To new readers and followers of my blog, it will become obvious that I hold nothing back when it comes to my life before and since recovery from addiction. I became aware many years ago that the power of truth and transparency would set me free from my damaging secrets and false ego. I believe that real recovery from sunstance-use as well as other addictions begins with a bold paradigm shift inside. I have helped clients focus on discovering their real selves as well as their supressed feelings, desires, goals, and ambitions. Recovery and sobriety eluded me for many years, just as it did for hundreds of clients I have guided on the path to true freedom and release from worry and despair.
The truth, in all it’s sometimes ugly reality, is that human beings have made mistakes in their life. Addiction to mood-altering substances became a multiplier of those mistakes for most of us. The most powerful step in real recovery is dependant on acceptance of our mistakes. An understanding that the stigma of embarrasing and guilt-ridden addiction behavior is a road block to freedom from the very illness that we wish to recover from. Things we’ve done in our mind-bending addiction episodes are not attributed to moral failings. These mistakes are simply symptoms of the brain disease of addiction. My message to all of you who wish to end your damanging relationship with drugs and alcohol is that you move toward self-forgiveness of your past so that you can enter a new season in life. My recovery began when I understood that I had to be willing to empty the heavy backpack of shame I carried before I could become the sane and sober person I was meant to be. This idea is the foundation of my Recovery Journey Addiction Freedom Course.
There are some shocking details in my story “The Fall’, and I hope that you understand the necessity for my candor. My story takes me from a hopeless, sellfish, and even criminal-minded soul, to a committed professional on a mission to lead fellow sufferers to a new and wonderful reality. I hope that sharing my story provides evidence that even the worst of the past can lead to a life of caring, understanding, and a desire to love and help others.
The following events are true, names were changed or omitted to protect the many innocent victims. Love, gratitude, peace and respect go out to the unnamed in this story including those who remained unrecognized and unknown to me. My efforts at healing and making amends to those identified began nearly 26 years ago and continues …
More of My Story
That is enough of the nostalgia from “the good old days”. The rest of the story goes like this; high school was a complete blur and I performed academically about as well as Jeff Spicoli in the classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Google that if you need to), I was just not nearly as cool as Jeff.
I made friends with the “stoners” around school…
…and was free and willing to skip a day of classes here and there to drive around drinking liquor and picking mushrooms from the cow pastures. I was arrested for DUI 5 times in one 3 month stretch after getting my license and my first car. The legal punishment in those days were $62 fines and eventually license suspension. One judge required me to go to 3 AA meetings, as punishment I supposed. By my 18th birthday I was done with school and laser-focused on the “in crowd” at discotheques and the cocaine scene. I met a girl who was as alcoholic and freewheeling as I was and when my mother commented that she was “bad news,” I asked the girl to marry me.
We moved an hour away from the family home and worked at “going nowhere jobs” to support our coke and beer habits and hung out with others just like us. Somewhere along the way I found myself in the room with a guy who was injecting cocaine and he showed me how to do it and that changed everything. I worked for a while at a factory that had me rotating shifts and I used the crazy work and sleep schedule as an excuse for taking “speed” pills to work and “downers” to get me to sleep.
I injected cocaine with every dollar…
…that I could scrape up and experienced psychological withdrawal when I did not have it. We had a son together and she was somehow able to revert to a state of responsible behavior to care for the baby, but I could not or would not make any effort to stop the substance use.
In an effort to avoid divorce and at the insistence of my parents, I began my rotation through treatment centers and rehabs. I could usually stay clean while inpatient, not always, but my sobriety held no more meaning to me than just pacifying the family with promises that this time would be different. I remember a counselor once saying in group that “normal people improve their behavior to meet higher standards, but alcoholics and addicts lower their standards to meet their behavior”.
I do not think I considered the sad accuracy of that statement or remembered hearing it until many years later. I consider this to be the denial stage of my substance-use career. Every time I fell because of drug and alcohol use, my family or one of the two wives I traumatized, would literally catch me just before I hit rock bottom. I met with pastors, therapists, counselors, judges, employers, and recovering alcoholics-all offering me their help and wisdom to decide to stop using drugs and alcohol.
I put forth effort to stay clean and sober…
A few times I seemingly put forth what looked like some real effort to stay clean and sober. I committed to AA for a while and stayed sober for weeks to months a number of times. I committed to NA (Narcotics Anonymous) for a while and made some temporary inroads to sobriety, always to fail at what seemed like the absolute worst moment in time.
I once stayed clean and sober for 13 months, part of a seemingly well-crafted plan to keep wife number two from going through with the divorce. We had a beautiful daughter and I had landed a high-paying job and for a time I was on a re-building mission that I just knew would keep me on the “straight and narrow”. I accumulated material possessions again, had a key to the house, was sleeping with the wife and everything looked good on the outside. But what I had never understood was that my insides did not have the capacity to match those good-looking outsides.
You can probably understand the subtitle of My Story now, The Fall is underway and gets really ugly.
I’m going to blog about some solutions over the next couple of weeks before getting back to My Story.
I will present more of what I know to be critical information for your consideration in the next blog. Stay tuned.
Be safe and care for one another.
As a trained professional in the field of substance-use recovery, a practicing recovery coach, and more importantly, a person in successful recovery from addiction for over 26 years, I have some knowledge to share and lots of hope for anyone who’s ready for change.
The Recovery Journey to Addiction Freedom Online Course is Now Available as a Fully Digitized and Interactive Program Experience on All Mobile Devices and Computers.
Recovery Begins With Acceptance and A Commitment to Coach Chris’s 21 Day Self-Paced At-Home Course. This Amazing Course was Developed over Many Years with the Coach’s Experience as a Trained and Licensed Addiction Counselor and 3 Professional Coaching Certifications. This Solution-Focused Course Is Not Like Costly Rehabs or Treatment Centers, Does Not Require Group, In-Person, or Virtual Sessions. Includes Daily Coaching Videos, Medical Expert Video Interviews, Celebrity Recovery Video Interviews, Self-Searching Worksheets and Interventions, Relapse-Proof Guidelines, Early Recovery Craving Solutions, Safety-First Guidelines, Daily Relaxation and Wellness Video Productions, Goal and Intentions Worksheets, Art Therapy Modules, and many more Interventions in Perfect Order and Alignment for a Full and Sustainable Journey to Freedom from Addiction to All Mood-Altering Substances.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO GET STARTED TODAY
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO VISIT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL FOR IN-DEPTH DISCUSSION AND MORE:
Asking for Medical Help
If you or someone you know exhibits withdrawal symptoms, psychological problems, or any signs of self-harming behavior, contact your medical professional, call 911, or reach out to SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)