Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob Lohman.
Rob, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana in a Christian home understanding that faith is an important part in life. After moving to Fort Worth, TX at the age of nine, a shift occurred….yet not sure or when, but definitely a shift. I felt as though I was wired differently than most kids. I was the kid with braces, glasses, and a witty sense of humor. I loved being the center of attention to counterbalance my insecurities. I recall feeling “less than” or “greater than” and not much room in-between.
Alcohol became my master around the age of 14 and for the next 15 years the roller-coaster of emotional turmoil ensued. Anxiety. Happiness. Depression. Suicide Ideation. A love for people. Optimism trumped by self-hatred. Fear overtook my faith. Successes and failures. A cornucopia of confusion. My foundation in life rested on a grain of sand…unstable on all fronts. Suicidal thoughts growing in intensity which came to a head on June 7, 2001, in an attempted suicide which lead me to a 12-Step program that saved my life.
I knew that God had more in store for me. My desire to drink or drug has never returned….that is a MIRACLE! No detox. No withdrawals. Just gone! No more desire. I wanted to tell the world. I have not had a drink or drug since that day.
Getting sober was the easy part, living life-on-life’s terms was the challenge. Around 2007 life started to get busy. New marriage. Children. Startup business.
The ingredients for a “Recipe for Disaster” had been taking shape for some time:
1. Drifted away from recovery meetings, working my program.
2. Less than 5 hours of sleep a night for numerous years.
3. Two or three energy drinks, eight cups of coffee daily.
4. Lack of exercise, poor diet and adrenals were shot.
5. Feelings of inadequacy as a husband, a father and a man.
6. Multiple negative beliefs and false narratives about myself.
7. Fear overcame my faith.
8. Lost my business.
Those ingredients mixed with emotional, mental and spiritual bankruptcy lead to my mental breakdown on February 15th, 2012 which led me to a 13-year prison sentence on July 8, 2013 (more details on this later in this article). Even though drugs and alcohol were not part of my life anymore, depression, anxiety, gambling, suicide ideation and self-loathing were.
My actions caused a ripple effect of destruction in the lives of my wife, my children, my family, my neighbors and my community. I know if I would have had a momentary buffer to process what was happening, the incident never would have happened.
In this journey called life, God has done and continues to do so many miracles…..which is the only way to explain the rest. Massive bond reduction. Released from prison in 10.5 months to a local halfway house for 11 months just 8.2 miles from my wife and children. Most importantly, my wife stayed with me and we have worked through a lot the collateral damage as a result of my actions (still work to do, but we are committed to each other). We are blessed with an amazing community of close friends doing life together. My profession now is to help people move beyond their addictions and incarcerations to live an extraordinary life.
I am not defined by my past (neither are you), only being shaped into the man God is calling me to be. I love God. I love my wife. I love my children. I love my community. I love my life…for I almost lost it.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth road?!? More like potholes, ruts, rocks, boulders, empty gas tanks, red lights, twists and turns, bridges out kind of road.
Struggles along the way are/were:
Hurting those I love.
Forgiving myself for the wrong I had done not only to others but to myself also.
Living with the consequences of why I went to prison (see below)..which greatly affected my family and others.
Giving in to the false beliefs about myself and others, instead of believing that God has big plans for my life and He truly LOVES me.
Dealing with episodes of suicide ideation (not so much in present-day.)
Being open and honest about substance abuse and gambling addiction.
More about how my dog saved my life during my suicide:
Suicidal thoughts growing in intensity which came to a head-on June 7, 2001. I was hanging out in a bar in Fort Wayne, IN….like I did eight nights a week. Suddenly the bar became dead silent, I heard “YOU’RE DONE!”, then the bar noise escalated. Unsure what just happened, I said to my buddy “Sean, I gotta go!”, so I immediately drove home.
Moments after entering my apartment, my back horizontal on my workout bench…. my heart beating out of my chest…… eyes staring at “the gates of hell”…..sweaty palms gripping the 300+ pound steel barbell………elbows unlocking to drop the crushing weight upon my chest to “take me out of the game”…death imminent… quickly God intervened through my amazing dog, Jake. Jake’s eyes gazed into my soul, penetrating my heart while doing that head tilt thing dogs do. My initial thought “Who is going to feed you in the morning?”. Second “What about my parents!?”. Third “My brother!”. Lastly “What the hell am I doing?”.
In that moment, the strength of my Father (whom I call God) placed the barbell back on the rack. I know this because I couldn’t even bench 225 pounds, much less 300+! Together, God and I poured out every drop of liquor. I felt His arms wrapped around me comforting me with a peace I had not felt in years. I knew He had more for me. My desire to drink or drug has never returned…that is a MIRACLE! No detox. No withdrawals. Just gone! No more desire. I wanted to tell the world. I have not had a drink or drug since that day.
More about why I went to prison:
Those ingredients mixed with emotional, mental and spiritual bankruptcy lead to my nervous breakdown on February 15th, 2012. Desperate, isolated and disconnected from reality, I lost all my senses and impulsively reacted to my fears. I had a mental blackout moment and lit some boxes on fire on our covered patio in our townhouse community. Once I realized what happened, it was too late. WHAT HAD I DONE?!? I sprang into action to get my entire family out of the house, along with my adjacent neighbors. As my family and I walked out the front door, the entire covered patio exploded and fire rushed into our town home.
My actions caused a ripple effect of destruction in the lives of my wife, my children, my family, my neighbors and my community. I know if I would have had a momentary buffer to process what was happening, the fire NEVER would have happened. Fortunately, nobody was physically hurt, but I know emotional damage ran through my family and community.
To this day, I continue to pray for the opportunity to listen to the hearts of my neighbors to hear how my actions hurt them and express to them my remorse for my actions and to ask for forgiveness.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I founded Lifted From The Rut to help people suffering from substance abuse to find freedom from addiction and incarceration. I do this as a Professional Interventionist, Recovery Coach, Speaker, Host of the Beyond The Bars Radio Podcast and Advocacy at the Capitol.
One area I strive to be known for is being a resource for people. With a vast network of professionals and organizations, I work hard to nurture relationships with Therapists, Counselors, Treatment Centers, Sober Living Homes, and Outpatient services to best serve not only my clients but anyone seeking help.
Being the host of the global Beyond The Bars Radio podcast brings me great joy because I get the honor to interview some of the most amazing people who have overcome so much in their lives with the byproduct of inspiring people to press on and get out of their life ruts.
Having lived in the trenches of addiction for so long with the blessing of sobriety since 2001, I can relate to people on many levels, as I have been through bankruptcy, divorce, gambling addiction, substance abuse, incarceration, suicide, mental health struggles, recovery, a beautiful marriage, two precious children, a thriving community, a deep faith in God, and whatever else I missed!
I am here to help…as that is my calling in life.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
God because He created me, He knows me, He never leaves me and the Bible says He has a plan and a future for my life.
My family and I have had hundreds of cheerleaders and Angels in our community walking through the messiness with us (friends, colleagues, pastors, and family).
My wife, Jennifer, for staying with me and believing in the hope that God makes all things right in His time.
Jeff Krommendyk for being a mentor and friend holding me accountable and challenging me with the tough questions.
Pastor Don McReavy for taking me under his wing to disciple me and remind me that my identity is in Jesus Christ.
Pastor Chad Bruegman and his father Gary for being an encourager in my life to never quit or give up..stay in the fight.
My parents for their unconditional love and support.
My mother-in-law for forgiving me and for seeing beyond my poor decisions.
My colleagues in the addiction industry for encouraging me and believing in my ability to help others.
All of my clients that were and are willing to get vulnerable with their personal story to move past the past and into a future of opportunity and hope.
I could probably thank hundreds more of amazing people that have been an encouragement in this journey of life that continues to shape me and fine-tune me.
- Recovery Coaching : $250 to $800 a month
- Interventions : $4,500
- Website: www.TheAddictionRecoveryHub.com
- Phone: 970-331-4469
- Email: Rob@LiftedFromTheRut.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roblohmanliftedfromtherut/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobLohmanLiftedFromTheRut
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobLohman