On this Hand
On one hand the world may look at me and see success. Our family was abandoned by my father when I was born, and I was raised by my ten-year-old sister, while my mom was out working all day to provide warmth and food. I attended speech classes in elementary school, I barely passed high school, even had to repeat English class. From their I attended the Marines for 5 years, subsequently graduated college, served in CA National Guard for five years where I left as an officer. I have received two masters degrees and I’ve been a special education teacher for the past 11 years. I have a truly beautiful wife and two of the best gifts a man could ask for, my daughter Cora and my son Connor. A home that is three times larger than the one I grew up in, and I go on family vacations nearly every season. Today both our cars are paid for and we have some money saved up for a rainy day. I do have a truly blessed life.
On the other Hand
However; on the other hand people may see the other man. The one that did drugs at age 12, arrested at 16 for shoplifting, arrested again at 16 for driving with a blood alcohol of .27 and crashing his stepdad’s truck into a tree while I was in a blackout. Again at age 20, I was arrested in the Marines for being drunk and disorderly and having actions unbecoming a Marine. Subsequently the Marines, if you can believe it, said that I drank too much, and said I could be discharged or I had to attend a locked 42 day inpatient rehab program. Later on in life, when I was 36 years old, fully into my marriage and career, I put everything on the line by driving drunk. I drank on the job. And for over 18 months went to bed every night with the wish I was either dead or had the strength to take my own life.
My whole life, drinking and doing drugs helped me. Helped me to have fun, feel like I belonged, made me feel acceptance, gave me peace of mind, and later on in life, gave me peace from fear of financial insecurity, peace from strife, quieted the yelling and shouting that was going on in my brain, helped me to sleep at night, gave me courage. Drinking allowed my brain to feel that my wife was for me and my work was doable. And eventually, drinking allowed me to live in this world that I no longer wanted to live in. As long as I kept my mind diluted and numb I did not want to take my own life.
On February 1st, 2011, I was completely dead on the inside. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. My demon had consumed me. I either went to bed drunk, or I went to bed with my head shouting at me to die, to take a long walk in the woods and to never come back. As soon as I finished working for the day, I would have a drink. To have fun, I would drink. To enjoy my family, I would have to drink. I looked forward to my wife going away for the weekend, so I could become completely numb to the world and feel nothing, and to have that perfect peace.
I decided, at age 38, that I was resigned to believe that my best thoughts were not sufficient anymore. Shortly after that, I ran into a man who became my mentor for the next 2 years, he taught me the following: it is through service and self-sacrifice that will sustain me through future trials and future low spots for they are sure to come.
The only difference is the side effects are pleasurable and sustainable. I give up my shame and guilt. I give up my fears to a beautiful life of courage and fulfillment. I can live today knowing that I am creating a better life for my children.
Having been born into a broken family. Having lived a broken life. Being a man who was breaking his own family. I surrendered. To be healed and fully restored.
Thanks for your time