About Rich Barnes

“In life, I can never get back what I have lost, but I will never lose what I have so gratefully found” ~Rich Barnes~

For most of my adult life, from the outside looking in, I was a hard working devoted husband and father living the perfect life in a suburb of MA. In 2006, my walls came crashing down and I was given a second chance on life. Addiction ruled my life for many years and with sobriety came much guilt, healing and clarity. My goal for my ongoing recovery is to live an exceptional life, full of happiness and prosperity, while helping those around me. Each day is a true blessing.

After years of addiction, my heart had become filled with doubt and fear, that eventually led me to isolating myself from the people who really cared about me: my family and closest friends. Addiction had created an image in my sick mind that I was okay and would continue to be okay. This is how addiction works. It is a very selfish, cunning, and baffling disease that lets you see what it wants you to see and hides what it does not.

On November 3, 2006, my whole life and world as I knew it came to an end. The walls of separation from the world and reality that I had built so high, were finally falling down on me and burying me alive. I prayed to God on this date, asking Him to take me away from my pain and self-mutilation and to take care of my family when I was gone. “Please God,” I asked, “Take me away or help me!”

The following day, my prayers were answered when God did, in fact, help me by pointing me in the opposite direction and making me into the man I should be. I learned to respect people rather than demanding respect, help instead of hurt, give instead of take, and to have compassion and love for others. By listening quietly to the ideas of others, I better understood that their ideas might be better than mine.

My sad years of acting foolishly and selfishly were something I needed to endure in order to realize me dreams. I now take time to breathe the air around me and take in the sounds of nature. It is exciting to walk down the street with my eyes off the ground, looking into people’s eyes and even saying hello to them. My hope is that, when I reach out my hand to help another person, he will extend his hand to mine.

Today I understand the power of having choices. Rather than using only my mind, I now utilize my heart and soul to come to decisions, which are no longer fear-based or anxiety-driven. I am content with my choices and my reaction to the choices made by others and have vowed not to turn to drugs and alcohol but to accept the consequences if I inadvertently make a poor decision.

My life today is second to none. The years of being sober are priceless to me, and I hold them very close to my heart. Sobriety has allowed me to enjoy my life in Bridgewater with my wife and two daughters. My past is nothing to be proud of, and I stay focused on the “now” and prepare for the future. God gave me eyes in the front of my head so that I do not see behind me. My past behaviors helped mold made me into the person I am today: a kind person who is considerate of others and who will go to any lengths to assist anyone who needs help. I say this with the utmost humility and without arrogance.

If you are reading this and I hurt you in my younger days, I sincerely apologize. My hope is that you can find it in your heart to reach out to me so I can apologize to you personally.

My name is Rich Barnes and I am alive today and grateful for the second chance given to me by the grace of God. And the only reason I received this chance, is because I asked for it.