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 my self 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 week end 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 yr every 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 over dosed on Alcohol and come to in a hospital bed and in an emergency rooms with a 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 twenty three years of drinking and drugging I did not believe that I could ever get Sober and was resigned to dieing an alcoholic death.The Anxiety, Insecurity, Self loathing had returned. I had gone to Twelve Step Recovery in the past but did not stay Sober/ Clean.. Altho in retrospect… I hadnt done one thing that was suggested in thos earlier years of my addiction. After a moment of clarity In June of 2001 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 didnt 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 1yr anniversary a fellow member told me that they weren't too sure about mewhen 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 that has a genuine zest for life. I am the Director of Transitional Recovery Housing that includes Residents on Dr. 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.