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My story

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:47 am
by Crash
Sorry this is so long but I wanted to try to touch every part of my struggle with sobriety.

I used to pretend I was a pirate with my best friend growing up. We would carry pocket knives around and cut the ropes of electric boats docked at a nearby neighborhood lake. Seeing as how pirates and rum go together like cheese and crackers, we tried rum one day while we were floating around on a newly commandeered boat. At twelve years old we got drunk for the first time, and it only opened up doors that I know both he and I would've left shut had we known where they led.
I grew up as an only child with distant, but loving, parents (at least while I was still young). I was different from everyone around me (aren't we all?) and I became aware of this at an early age. I mention this because it really shaped who I am and how I would act in front of people. I was a lonely, troubled kid with the brains to figure out how to mold myself into what I thought was cool, and I don't just mean by dressing like the dudes I thought were cool.
I developed an appreciation for the utter disregard that freestyle motocross riders gave to themselves and their bodies. They were badass dudes, but they didn't care what anybody thought about them, at least on the outside. It was this mentality they had that I found myself subconsciously mimicking; it started out by dressing in baggy shorts and t shirts with skulls on them, and manifested itself each morning on the school bus listening to eminem on my walkman. When I heard the song 'perfect' by simple plan, it seemed like something I could've written. This only enforced my feelings of loneliness which I was simultaneously expressed instead as a flippant attitude. By the time I reached high school, though, I had become a pretty well-liked guy with a solid group of friends. I was never the most popular kid at school but I was definitely in the top 25%; after so many years of adapting my behavior to what was socially accepted while also putting on a show of being too good for things like giving a S***, it really had become who I was (at least at the time). I felt good, I played sports, I was invited to birthday parties and sleepovers at people's houses, and I had a girlfriend that was everything to me. But I couldn't repress my wild side - even during sports my friend and I would screw around doing things like squatting on the top of a wall and taking a S*** onto whatever lurked below.
I never really felt like I fit in anywhere. At the birthday parties I always uncomfortable trying to appear as social as the other guys, and I never understood why it came to them so easily. I spent my share of time in detention or suspension as well, but I didn't fit in there either. I was in all pre-ap/gt classes so the rowdy kids looked at me as smart (a nerdy thing back then) but the smart kids in class looked at me as a dumbass. I ended up finding comfort in weed and booze, alcohol to make the social interactions a natural instinct and weed to genuinely laugh with similar people.
But my life took (to me, at least) a huge u-turn the first day of school my sophomore year of highschool. I should mention that by this point I was very confident in my appearance, I knew I was attractive and playing football, etc. only encouraged this thinking. But no matter how sure I was of my looks, I was never sure of myself. When I came home from school that first day of my sophomore year I found my mom crying on the couch. I hadn't seen my mom cry since some of my parents' knock down drag outs when I was younger, and I asked what happened. This is a pivotal moment in my life because I became an entirely different person this day.
My mom told me my dad wanted a divorce and she didn't know why. I was so shocked and speechless that I couldn't even remember all the terrifying nights I spent trying to either avoid their fighting and somehow stop it. I tried all the classic tricks from trying to be funny to ease the tension to crying loudly in the middle to make them stop yelling at each other. I know, I know, many people have it much worse than I did, but as a young kid all I knew were my two parents and it genuinely scared me to the point of vomiting when their fights got bad. After hearing my mom's reason for crying I sat down next to her and cried harder than I had in a long time while we hugged. I know my mom needed some support like I did, but my dad was at work so he never had a chance to tell me his side while I was still unbiased. I went up the stairs and just sat down staring at the wall, mad at my dad for breaking his vows to my mom, mad at him for not being there to tell me, mad that my mom was downstairs crying alone, mad that this is how highschool was going to be now, and mad that he wouldn't be there to take me dirt biking on the weekends or play catch in our front yard. But I was more than just mad, I was confused and utterly heartbroken. I felt like the only person that's always been in my corner didn't even want me anymore.
It was while I was sitting here that I changed. I can't say whether or not I made a conscious decision too or if it was purely a defense mechanism, more likely it was both. I built a one-way wall around myself: I would act like I always had to the people around me but nobody would get through my wall to reach me.
I no longer had it in me to tolerate the coaches yelling at me on the field and then acting like another dad in their office, so I quit playing sports and turned my true hobbies into my new lifestyle. I began selling weed and drinking much more. I don't know if it's just easy to sell weed in high school or if I was a natural but I began making pretty good money and never ran out of weed. For a maturing boy this was a massive ego boost - I had money, drugs, booze, and now no dad at home to keep me in line. I had developed the mindset 'F*** it all and F*** everyone'.
My girlfriend that meant everything to me less than a year earlier was who I lost my virginity to, but now I consciously made the decision to not give a F*** about her. This wasn't as easy as just typing that sentence, though; I began cheating on her with girls I sold weed to, and inevitably she found out. But it wasnt the girls she found out from, it was my two best friends that told her. Feeling even more abandoned and alone now I built my walls up even higher.
The more I chased money and what I perceived as power, the more I F*** off. I got into selling hydrocodone pills and syrup, codeine, and eventually roxis and oxys. But really I wasn't making any money of these pills, I was supporting what was becoming an increasingly problematic addiction. It got to the point that I couldn't go to school without being F*** up, and an oxy habit was too damn expensive to enjoy every day.
This is when alcohol began to take over my school days. Each morning I drank no less than a six pack of budweiser tall boys while getting ready for school, and I made myself a mixed drink of something like half gatorade half $12 vodka. My weekends consisted of getting incoherent and somehow making it home with either a girl I had previously hooked up with, or if I was lucky a new girl. I thought that I cared about these girls in the moment, and some of them I'm sure I truly did, but I wouldn't allow myself to let someone back into my heart so each girl that came over just ended up as another layer on my walls - and I even obsessed over it by keeping track of each one and viewing them basically as trophies.
But then someone built a door on one side of my walls. I had been friends with this girl for a few years and was never attracted to her, but as we became better and better friends my heart (or maybe libido) got the better of me. This girl was a legitimately good person and cared for people more than I had remembered was possible. I became so enamored with this girl that I started to let my guard down around her, and it was great. But I wasn't great. I was still eating vicodin like a bag of skittles and I had started to drink so much everclear that every few days I would wake up with my throat so swollen that I could not swallow; instead of cutting back, though, I would switch back to whiskey or vodka for a couple days and then go back to everclear when I could handle it. I was even more reckless than ever, and I crashed my car four times in just one summer. She tried to help me and told me I needed to slow way down, but out of pride, stubborness, or both I told her to F*** off.
Leaving things on a rocky note I went to college many states away. I was not done with our relationship though and tried to be better from a distance, at least to her. I still tried to hook up with girls when I had the chance but I figured what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her. Turns out I would be the one getting hurt. First she told me she couldn't deal with my neediness anymore, and I'll admit it only made me more clingy because I couldn't let her go. It tore me up all over again and I tried calling her to work it out so many times that I was even annoying myself. But then I found out she was hooking up with one of my friends back home. And she did the mature thing and told me instead of denying it like I would've done. I was broken for a while. I had let my guard down after so long and when things didn't work out how I wanted them to I broke.
This time I didn't even have it in me to put on a facade - I just drank. I was lost. I didn't know what to do or who I was. I joined a fraternity because it was supposed to be a brotherhood, and with some guys I developed a good friendship. But I still didn't feel like I fit in and I just ended up drinking even more; I blacked out so often that I had no clue what was going on in my classes and had to drop them. This didn't phase me, though, and when I went back home on breaks I would pick right back up where I left off.
I eventually got into another relationship with a girl from my highschool, and this one was different. I ended up getting her pregnant at 20 and I was gonna be damned if that kid would feel abandoned. I dropped out of college and started working a regular job. The money was S*** and it sucked ass, though, and I ended up just spending that money on drugs.
Me and my best friend from earlier that would pirate boats with me were into (at the time) obscure painkillers. The unicorn was opanas aka oxymorphone, but these were so hard to find that we mainly just got roxis, morphine, and fentanyl patches. We weren't satisfied with just using these drugs as directed. We snorted and smoked the roxis, and instead of sticking the patches on our skin we would cut a small piece off or push a small drop out and smoke it off of foil. The latter became our new drug of choice for awhile and I got back into selling drugs via the fentanyl patches.
I'm not sure when it happened exactly, but I became less worried about preparing to be a father and more worried about my opiates. I started smoking tar when I couldn't get any patches, and from there it was only a matter of time.
My friend had become involved with using needles at this point, and one fateful day I joined him dope sick from fentanyl in an ihop parking to do my first shot of china. It was indescribable how it felt, but it was as close to complete as I had felt in a long time. We started out casually, only doing it once a day or once every couple days and we would mix it up by injecting morphine pills and then taking whippets.
I had no regard for my safety and I honestly didn't have a deathwish, I just knew I would never die from it because id been taking opiates heavily for around 7 years.
And then I did die. I did my biggest speedball to that date on the same day I had been drinking and taking bars, and I fell out while walking down the stairs and slid face down to the bottom. Of course I don't remember that, though. I woke up with paramedics hovering over me and my shirt cut up the middle to my neck. They quickly loaded me up and took me to the hospital where my mom finally had to face the reality that her son was just as much of a drug addict as her sister is.
I flatlined for about a minute according to my friend, and I never talked to God or got punished by the devil. None of it felt that real. This would be a wake up call for many people but it wasn't even close for me.
And then shortly after, I found out that some of my friends had their door kicked in over some weed by another one of my friends. And the nicest and most generous one of them was the one one to take a bullet to the head. He would've just given the guy the weed to be honest, that's how he was, but instead his life was snuffed out by somebody I couldn't make myself hate and I hated that.
And there was my excuse to start getting F*** up again. One night I was so drunk that I clipped a cop car while he had someone pulled over and crashed into a tree trying to escape. And shortly after I resumed all the cheating that I had grown accustomed to, and it felt good for a little while. And I felt guilty a little while later. But nothing changed, I had too little self control. I ended up overdosing another time on heroin, and I thought maybe then I would quit. But I didn't, and instead I picked up another dwi as well as a gun charge.
The day I was supposed to complete my deferred adjudication and get the charges dropped, I was stopped for running a red light and arrested for driving on a suspended license and for possession of less than a gram of heroin. Luckily I had a bag of mixed up xanax, tylenol 3s, and random pills like blood pressure medicine that I had hid in my asscrack. In the back of the cop car while he searched my car I chewed up every last pill I had in there and didn't even make it to the station before passing out.
I woke up in the infirmary of the county jail with one arm hand cuffed and a catheter in my dick, and somehow managed to pop the button on the handcuffs and tried to stumble of the gurney, my catheter tugging on my cock. Of course I didn't make it far enough to let go of the gurney before being placed back on it with both hands cuffed this time. I don't know how I survived that night but somehow I did.
First thing I did when I got home was pick up a 40 sack of dope and get right back to it. This led to me voluntarily going to rehab because I couldn't take being sick for two days then getting well for one day anymore. I made it a couple months sober until I didn't, and I overdosed on the bathroom floor of my halfway house.
At this point everyone that knew me thought I wanted to die, and I was forced into therapy that would probably have been beneficial had j given it a shot. But it didn't work and I ended up right back at the short end of a rig.
With another overdose nearing, I had gotten seriously into shooting coke. With this new habit I made some terrible decisions, like F*** a stripper and prostitute and catching hep c. I had no idea i had it though and kept on doing my thing until I was arrested for another dwi and went to another rehab. I couldn't keep it in my pants though and stayed with a girl instead of going back to my p.o. I inevitably overdosed and then got sent to tdc for the dwi and my previous pcs charge that I was on probation for.
Tdc made me want to be sober so would never lose my freedom like that again, but we can't always get what we want especially when drugs and alcohol are set up like razorwire around it. I soon was back on heroin but I was doing it smart this time. I weighed out exactly .25 everytime so I wouldn't od and only did 2-3 shots per day, and it worked out for a while until I got caught up and sent back to county where I ended up getting time served and picking up a felony possession charge. Getting out I didn't change a thing because it "had been working" and I shot .25 twice a day for over a year before things really got bad.
Not in the sense that I became homeless or my family abandoned me, that never happened somehow. The heroin caught up to me though. And it caught up so fast that I felt like I was being punished for all that I've done wrong in my life. I started feeling like S*** and went to the doctor to find out I was in acute renal failure. I went to the hospital for a kidney biopsy only to find out that I also had an aneurysm in my brain that ruptured. Luckily the surgeons were able to clip it off and I survived. The doctors found out I had blood poisoning from my drug use, and that complicated things by damaging nearly every organ. It had already damaged my kidneys and brain, however it also caused endocarditis which would require open heart surgery, as well as damaging my spleen, liver, stomach, and somewhere along my intestines causing me to bleed internally filling up my abdomen with blood. I lost so much blood that I needed 19 blood transfusions (plus any done while I was in surgery) as well as for plasma transfusions. I had also developed a pretty gnarly abscess that ended up bursting on me that required 3 surgeries alone.
But I was finally sober. I'm starting to love myself again and let myself love others, or at least I'm trying to. I thought I was bulletproof, and to be honest I didn't really care if I wasn't. I would deal with the consequences later, but when later came it was too late to realize that the consequences are much worse then being lonely and being hurt.

Re: My story

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:50 am
by MyNameIsBetsy
Hey Chase, welcome.

I read through all of that - every word of it. I can't relate to all the drugs and destruction. But I can relate to the booze. I relate to drinking all that alcohol every day, even when still sick from the night before. We alcoholics are so much alike. We identify with each other in our illness, and we identify with each other in our recovery.

So, what happened that got your attention and brought you to sobriety?

Betsy, an alcoholic

Re: My story

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:29 am
by Crash
Im not sure there's just one thing I can name that made me finally commit to sobriety; I think it's been more of just everything adding up over the years until I finally couldn't do it anymore and then it wasnt even really like making a choice to be sober. It feels like it would be more of making a choice to relapse or continue using drugs and alcohol, if that makes sense

Re: My story

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:50 am
by Indianapolis
Good detailed story. It fully describes the progressive nature of the disease.

So what's your recovery strategy/approach? How are you finding life changing for you?

Re: My story

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:04 pm
by Brock
Welcome here. I read your post early this morning, the part which jumped out to me was -
I ended up finding comfort in weed and booze, alcohol to make the social interactions a natural instinct, and weed to genuinely laugh with similar people.
I started drinking for similar reasons and smoked a lot of weed in my time, also had a long fling with crack cocaine but walked away from that and just stuck with the booze, which led me to death's door. I get a feeling that your sobriety is something like choosing between death and life, it was that way for me at first, and I would choose life for a while until I put on some pounds in weight and some dollars in the bank, then I would go back to my friend booze because I was so unhappy living sober I had no choice. I did that quite a few times and have met others who did the same, AA kept welcoming me back each time and saying, ‘if you do the work you will be so happy booze will look like a stupid idea.’

Well, long story short I finally did that, and it wasn't half as hard as it looked. Now I can truly say I am very glad alcohol led me to near death, because it forced my eyes open to a new life I never knew existed. And those steps had me discarding from my memory things that happened in the past, or at least not looking at them and being embarrassed.

Your story may be just that a story, but if by any chance you are looking to connect events of the past to be the cause of your addiction, I humbly suggest you are on the wrong track. In the other thread about the gym, we are talking about those who don’t do the work and expect results, we also mentioned an AA speaker Chris R, whom some of us enjoyed listening to. I have heard him say several times as a sort of joke, ‘you didn’t become alcoholic because your parents made you sit on the toilet sideways.’ It’s simply to stop new members from blaming anything their parents did, or friends did, or whatever happened in the past. The steps of AA have us casting the past aside and living in the present, and lead us to true happiness.

I may be reading your post all wrong, and if I have I sincerely apologize. In our literature we are encouraged to say what happened to us, what we did to fix it, and how life has improved after doing it, I don’t see in your post what you have done to recover, and if your recovery has led to a happy life. If it has not, please consider looking closely at the steps of the AA or NA program, preferably with a sponsor from either fellowship. If you don’t our literature just about guarantees you will relapse.

All the best, and please ask any questions or make any comments you wish.

Re: My story

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:07 pm
by Crash
Thanks for y'all's input. Yeah so I actually am genuinely happy now, but I haven't been working the steps. I've had time to sit and think through things and you're right, I may be putting some of the blame off of myself in an attempt to just connect all the dots that led me to where I'm at, but I don't think anybody but myself could have gotten me to where I am and have been.
What I can say has been helping me is realizing that it is ok for me to do things I want to do; for example a lot of my drinking started out because I felt uncomfortable in a social setting with people that I wasn't really friends with but for some reason wanted them to like me, and now I'm realizing that I really don't care what they think about me so it's easy for me just be myself and skip a social event if that's what I feel like doing. I don't feel so weighed down by trying to put on a good appearance and act in a way that someone else would be impressed by

Re: My story

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:33 pm
by MyNameIsBetsy

Time to do yourself a big favor and participate in your own recovery!!! Find yourself a local AA meeting, take a deep breath, and walk in that door.

Our fellowship if full of people who thought they could do this on their own, and couldn't. Oh sure, most of us sometimes can string together a few sober days when we really, really need to. I put nine whole days together once. Then something so important came up (and it was so very important that I no longer have any clue what it might have been) that I decided to drink over it. And, back to the races again. The same cycle of drinking at night and being sick every morning started up.

I had been abstinent, but not in recovery. For us alcoholics, abstinence doesn't work. We need something to replace all that booze. What I finally replaced it with was with the 12 steps, with meetings, with the people I know in the fellowship, and with a Higher Power of my own understanding.

I am not unique. Neither are you. We AAers see this same miracle happening all the time to folks walking into our meeting rooms. The people who make it clean and sober are the ones who work the program.

My best suggestion to you is to find your way to a local AA meeting. You can find the meetings by calling your local AA office. Look for them online by searching for your town's name and "Alcoholics Anonymous." Walk in, and make it a point to get to know one person.

And hang out here too. Lots of good stuff on these forums.

You can do this. You never have to drink again.

Betsy, an alcoholic

Re: My story

Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:29 pm
by Indianapolis
Crash wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:07 pm I've had time to sit and think through things and you're right, I may be putting some of the blame off of myself in an attempt to just connect all the dots that led me to where I'm at, but I don't think anybody but myself could have gotten me to where I am and have been.
I hear you, man, about blaming others. It took me years to realize that nothing was "to blame" except the booze itself. I could drink 'cause I was happy, drink 'cause I was sad, drink 'cause I was stressed, drink 'cause I was bored, drink 'cause work was going well, drink 'cause it was going poorly, drink 'cause I was mad at my wife, drink 'cause I was happy with her.... whatever.

None of those things were "to blame" for my drinking. The truth was, I'm just an addict. Whatever life events led me to the first drink or the 100th or the 1000th, they're long ago in the past.

As my sponsor likes to say, with a sarcastic grin: "I continue to hold out hope for a better past."

So then what? Dwell on figuring out your past? Or take real meaningful active steps toward a better future.

I'll reiterate the others' advice -- find a meeting, get a sponsor, dive in. I promise AA has more to offer than just sobriety. The steps aim us toward a better acceptance of our past, forgiveness of ourselves and others, and ability to look toward improving our future. That process minimizes those psychological issues that will always want to lead me back to the bottle, and has offered me real growth as a human being.

Re: My story

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:07 am
by avaneesh912
They wrote the big book to illustrate how the alcoholic/addictive mind works. If you still have some doubts, read it. There are several stories to illustrate how the mind tricks us into taking that first.

In Bill story, where he is determined to stay sober in the initial phase without help it has this statement:

Somebody offered me a drink, I took it.

There was no contemplation, no playing the tape through (recollection of the agony).....But just takes it. And then sets the allergy that keeps him drinking.

Elsewhere he uses the analogy of a ski-jump.

The curve of my declining moral and bodily health fell off like a ski-jump. After a time I returned to the hospital.

Later on you will see the recovery part of his life. Amazing story. Like others pointed out, take a deep dive my friend. For our kind, this is the last house in the block. Dont ever swayed by other options out there, the alcoholic/addictive will always take the easier softer way.

Re: My story

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:28 am
by DaveP1951
"I continue to hold out hope for a better past."/quote]

Thanks for that quote Indianapolis. I have been involved in AA for over 40 years and have never heard that quoted before. It speaks volumes. Love it.

The big book promises "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." The Big Book also talks about the past as being one of our "greatest assets." I remember when I first came into AA there were a number of people in my home group that used to say "Why you drank is not important." "You drank, you became an Alcoholic, and you are here."

I certainly do not agree with that line of reasoning however. For myself I needed to learn what lead to my Alcoholism. I needed to "connect the dots." I needed to learn from my past so I could "hold onto the hope/ vision of a better future."

Re: My story

Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:53 pm
by Crash
Thanks for the support guys, I'm going to give it a shot. I do, however, also feel like it was a good step for me to explore my past and delve into the reasons things happened how they did because I have never truly put thought into it and faced the ugly truth. I'm hoping with the things I learned it will help me realize if I start getting myself into an uncomfortable situation even if there's no booze involved. I really appreciate all the help I'm getting from y'all, it feels like y'all really want to do what you can for me.

Re: My story

Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:27 am
by avaneesh912
The first step in recovery is that realization that booze fix is not an option. And that, if we dont continue to change and evolve, we are sure to pick where we left off or ever worse. The book has several stories. Bill story in the front and mini short stories in "more about alcoholism" and many at the end. All to illustrate the progressive nature of the disease. The best part is they give us hope.