PERSONAL STORY: So Very Grateful

VOR Grateful_Artboard 4Hi, I’m Bob, a grateful recovering alcoholic and addict, clean and sober only by God’s grace, the fellowship of A.A. and the people in it. I was attracted to the lifestyle of an alcoholic before I ever picked up my first drink. My father is a recovering alcoholic; he just celebrated 27 years in April.

I grew up watching my father drink with his so-called buddies and spent a lot of time in bars as a young child. Always feeling like I never fit in anywhere and feeling different from all my friends. I loved the fuss people made over me when I was with him. I loved the fact that everyone seemed so happy in the bar, they all seemed like good friends.

I picked up at 10 yrs. old. No big deal just tried it, but I do remember liking the taste of beer. It was a weekend thing to do through my high school years. I was a full blown alcoholic by the time I was 19. My father had been in A.A. since I turned 15. I went to a few meetings with him back in 1985 or 86 but it wasn’t for me then, I still had too many “I nevers”.

In, 1986 I started doing’ coke a lot along with my drinking’. I loved it .It allowed me to drink and stay in the game for days at a time rather than just the night or weekend. My addiction made me to do things that I would never do in a sober state of mind. I stole, and cheated, I hurt people physically and mentally. My addiction took me places I had no business being. It’s a miracle I’m alive today. I was a whiskey drinker as well; I loved the taste and the effect it gave me. I always drank for effect. I was a blackout drinker as well, there are things I was told I’ve done, but have no memory of doing them. My friends stopped inviting me out, they didn’t want any part of being around me when I was drinking and drugging.

So I moved a few times and somehow managed to get married and have two beautiful girls. No matter where I moved I always managed to gravitate towards the people that were just like me.

In, 1995 I was introduced to Percocet. I replaced everything else I did for it. I stopped drinking and doing coke. I just did the pills, mostly anyway. It wasn’t long before I was up to about 50 or 60 pills a day. I started learning what pills were similar. What ones you had to take more of for effect. I knew more about them then the f—‘ing doctors did. I had back surgery in 2000. Before this I had a few oxy’s from time to time but not many. This time I was given my own script. 80mg..I remember actually being excited about discharge from the hospital because I couldn’t wait to get my script filled. It wasn’t long before I was taking between 10 & 20 of these a day. And still taking whatever other kind of opiate I could get my hands on. I was no longer getting high from all of this I needed to take this amount just to feel “normal”. Just to wake up and do what I had to do couldn’t be done without the help of a handful of pills. And that is no joke.

One morning in 2001 I called my dad, asked him for help. It had to stop. I was out of what I needed and had nobody to call, I had burnt all my bridges, sitting on my bedroom floor crying, begging God for help. My dad came over called a friend of his whom I knew for years. My dad couldn’t help me. It’s not a good idea to get involved with 12 stepping’ a family member. I knew this, because I fortunately knew about A.A….N.A….etc.

Anyway, this friend took me to rehab on 10-30-2001. My life was saved because of A.A. the people in it and God. But because I still never admitted complete powerlessness at two years clean and sober I picked up. I abused my meds. and bought two bags of coke. Why? Because, back in July of 2003, I stopped making meetings regularly..  I Thought I was fine and didn’t need that s***. WRONG!! It Only took 4 months for me and I was back on the train. Thank God for my wife and friends. I called my sponsor on 1-11-04, and told him exactly what I did. It turns out that he knew!!

Did I learn yet? No! Always having to learn every lesson the hard way, again I got a little time under my belt. A little over a year clean/sober. But, I still couldn’t grasp the thought of “24 Hours at A Time”. Plus I still had a few “I nevers”, which I now know are “Not Yets”. Instead of realizing what was in store for me, I told myself there were things I just wouldn’t do, drinking/using or not. Wrong again! Again, after, slacking off on meetings, I picked up again. Not where I left off, but where I would have been had I never stopped. This time my kids didn’t eat, the bills weren’t getting paid, and I damn near lost the roof over our heads.

Well today I’ve admitted complete defeat & powerlessness. I ask God for another day in the morning and I thank him at night and I try to do what’s right in-between. I make a regular attendance of meetings; I try to help another alcoholic/addict.
My sobriety date is 8-16-05

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