This is all coming from a man that was trapped in a boys mind for many years until the mind and view of the world was so distorted that the thought of suicide, fast or slow, was the only way to gain peace of mind.
As a child, I always wanted to be number one. First in line. First to hit a homerun. First to ride a two-wheeler bike, and most importantly needed a pat on the back or a smile of approval from my father. If I fell short there was no dusting myself off and trying again. It was obsessing about the fact that I failed until it eventually subsided. For me, this was a huge burden on my self-worth and self-esteem. In all actuality, I was a pretty amazing kid. I rode a two-wheel bike at three. Pitched in little league games. I rode a motorized dirt bike at age five. I bow hunted as far back as I can remember.
As I got older the self-esteem and self-worth issues played a huge part in my teenage years. I was always trying to fit in and make a name for myself. So needless to say, I got the most reaction by being the class clown and neighborhood menace. I was a high strung disrespectful punk kid, but put me at the dinner table with your family and I was a saint sent down from the heavens. I was always manipulating the situation so it benefited me.
I grew up in an alcoholic house hold till age eight. At eight years old, a phone call came from my dad in a detox center. He is sober till this day today. So I was told from a very young age that I could never drink, not even one. I was told I would be addicted immediately, but little did anyone know I had the alcoholic behaviors since I was born. When I was 12, I knew better than anyone else in the world that I could be just like my father if I drank. Later that year, I had my first, second, and third drink and threw up; it felt amazing at the time. As a result, I didn’t care about becoming anything. The calming effect on my feelings kicked in and I felt no need to be anything besides drunk. This became a way of life for me when I took my first drink. The progression leading up to my high school graduation was drinking almost every other day and all the other party drugs entered my body on weekends. I was arrested five times and did a stint in juvenile detention.
I started working as a union construction laborer at 18. I found a group of guys that worked hard and partied harder with a pocket full of money at all times. I was working 60 hours a week and high on drugs or alcohol 75% of the time. I fell right into this and loved it. To the untrained eye, I was a hard working young adult with a lot of potential. I excelled in the construction field, but tore it all down every time I built it back up, time and time again.
By 21, I had two DUI’s and needed a change. I went down to the local navy recruiter and signed up to serve my country. My family and the little amount of friends I had were proud, but little did they know I was running away from me. I finished boot camp top of my division with the perk of choosing anywhere in the world to be stationed. Leaving my high school sweetheart was hard, but I needed that geographical relocation. I chose San Diego, California. The only problem is that I brought me with me. I found the same group of party animals in the Navy. Within two years I was standing in front of a military judge with serious aggravated assault charges from a bar fight while in a black out. My proud father’s first trip to see his son was in a military prison. Unfortunately, another tally mark of disappointment in my life. I felt like a complete failure and upon my release I didn’t care what happened. I ran around San Diego drunk and high on crystal meth for a year until I squeezed the life and fun out of everything there. I returned home and started over. My whole life consisted of new beginnings. I went back to my old job and old behaviors in no time. I was 25, back with the same girl who I kept hostage since age 15. For some reason she saw the good in me.
On 7/7/2007 I almost both of our lives in a car accident. I was in another black out driving 100mph down the Garden State Parkway and lost control. I was ejected out of my truck and found lying down the road with my head completely smashed open. She was wearing her seatbelt and suffered a lacerated liver. I was put in a helicopter and brought to the hospital. I underwent immediate brain surgery. The surgery was a success and I stayed in a coma for about two weeks. My girlfriend was okay and released the first night. Looking back now, not only was god with me, but he was with her and every single person on the road that day. Unfortunately, I continued to drink after all this because the feeling of failure and the mental obsession to drink and use was so overpowering. Over the next seven years I was just building my life up and then burning it to the ground once again. Countless arrests and treatment facilities became normal.
On 9/11/11 that same girl gave birth to my beautiful son Jacob. That was the best day of my life, but for this alcoholic it was not enough to quit. I was a good father but a shitty person. I hid the bottle for the first year and a half. I quickly found myself in jail then homeless with suicide as the only option.
That day of hopelessness finally arrived and brought me to my knees frantically looking for God. Through the help of the final detox, rehab, and God I have been able to stay sober and free from mind and mood altering substances. My feet have never stopped moving forward. My first priority is on my recovery today. As a result, everything else falls into place. My son is going to be three and is a huge part of my life today. God willing, he will never see his Daddy drunk. Today, I get to be the real person I was always meant to be; a role model to my son, and a positive member of this society. I would not change the past and I truly will never forget it, but I will try to be better than I was. Each and every day brings a new opportunity in recovery.