"I lived in Texas until I was 8. I did most of my growing up though in Chicago, where I lived until I was 28 when I was sent to treatment for the last time. I'm an only child of my parents. I do have step brothers and sisters but I'm the only alcoholic/addict in my family that I know of. So I wasn't raised by wolves or anything like that. I have a loving mother who gave me all that I needed and made sure I went to school.
"I started using at a pretty young age. When I first started getting high and smoking weed it felt like that was the answer. Like that was the one thing I was missing to make me feel like everyone else in the world… to make me feel human. That quickly progressed into drugs like acid to methamphetamine and then on to cocaine.
"My emotions for coping have always been anger. I was always an angry man and my kids really took the worst of that. I wasn't violent toward them but i was just quick to anger, emotionally distant and didn't talk with them enough.
"My first real spiritual experience happened before I got in the program and got sober. When I was like 19 years old I was the range safety officer at a shooting range, which was the coolest job ever. I never didn’t want to go to work because I got paid to shoot guns, smoke weed and pop pills all day. It was great at the time. And so, one morning I just kind of woke up and didn’t feel like going to work that day.
My parents never argued and they didn't drink or do drugs or anything like that. They were together all the way up until my mom passed away. So my childhood was really great. The using for me started pretty early on though. The first time I smoked a joint was in 7th grade and from there it naturally escalated. Later on I got married and he drank a lot. I had to keep my wits about me so I did the next best thing... meth amphetamines.
"My story is kind of strange because the longest run of using i ever had was probably about a year and a half. Every other time I would just go to treatment, get out and I’d use for two or three months but then I wouldn’t be able to pay bills make it out there any longer.