get him to stop. Until one day, she realized she was doing the same thing. So, she put the bottle down.

Manning is coming up on 24 months of being sober, a feat at one point she thought may never be possible. However, recovery looks different for everyone. Many people don’t have it as easy as Manning did. She was surrounded by a support system to get her through, which is not the case for a lot of people. This is why she makes herself available to those struggling to be the comfort they may need.

“At some point, it has to stop. If it’s just one person, that person’s life matters, and I want to be that person who is there,” Manning said.

Manning does not work as a certified recovery coach, she actually works at a local Dollar General. She volunteers her time to host AA and Al-Annon meetings in Rainelle where she lives. She’s always a listening ear, someone you can call in the middle of the night just to talk. She also uses social media to check in on people who may be struggling.

“You never know what people’s support group is like, or even if they have a support group. So, I randomly message people, ” Manning said.

Manning is proof a troubled past does not define your future.

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