Tom Lewand has not always had it easy even as president of the Detroit Lions football team based out of Michigan. He has been through the ups and downs of alcoholism and the shame of being arrested for his behavior while intoxicated, but ultimately chose to turn his life around.
Lewand had been drinking at parties since high school and college days but eventually his alcohol consumption began to escalate over time. In spite of his growing alcohol problem, Lewand became successful in the field of sports until his drinking behavior finally caught up with him four years ago when he was arrested and temporarily suspended by the NFL.
Hitting rock bottom helped him to realize how much his drinking was affecting his life and his career and he knew he had to make a change.
Arrested for Drunk Driving
In 2010, after a golfing outing in northern Michigan Lewand was arrested and eventually charged with a DUI after being cited for a blood alcohol level of .21 while driving. His experience in jail was truly a low point that opened his mind about his addiction.
While in jail he wasn't sure if he would still have a job, what his relationship with his family would be like or what his future was going to be. At that point he truly surrendered and realized he was at the mercy of his addiction.
He began to reconnect with his faith and put his life in the hands of a higher power to help him fight his alcohol dependency. That night in jail, Lewand decided to begin a journey to eliminate negativity in his life and to make the effort to appreciate his family and friends and religion.
He dealt with the consequences of his drinking by being suspended from the NFL for a period of time and paying a fine of $100,000. He also was required to spend six months on probation after pleading guilty to drunken driving.
The Progression of a Disease
Lewand spoke recently during a testimonial at the Kensington Church in Orion Michigan to discuss the events of his arrest and his decision to lead a more positive life. He told the story of how drinking at parties developed into a habit of escaping through excessive alcohol use. He said that his alcohol abuse quickly began to consume him and take over his life in ways that he had no control over.
He thought he was managing well because he became successful in his career and had three degrees from Michigan with lots of honors. As things progressed, however, he began to hide his drinking from others as much as possible.
Eventually some people in his life confronted him about his alcoholism and asked him to take a look at what he was doing to himself. Lewand was still in denial at the time and believed he had everything under control and that he could handle his drinking alone.
It wasn't until he realized that he couldn't stop if he tried and he ended up in a jail cell that he finally came to terms with his addiction.
At his testimonial Lewand proudly stated that alcohol was no longer involved in his life and he said that his daily routine helps him avoid relapsing. In spite of life's stresses and the normal ups and downs of being married with a family, Lewand has remained sober for four and a half years.
He said that his relationship with God is a key element in his sobriety and his faith keeps him on track with his new lifestyle. Lewand continues to work as the Detroit Lions' president and is grateful for his second chance in his career and his life.