I had been in and out of treatment centers and several 12-step programs since 1982. I was a functioning addict/ alcoholic, meaning I worked, paid my bills, put on a good show for the family, neighbors and friends. I attended church and coached baseball and football. I was a good person and highly regarded by my peer group. When I partied, I partied like a rock star. I was a top producer in the real estate business allowing me to go the distance financially. I would not stop using until I passed out from sleep deprivation. Out of sheer luck, I did very well at managing to stay out of domestic issues for period.
I was introduced to Crack in 2003, and I have to tell you, I loved this drug and the thrill of the chase to get it, have it, and use it. Crack helped me escape the harsh reality of life. Crack was all I cared about. In fact, when I cooked my first rock, it was a warped right of passage scenario. I was as proud of that accomplishment as I was having my first child, getting married, and graduating from school. Nothing mattered more to me. I would obsess about Crack all the time, morning or night it did not matter. I can remember re-rocking some Crack in my garage and a woman who lived in my gated lake community had heard me. She came up to the window and I heard her say to her friends, “Oh great this is our neighborhood Realtor getting high!” Can you believe this! My God what has the world gone to?” I had officially made it to the jumping off point. My wife had left me and my high school aged son had taken up safe haven at one of his friends. He knew everything was falling apart. I couldn’t live with Crack and I couldn’t live without it.
Having gone to treatment several times and attending many 12 step meetings, I knew that I had a problem. I could not stop using Crack. I would go four days without Crack, white knuckling it. Next, I would find my vehicle going into auto pilot mode to get Crack, just minutes after swearing off of Crack once again. I could not fix my addiction by myself. Several forms of fear drove me and nothing in life mattered anymore. I am very fortunate that God was watching out for me. When I wanted to end the game of life, a good friend called. The strange thing here was that I had intervened and helped him recover from alcohol 7 years earlier, as he was a real bad drunk. He said he would be right over, knowing I was at the end. I didn’t leave. He talked to me and knew what was going on. He detected the loneliness and despair. He took me to the Hospital and told the nurse in ER, I was suicidal, as they couldn’t turn me away someone in that condition. I visited with one of the mental health professionals, and he knew in a short while what the real deal was. He sent me to a detox center which allowed me to detox and make arrangements for treatment. I went to treatment and did well until the last week. I was asked to leave, as I was a bit of a rebel and was not complying with the rules of the treatment center. I went back home and I continued with my program, going to meetings and calling my sponsor. I did well for 18 months and I thought my system was cleaned out, that I could get high and somehow manage it this time. I was sold on the fact that I would not get as bad as I did before. I did ok the first week but between the 2nd and 4th week I had progressed past the state I was in when I admitted defeat 19 months prior. I was doing more drugs and more varieties of drugs. Having a brief moment of clarity and being honest with myself, I knew I could not manage the drug use and that it was managing me again! I had to concede to my innermost self that I was an addict and could not manage my drug using. The idea that I could use like normal recreational users was gone. I had to surrender.
As I write my story tonight, I am celebrating 3 years of continued sobriety and I am heavily involved with service work. My old sponsor, bless his heart, used to tell me, “if you’re not moving forward your moving back cause there is no idle for this disease. Do as much service work as you can!” I am helping others achieve the same freedom now, freedom from the horrible disease of addiction. I am so happy and serene. I often tell people that I paid big money to feel as good as I do today! The members of CA told me to keep coming back and don’t leave before the miracle happens. I thought this was a crock. I was convinced the damage I had done to my family, friends, career, and to myself was irrevocable. The truth is my relationship with everyone is far better that I ever imagined. I am a good husband, son, brother, and friend. My professional life is better than ever. It is all due to the awesome life skills I am acquiring through going to CA meetings, reading the Big Book, praying, meditating and sponsorship. I am a free man and my life is truly beautiful!