Local man remembers hitting bottom and fighting back

September 21, 2009

Daniel Prosser is sober now, married and with a steady job, but he spent years living in a wooded area near City Park.

"I was too drunk to work," Prosser said of that period of his life.

Prosser blames drugs and alcohol for those bad years.

Then, he reached bottom in 2005.

"There was no place left for me to go," he said. "I was too drunk to work."

He talked about his life and what went wrong.

Born and raised in Washington County, he dropped out of school in ninth grade.

He spent time in the county jail. Sometimes, when he was living in the woods, people would try to get locked up, he said. In jail, there are three meals a day and a roof over your head.


Now, Prosser returns to the woods regularly, with a group from the Lifehouse West church on Salem Avenue in Hagerstown.

"Let's go spread some love," he said on an April day as a small group set out with bagged lunches and good intentions.

The group came across a makeshift campsite: Blankets spread on top of large plastic garbage bags.

The site is near where Prosser lived for two years.

"I wish I had a pillow, man. They don't even have a pillow," Prosser said as he surveyed the site.

He said he found Alcoholics Anonymous, and got clean and sober.

"I'm not ashamed. This was my past," he said. "Because this was my past, if I forget it, I might return to it."

-- Erin Julius

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