I was an adopted only child so I felt different right out of the gate. My dad was a cop and an ex-military man. He courted my mom in Germany and brought her back to the states with him. They found out they could not have kids so they adopted me in 1964. They explained this to me at the age of 7 and made me feel very special and that seems to be when it all started. Because I was special I wanted everyone to treat me special.
I started sneaking alcohol at the age of 8 or 9 and then found pot at the age of 12 and oh boy, that led me to try just about anything you had. So I got into trouble over and over.
I did manage to hold jobs and get married and have a daughter. However, that marriage ended after 10 long months. I was able to hold it together and raise my daughter.
When she was 8. I made a decision and that decision was to get clean . I had my own grounds maintenance business and was about to lose it. I had managed to buy a house and was on the brink of losing it .
I had a friend that had been in one of the 12 step recovery programs and he would always ask me if I wanted to go to a meeting. Of course I always said no until one day I picked up the phone and called him . I went to my first meeting that night and have not had any mind or mood altering substances since then and that was April 24th 1999 – almost 15 years ago.
Today, I still have my home. I am married to a beautiful woman that has 25 years of recovery and we help many people up and out of the grip of addiction/alcoholism. I managed to land a job with a state agency two years into my recovery and after 12 years with that agency I was recruited by a community college to teach my trade in the prison system in Washington State.
This is all attributed to the 12 step programs that I am a part of and the higher power these programs have helped me find. Who would have ever thought me a college professor? I have made it through the death of both my parents in recovery and have helped others through those same things and stay clean throughout those life changing events.
Life is blessed today don’t get me wrong but life still has it’s challenges. Today, when facing a challenge, my first thought is not to get loaded but instead to ask, “What is the solution and how do we get through this with respect for others and integrity for myself?” The drink and drug question has been answered — it is the living question that somedays we still struggle with. Doing the right thing is not always the easiest thing, however, I have learned to pause and think today before I act.
Getting clean and staying clean has been the biggest and best decision I have ever made in my entire life. All I can say is I am blessed beyond measure.