The 2nd Half of the Story:

I turned on myself in the biggest way. And later I also turned on the world in a really hard way. For many years I just didnít care about anything or anyone except my few friends in the neighborhood. My folks helped me buy a car the day I turned 16. (That was a big mistake though it made me really popular). I started running with a gang, skipping more school than I attended, and going down to the city, always high as a kite. My SA continued at an average of once per year through high school along with my other abuse. As it turned-out later many of my friends had also suffered some form of abuse too. It was just that kind of crowd.

My SA consisted of 18 incidents over 14 years at the hands of 9 different perps. Several of these were fairly to very violent incidents. The last one at age 18 was at the point of a gun, when I was tied-up, raped, and sexually tortured. God only knows why he didn't kill me too. By then I was heavily into anonymous vandalism, intimidation, wild reckless driving, and other very risky, criminal, and anti-social behaviors. I just didn't care period. Maybe I was exposed to lead poisoning at an early age, or.... From birth to the age of three my folks lived just a couple of blocks off of Woodward south of 14 Mile. The auto exhaust from the leaded-gasoline of the early 1960s, from eight lanes of heavy traffic, had to be pretty heavy.

I used as much or more of the typical teenage drugs as anyone around my neighborhood or anyone in my small circle of friends. SA wasn't the only component of my abuse. I was also repeatedly physically abused and emotionally abused by my parents, as well as medically neglected. My folks were very devout life-long members of a cult faith-healing religion. Lack of medical care was a big issue growing-up.

The time from 1975 to 1986 I was just in a wasteland. I went to WMU in 76 & 77 where I majored in excessive partying. I got 6 credit hours in 3 semesters full-time. I stayed on there after I dropped-out working 3rd shift at some little factory. When we got off at 7:00 AM we got stoned and went across the street to the bar, so that we could get drunk with all of the guys heading to work at Fisher Body on Sprinkle Road. I was in the early-morning bar crowd at the age of 19 & 20. Then it was back to my house over by the TB asylum to get stoned with my roommates. My folks moved to the Cleveland-area when I was there.

Cleveland was where I met some of the most screwed-up people that I had ever met. Pretty soon I was into IV drugs and that crowd, often in the worst part of the inner city, and experienced one more abusive relationship. For almost 2 years a good friend and I participated in a gay IV cocaine sexual pain relationship. We were both Mís. I learned a lot about loosing a close friend that way, even though it was his idea to start with. Over time I lost a whole lot of friends. Finally in 1986 I entered treatment for the first time at Cleveland State University. After the collapse of my first marriage in late 1989 I went right off of the deep end again. 1990 to 1997 was just a weird blur where I lost every-thing I owned several times and almost died of IV overdoses a dozen times. I lived in all over west suburban Denver, first in a couple different roommate situations, then in a little studio apartment, and worked enough to afford to drink heavily, smoke lots of pot, and use lots of coke, mostly alone. I just wanted to be isolated and alone and really stoned, and I just didnít care.

In 1996 I went to Hazelden the first time then got kicked-out of an extended-care place in Florida in a week flat. I then spent six months outpatient in Colorado at a Cenaps-model treatment place called Pro Behavioral Health. (It was another lost cause). In 1997 I went back to Hazelden and this time I did pretty good. I stayed on in MN in aftercare in a sober house (I was there for the tornado in 1998) and saw Mic Hunter for an extended period, though I wasn't all that impressed with his in-person group. A roommate from the sober house and I got our own place and then I found out the hard way about hanging around your buddies from treatment too long. With almost a year clean, fourteen days after we had signed a year lease together, my roommate went off of the deep-end on crack. I came home from work, there was a guy that I had never seen before sleeping on our couch, two cases of empty longnecks all over the apartment, and a crack pipe in the ashtray on the living room table. Then the guy woke-up and asked, "hey, you all want a hit"? There is nothing harder than trying to refuse your own drug of choice inside of your own house when it is right in your face. I had been doing so well too.

It was really strange. My roommate continued to co-host local AA meetings, all the while looking for new fish to help share the cost of his crack and heroin habits with. I thought about turning him in several times but never did. I did a lot better, with only a few short binges over the next nine months. Finally one day the movers showed-up, and I moved out and left him sitting there alone in the dark with only two chairs and a table to keep himself company with. Over time, that I know of, this guy personally ruined the recoveries of maybe a dozen Hazelden grads. One of them died in bed with him of an overdose. Unfortunately I only moved a few miles away, and his dealer finally saw me shopping and followed me home a couple of months later. (No sense letting a good customer get away). I had quit seeing Mic Hunter and his group by then.

Finally after another 6 months of this I got out and went in-patient to a place in Prescott, AZ. I was there for 5 or 6 weeks. A close friend's family showed-up one weekend and they invited me out to lunch where they discussed his future. His estranged wife and kids were there and she so badly wanted him to transfer to a place in Newport Beach so that they would have a chance to get back together. At a group later that day I was the only one of 30 guys who supported his chance to put his marital life back together in California. Five minutes after the taxicab left I was told to hit the road too, all because I had told $5,000 bucks a month to walk out the door. I told him what I did because he was such a close friend and I knew a lot more about the situation then a lot of the other guys did. The place in Prescott was way more sensitive to money issues than Hazelden was.

Then it was back to Colorado in late 1999, where I went outpatient to a place in the NW suburbs. By then I was so paranoid that I could never enjoy my drug of choice again. This last trip to outpatient therapy and a support group seemed to work wonders, and I have now been clean since December of 1999. It took 14 & 1/2 years to go from my first individual counselor at Cleveland State to the point where I was off of dope and substantially free of my other problems, though only 4 years and 9 months of that time were actually spent in treatment, plus a couple of years in support groups.

The last eight and 1/2 years were the best years of my life. I've been on the same job for the entire time, over three times as long as the next longest-lasting job of my life. I am engaged to a woman that I have been living with for two years. I used my share of my dad's estate to buy a nice place in an upscale golf community. I'm living really well and the control that my past had over my future choices is long over with. And then I found this site. Too bad that it wasn't around when I started into treatment. Back then you were expected to go from individual therapy to cold-calling on an in-person group. There wasn't any building-up your strength anonymously on the internet. The main reason that I'm still here is to try to help show some of the crowd here that recovery is a possibility, maybe try to give out some hope and extra support. And maybe there still are a couple of peripheral issues that I could work on.

Like a tendency towards long-windedness, or trying to fix-up my Detroit/Cleveland/Twin Cities blue-collar ex-stoner persona.

Talk to you later. Hope that all is well.


Edited by ModTeam (06/01/08 11:24 PM)
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark