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Addiction is not Discriminatory

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As a child, around the age of 8yrs. old, I recall my dad coming home from work, after dark, and he would be drunk, he and my mom would begin yelling at one another. It wasn't long before I would hear the slap of opened hand against the flesh. Following that would be the thump of a closed fist striking the body. The screaming and yelling was deafening. As I laid in my bed, afraid and crying, I vowed never to raise my hand to my wife out of anger. For some reason the consumption of alcohol did not occur to me at that time.

When I was 9yrs. old I recall sitting in the civil courts building watching my life be ripped apart as my mom and dad engaged in a nasty custody battle during their divorce.

At the age of 13yrs. old I was introduced to alcohol. My mom's boyfriend bought me a fifth of Jack Daniel's for Christmas. I liked the way it removed the pain of my troubled past. It wasn't long after this I was introduced to marijuana. I figured out that if the drink could make me feel free, how much more could the drugs mixed with alcohol? Soon to follow was the pills and powder. I thought I had found the perfect solution to all of my problems, past, present and future.

I took advantage of every opportunity to pursue my addiction. In the mornings before junior high school started, I drank. In high school my behavior from my addiction became extremely reckless. We were permitted to leave campus for lunch. This excited me because on top of the "bombed breakfast," now I could engage in the "liquid lunch" program. When I got my driver's license at 16yrs. old this allowed me even more freedom to feed my addiction. I began "going out" with my friends on Friday and Saturday nights, attending school dances and events, these were merely excuses to get loaded. My grades began to fall, I became involved in lucrative sexual conduct, and I was facing "normal" teenage problems. My addiction was running my life, and my life was out of control.

At the age of 18yrs. old I managed to qualify to take the final exams. One day we had a 3 hour lunch break. Naturally me and my friends stocked up just for this occasion, even though we knew we had to return to school for one more test that day. By this time I had become familiar with "black-outs," but it never deterred me. I could never reach the high I felt the first time, but I diligently pursued this quest, no matter what. As I arrived to the classroom for the exam the teacher asked me if I had been drinking, I did what any alcoholic would do in this situation, I denied it. I stumbled to my desk, sat down and prepared for the test. As the exams were being distributed the room was disrupted by a loud thud, I had passed smooth out. My head fell from an upright position and slammed on to the top of my desk. The next thing I recall is the nurse arousing me and loading me into a wheelchair, because I was unable to walk. She wheeled me to the clinic. The embarrassment of this ordeal would haunt me for a long time. My dad was summonsed to the school, I was wheeled to his vehicle and loaded into the car. My reckless behavior has finally caught up to me, I was suspended and missed the next day's exams.

My dad made me go to my first A.A. meeting. As I sat in that smoke filled room I recall listening to the older people talk about how alcohol has ruined their lives. I said to myself, "I don't belong here, I'm not an alcoholic like them." I attended a couple more meetings and somehow convinced my dad that if I went one year without drinking then I couldn't be an alcoholic, he bought it. I did quit for the one year, but on the day of the year I resumed my addictive behavior. I had more guilt and shame within me now and the addiction came on with a vengeance. The vicious cycle started all over.

At 22yrs. old I married a female who had been partying with me. We obtained our own home, new vehicles and the partying became common. Four years later she filed for divorce, it was granted, but the repercussions made me feel like a failure, and the drinking and drugging progressively got worse.

I landed a new job, with the local sheriff's department, thats right a cop. Because of the profession I quit using drugs, but I supplemented it with more alcohol.

In less than one year I met and married my second wife. She liked to drink too, so this was perfect for me. Again we acquired a home and new vehicles. Three short years later a friend of mine called me and advised me that he and my wife had been sexually involved for the past six months, and he wanted to expose it. This devastated me, another failure. But this time was worse than the first, now I felt inadequate as a man. My self-esteem plummeted. I lost all respect for myself and my profession. Once more I turned to the drugs to suppress these feelings. I became extremely tactful on my using, because I knew if I got caught I would go to prison. I began to frequent bars, pool halls and cabarets. I engaged in sexual activities with no regard to using protection, I didn't care, was my attitude, it was all about me. I would use and abuse any female who came into my life. This potentially deadly conduct lasted about one year.

I began having nightmares, I would see a long black tunnel, but at the end of the tunnel was a light. I knew this was my life. As time went on the light got smaller and smaller, as if to be getting consumed by the dark surroundings. The light was almost totally engulfed, when I woke up one day in tears. On April 29,1996 the fear woke me up, I was crying, my body felt like all of its energy had been depleted, I knew I was now fighting for my life. I had always believed in God, but never knew God. For the first time in my life I went to my knees in prayer, all alone in my barren apartment, with a face full of tears, I cried out to God. I told Him I did not want to die, I asked Him to spare my life and help me do what I was unable to do myself, survive. A few moments later the phone rang, it was a female friend of mine who spoke concerns about my behavior in the past, but I would not listen, I was ready to listen now. She gave me information on a local, private hospital and phoned my mom to pick me up and drive me there. I admitted myself into the hospital and began my life-long road to recovery. I did not know how I would live day-to-day being sober, I did not know how I would face life's pains and hurts sober, I did know how to conduct myself around people being sober, but I did have only the faith of a mustard seed.

I met my sponsor at an A.A. meeting held in the hospital. He started me on reading the Big Book, and we began working the 12 steps. After two weeks in the hospital, I went to a halfway house. I continued to aggressively work the 12 steps, I took my recovery as seriously as I did my addiction. After three months I graduated from the halfway house program, I continued attending meetings and began sponsoring others who were still suffering.

By working the 12 steps I learned to humble myself before God in prayer, I learned that God does a better job at running my life than I do, and I learned how to give back what was so graciously given to me. My faith in God became strong, my self-esteem was restored, I finally felt joy and peace in my heart.

I then met and married my third wife, she accepted me and my recovery, but she had a surprise for me. One Sunday morning I agreed to attend church with her, here she introduced me to Jesus Christ, this would impact me for the rest of my life. He accepted me with open arms, with no regard for my shaky past. I was intrigued by this, a new interest was sparked within me. I wanted to learn more about the Man, the more I learned the more I wanted to learn. The spark soon turned into a flame, a burning desire to follow Him. I went to A.A. to save my life, now I go to God to save my life and my soul. I realized that the void in my life can not be filled with drugs, alcohol or women, ironically quite the opposite, sobriety, love and a man, Jesus Christ. With the peace and joy in my heart there is no room for strife. By allowing God to take total control of my life He has blessed me with all of my dreams and desires, I have a beautiful, God fearing wife and family, a nice home in the country, and the ability to share my experiences, strength and hope with those still suffering. It is my prayers that someone will be touched by this testimony and they too may enjoy a life filled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for allowing me to share, may God's peace be with you.


Michael A.
 
Member
Thank you for sharing, God is good all the time! I too am a delivered alcoholic and drug abuser. I praise God for what He has done in my life. The road to addiction of this sort is often simuliar. I learned to cope with my pain from watching my mom go in the basement with a bottle of Hennessy and turn down the lights and turn on the Al Green. I praise God for my deliverance from that and my dependancy on Christ. I had many other addictions to overcome in my life and still have still yet to face. I just thank God for saving and redemtive power. Hallelujah!
 
Member

xr6

Hi Michael,
all I can say is "wow"
praise our Lord Jesus that you have come through all of what you have experienced.
Xr
 
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