When I was 9 years old I found a dead body in my grandmother’s trash can in the alley behind her house. I had nightmares for 4 years after that and when I turned 13 I found out that alcohol would change my feeling and help me sleep. I was no longer afraid but little did I know how that one event would shape the rest of my life.
While in the Navy even though I did not see live combat I saw some pretty horrific things. Losing men overboard, one sailor was sucked into a jet engine on the flight deck and an explosion in ordinate supply bay tore off the face of my then best friend. Each time alcohol seemingly helped my fears and eased me to sleep.
It wasn’t until years later once out of the military that I learned alcohol was not my friend. I endanger my children with reckless behaviors and horrible choices. My marriage crumbled as my ex-wife is an addict and I’m an alcoholic so communication was out the window. And even though I had the skills and background, holding a job for more than 6 months was impossible, especially if it interfered with my drinking.
Thanks to my higher power doing for me what I couldn’t do for myself I was able to regain my life. I gained full custody of my children, went back to college and got an education and have a career that I cherish to the fullest.
I owe each and every addict for my recovery. I owe all of those who prayed for me, reached out to me and helped me when I couldn’t do it for myself. I owe that addict sitting alone in his room contemplating taking his own life, I’ve been there. I owe the addict who has no food, money, or electricity, I’ve also been there. But most importantly, I owe the addict who has lost hope and feels no one cares. I am here to give back to those who gave to me and pay it forward for those who will follow me.