Anxiety, Insecurity and Self loathing
I was born into an addicted family.?Both my parents were actively using alcohol and various street drugs. I do not ever remember being in the company of sober people as a child. I learned the only coping mechanism to be taught by addicts -- use?a substance.
I do remember swearing to myself and the universe that I would never use like they did. I made this oath in witness of? the extreme physical violence in which I witnessed on a constant basis. I took my first drink of alcohol at the age of 15. The minute the drink began to take affect I knew I had found my solution. In an instant, the anxiety, insecurity, self loathing all disappeared. I drank alcoholically from that moment on. Started weekend binge drinking and using marijuana. It didn't take long at all until I began daily drinking.
Soon I learned if I were to use cocaine or methamphetamine I could drink more and longer. I immediately got into legal trouble. At sixteen I started going to jail and had my first? probation officer and many more after that. I went to jail?26 times before I was 23 and twice a?year every year after that. Whether I needed it or not. I was in treatment in a hospital at 25 yrs. old. I did not follow the suggestion of 12 step recovery at discharge and soon began drinking again.
I have come to in different states (black-out drinking) and once came to in the middle of a murder investigation where I was the prime suspect. I did not murder that man and the way that I was sure of that was that I did not black out for at least 10 hours of seeing him last.? Not a good defense but the only one I had. After 8 grueling hours of interrogation I was cleared.
I have overdosed on alcohol and come to in a hospital bed and in emergency rooms with breaks and lacerations.? Wrecked cars --?my own and others. I either could not or would not associate any of these consequences to my drinking. I thought it was just bad luck.
In?23 years of drinking and drugging I did not believe that I could ever get sober and was resigned to dying an alcoholic death.The anxiety, insecurity and self loathing had returned. I had gone to Twelve-Step Recovery in the past but did not? stay sober/clean, although in retrospect, I hadn't done one thing that was suggested in those earlier years of my addiction.
After a moment of clarity in June of 2001 I was able to connect the consequences of my behavior and the addiction. I tried AA again. I went to that first meeting willing at last to do ANYTHING that was suggested of me. I got a sponsor and I worked the steps.I attended meetings regularly. I made new friends, friends that didn't drink or use. I got involved.?I learned to pray and meditate to a god of my understanding. My life gradually got better.
At my?one-year anniversary a fellow member told me that they weren't too sure about me when I first came in, being in the late stages of alcoholism and all. I had no idea, as alcohol and drugs are such liars. I thought i still looked great and that I had it going on.
My life even with its up and downs is better today than I could have ever imagened for myself. I came into program so tired, beaten-down, broken and homeless. I had been drinking with America s most-wanted on tailgates all across America.
Today I am a descent human being who has a genuine zest for life. I am the Director of Transitional Recovery Housing that includes residents on?doctor-prescribed medication, one of the only in my city.? I have become part of the solution and happy to say I have not even had a traffic ticket in twelve years. I have a home and the respect of my family and friends. I thank?the men and women in AA who came before me. They have taught me through their experience, strength and hope how to have a life worth living.
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.