Note: Shortly before the publishing of this post, Brian Veerasammy left Millwood for a new employment opportunity. Millwood is proud to have been a part of his journey and we wish him the best on his new path.
Brian Veerasammy, a former team member at our Simpsonville, SC facility, recently celebrated ten months sober from alcohol.
Brian started at Millwood in May of last year, shortly before he got sober on June 1. He felt inspired by the positive environment and messages of scripture from Pastor Charles Carter, the Simpsonville facility’s chaplain.
Though Brian is no longer a team member at Millwood, we are thankful that we were able to be a positive light during his time with us. We encourage our team members to grow in all possible ways, even when that growth facilitates opportunities to move on from Millwood. As a faith-based company, we are grateful for the opportunity to spread the love of Jesus Christ to strengthen and inspire anyone who may need it, regardless of where they are employed.
“I’ve never worked at a job where they actually talked about God,” Brian said. “Millwood promotes Jesus, and I think that’s great. I’m very thankful to God, and he has blessed me with a lot of amazing things.”
Like many who suffer from addiction and dependence, Brian has a family history of alcoholism. It runs in his family on both sides. When Brian turned 21 and could purchase alcohol for himself, he started down a dark path. He spent many nights after work in bars, racking up large tabs, getting in fights and waking up with no idea how he got home.
“I would get so drunk that I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said. “It was a very dark path, and I hated it.”
As Brian’s problems with alcohol continued to grow, he started to experience withdrawal symptoms when he went too long without it.
“I wasn’t drinking because I wanted to, I was drinking because I had to,” Brian said. “The fact that I had to drink to function was really bad. Going out to a restaurant, gas station, grocery shopping, whatever - I had to have alcohol with me in the car so I could have a drink before going in.”
After the birth of his son, Israel, Brian slowed down his drinking. He was ready to make a positive change for himself, his wife, his mother and especially his son.
“I didn’t want my son growing up and seeing this as normal like I did,” he said. “I made my mind up and said, ‘Something has got to change. Something has got to give.’”
Brian went to a doctor to seek help and medication to come off alcohol safely. The toll that the alcohol had on his body over the years left him with severe acid reflux, which in turn triggered panic attacks. He continues to deal with these issues as well as anxiety, though they are much easier to manage now that he is able to control them with medication and help from his doctor.
“I thank God for that, because it’s a completely life-changing experience,” he said. “I’m able to do so much more with my family. I’m able to take my wife and my son out and have quality family time.”
Brian’s advice to others struggling with alcoholism is to take recovery one day at a time.
“It’s baby steps. It’s not something you’re going to be able to do overnight,” he said. “Do it safely by slowly cutting back gradually and consulting with a doctor.”
Brian also says that in his case, his family and his wife helped him significantly through the process of getting sober.
“I’m very thankful that my wife stayed with me every step of the way,” he said. “Even though she could have given up, she stayed with me.”
Lastly, Brian recommends prayer.
“Let God know that you really want to change. He knows what’s in your heart, and He will help you,” Brian said. “He is our Creator, and He will be there for you in your time of need and in your time of struggle.”
Congratulations to Brian for this monumental achievement. His story is a testament to the power we all hold to improve our lives through determination, family and prayer. Millwood is proud of Brian and hopes his story inspires those struggling with substance misuse to find and utilize that power.