This is my personal recovery story. If you are reading this, you are here by invitation. These will be in no specific order. They will be entered as I remember them, just
as I would speak of them at a meeting. The contents will be listed in
alphabetical order for easier navigation.
Working the 12 steps:
Started my drinking career at the tender age of 16. My best friend (Tim H.) and I snuck out of our respective homes and met at the railroad tracks, where his then, legal aged, brother supplied us with a couple of quarts of Schlitz Malt Liquor. Needless to say that we both got very drunk that night. I will always wonder how we got home. Swore I'd never drink that stuff again also.
This random drinking continued through our entire high school days. There were many nites, running wild around the city. Band trips were just an excuse to party. There were many occasions for this to happen. The 'pot' was free for the taking. Parents were just something to get around. We even got them stoned once. The dope was mixed with the cookies..
In looking back, I can see the developing attitudes now. While he became extroverted, making friends easily, I became introverted, choosing to stay to myself and rarely seeking any active life. How the hell I ended up in the Marines, I don't know... Just another form of rebellion.
By the time I entered the US Marines in 1978, I was a full fledged alcoholic and recognized that fact. I was stupid enough to enlist in the first place. This, once again, was rebellion.
It was a silly situation. In Rome Ga., the recruiting office for Air Force and Marines were in the same location. Since my dad had been in the Air Force, they were my original choice. I arrived at the station, was sitting in the waiting area, when this Marine walked in. Was asked 'what was I interested in.' He promised me that the Marines could offer anything which the Air Force could. Needless to say that my dad was supprised when I announced this at home. It took them a week to hustle my ass into training. I was there on Monday, taking the ASVAB in Atlanta on Tuesday, signing the contract on Wednesday, and arriving at basic on Friday.
I returned home and announce that I would be leaving for Paris Island on Friday. 'Wait a minute,' my dad yells, 'The Air Force don't train at Paris Island!' 'No sir, but the Marines do.' I replied.
The Marines didn't work out either. I finished the basic training up till the 12 week. With the announcement that 'all contracts are void' by our drill instructor, my career ended. My rebelliousness kicked in. Managed to contact an Uncle active in the Air Force and explain what was happening. Had my discharge 48 hours later. The last questions asked by the corp was 'Do you have any loyalty to the Marines?' My answer was 'No! My loyalty was to the US but not to the Marines.' I'm sure that this and several other statements are still on record until today.
Having been through many alcohol rehab programs since then, I wonder about all this.
Yes, I've fallen again. Moved back in with a drinking partner who fell in love with the same girl I did. This partner was also my best friend. Seems like he and the lady involved are having trouble. Guess who got stuck in the middle. Me! Giving advice to regarding a lady, who totally owns my heart, to help her stay with somebody else. Talk about frustration!
Yes! I have commited the sin of falling in love. This lady (Carla) can make me forget that I hate the entire world. I need this. I want this. Is that a crime? I have been told that this is 'selfish.' By religious thought, this is God's promise. Am I wrong in hoping that God will keep his word? In seeking that promise?
Having had a discussion with a friend on IRC (stepper), we have found that we can't come to an agreement on this subject. I can understand what she is attempting to say, but I can't agree that love is wrong and a sin. Have been told that this will prevent me from continuing and advancing in this program. Hopefully this is not true otherwise any effort would be a waste of time.
Since then I have moved out of my sponser's house, where I was camping in his back yard, and after being told that I was still 'to self-willed', have discontinued going to meetings.
I still continue to support the 12 step program, working on this site in my feeble attempt to help others. At this time, I don't know that I will ever return to an organized meeting.
The latest history of this story is my homelessness for the last 3 years. I spent a year in Denver Colorado, putting up with the sub-zero temperatures. The Salvation Army runs a hotel of unlimited stay there. The Rescue Mission sucks. Capital Hill Sucks. I spent 14 months standing on the street corner selling newspapers. I also did a short term job that put me in a motel for 3 months. Unfortunately that ended.
Spent the last year in California. Spent a month in Berkley. They have some homeless programs and a church that serves a meal for a quarter.
Have landed at San Luis Obispo. It's a great town. They have a homeless shelter and a homeless day center. Can get showers and do laundry. It was at this day center that I ended up going to Mental Health and getting medication. Spent 9 months camping and 2 months in the shelter. Landed in Transitional Housing through a referal from Mental Health. Now I on disability.
I've now have been diagnosed as being BiPolar. They say that this is a permenant problem. The good part about it is that it's treatable with drungs and counseling. Maybe one day I'll return to a balanced and will consider myself semi-normal again.