Sober in Delray Beach
Two kids. Two careers. And nearly two decades of sobriety between them. Jim and Tara Scanzillo have become the epitome of sober in Delray Beach. And yes, they’re married to boot!
Getting Sober in Delray Beach
Like a lot of addicts and alcoholics, Jim and Tara came down to Delray Beach for one reason and one reason only: to get sober. Jim had come from Tewksbury, north of Boston. Tara came from Chicago. And while Chicago might be the bigger city, Jim had the edge, family-wise.
“I had 27 first cousins!,” Jim told The Palm Beach Post. “Lots of aunts, lots of uncles, and a lot of drinking.”
“I didn’t have a problem with drinking though until I was 26.” he adds. “I grew up in a great home, with an idea of what I wanted my life to look like. But it wasn’t working out that way. I was living a double life. It appears that things are great, but it’s different inside.”
Tara didn’t kickstart her drinking career till rather later in life either. A Division 1 athlete in college, she always had activities and people to keep her out of trouble. She also had that kick that comes from being a high-level athlete.
“My addiction was that high I got off all that work I was doing,” she says.
Then came work work. That is, a job. And the job didn’t provide that high. Apparently it also drove Tara to drink.
“When I started in sales, I was drinking all the time,” says Tara. “How do you not do that job and drink?”
There was also a first marriage. And the ‘work hard, play hard’ culture of young professional Chicago.
“Every night we were out,” she says. “We both drank. Everybody drank.”
Tara’s dad caught her day drinking. Vodka and orange juice in a coffee cup. Tara tried to reason it away. But she couldn’t. So she sought help.
“I went to detox and cleaned up very fast,” Tara says. And, like a lot of addicts and alcoholics, she thought that was that. It wasn’t. Tara had simply been doing the bare minimum and hoping that would make everything okay. It didn’t. Then she tried moving away. To Park City, Utah, “because she thought it would be safer.” She drank there too.
Jim’s drinking also lasted longer than he wanted. A lot longer. His friends moved on to marriage and families. He remained behind. Drinking.
“I was a little older than the crowd,” he says. “You start to lose your justification. I had been doing this a long time. And I thought ‘I don’t want to dance anymore.'”
So Jim chose to get sober in Delray Beach.
Delray Beach’s Crossroads Club
Jim and Tara found their respective sobriety at Delray Beach’s Crossroads Club. That’s also where they found each other.
It was at the 7am AA meeting. Jim saw Tara across the room. He wanted to ask her out. Problem was is that AA recommends no dating for the first year of sobriety. Jim figured he’d wait 100 days. Then he asked Tara’s sponsor if it was okay. Tara’s sponsor said ‘No.’
But Jim persisted. And he eventually got the green light. After a few dates, there was a clear connection. Still, they were a rarity. Then and now. Relationships usually don’t gel in early recovery.
“It worked because he was entrenched in recovery,” said Tara. “If I wanted to hang out with him, I had to go to meetings. I got plopped into this fellowship. If I wanted this relationship, I had to be there.”
Jim was indeed working a strong program. When he met Tara he’d been sober for three years. He was determined to stay sober too. Crossroads provided the tools, as well as the foundation.
Crossroads also provided strong sober support — for both of them.
“To meet people like us,” says Jim, “people who had been successful.” And who were now living sober. Accountability was key. So was responsibility. “Because if you have a crutch, you’re going to use it.”
Jim’s now been sober for 10 years. This month Tara celebrates her seventh year of sobriety. Jim runs a successful collections business. Tara’s head of sales for a building materials company. Both currently live in Delray, with kids Camden, 5, and Quinn, 3. And are the epitome of a happy family. A happy sober family.
Jim says sobriety not only created a family of his own, but it also soothed things in his family of origin.
“Alcoholism is a family disease,” says Jim. “It doesn’t only affect the person who’s drinking. When you get sober, it heals the whole family.”
Staying Sober in Delray Beach
The Scanzillos say that the community they formed through Crossroads Club is instrumental in their staying sober, something they acknowledge is hard to do and which many try valiantly and fail at.
They’re not the only ones either. Then again, with 900+ people coming through Crossroads’ doors every day, how could they be? Does everyone get and stay sober? No. But a large portion of people do. And Crossroads Club remains a significant reason there is such a thing as sober in Delray Beach.
We at Healing Properties would like to acknowledge The Crossroads Club‘s tremendous contribution to the Delray Beach sober community. We’d also like to thank them for doing so much to create, as well as sustain such a strong sober fellowship. Fellowship is one of our primary recovery tenets. In fact, we extoll its virtues from day one. And any organization that can help strengthen sober fellowship is an organization that deserves to be applauded.