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Against the Wind

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Against the Wind

My name is Mark and I'm an addict.

It took me a long time to be able to say those words. I mean, how could a guy like me really be an addict. I "just" liked to have fun. But somehow the fun ran away and all that was left was the misery that I had created. Misery not just for myself, but for everyone I came in contact with.

I did my first drug at the age of 11. Quite by accident, I will admit. My mother worked for a pharmaceutical company. She would bring home empty capsules and give them to us, they tasted like candy. One night I was up alone and I decided to empty a bunch of capsules and eat the "candy" part. After I was done I worried about my mom finding the powder, so I ate it. And shortly I felt like I was OK for the first time in my life.

I'm not sure how it began, but not long after I found myself around older kids. My mom had plenty of drugs in the house and I began trading pills for pot, acid, alcohol or anything that sounded "cool". I found myself in some pretty bad places.

I ran away for the first time at 13 and continued to do so time and time again. Over the years I continued to change my drug habit. I would say "the problem is this drug, I need to switch to...."

Over the years I made it impossible for people to love me. I couldn't love myself. I found myself very successful in business and a failure at home. I moved all over this country and everywhere I went I was there. I hated my family and found many reasons in my own selfish mind to blame them. I destroyed 3 marriages and now have kids who are addicts. How could they not, most of them did their first drug with me.

I caught my first felony in 1992, went to prison for the first time in 1994 after using on probation. I was 34. Since then I've been to prison 3 times.

In 2004 I met crack cocaine. I said it was the drug I had always been looking for. Twice now I've been to prison over crack. The lifestyle took me places my nightmares never dreamed, yet I couldn't walk away.

I've been clean now since 12-9-2008. Today, at the age of 52, I have a great career. A real relationship with a real woman. Amazing the problem wasn't my career, my relationships, or the drug I was using at the time, THE PROBLEM WAS ME.

I'm blessed today to be able to work with other addicts and ex-offenders. They help me stay clean. I want to tell everyone, no matter what you do, don't ever give up praying and believing that the addict you love will change. I grew up at age 48, 37 years I battled this disease and lost. But the day I surrendered to the disease and admitted I was powerless and asked for help, I started on a new path. The path was hard. I had to fight a lot. But I learned that anything worth having is worth fighting for.

Today I have a relationship with my parents, brother, even my future in-laws love me and that has never happened before. I live an honest life today. Anyone who knows me, knows I have a past and that I am not today what I did in the past. I could never have done this alone. It took MY God, NA, AA, counselors and a whole bunch of other addicts who also had the desire never to use again.

I would love say that I never have to battle my addiction today, but that is far from the truth. But today by the grace of God and the people he has placed in my life, sharing my story, using the tools I have and remaining honest I am still clean. And enjoy a wonderful life today.

An addict, any addict, can lose the desire to use drugs and find a new way to live. The real message is what God has done for me He will do for anyone!


This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

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Comments

1. Julie
Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on six years today!