I came from a middle-class family with good core values. However, I always had a strong self-will and despite warnings and admonishments from my parents I began drinking alcohol and experimenting with mind-changing/mood-altering substances at an early age. I got drunk for the first time at age 14 and it was transformative – I couldn’t get enough! My older sister was killed by a drunk driver (along with her fiancée and best friend when I was 17. The drunk driver who hit my sister’s car also died. I swore I would never drink and drive again, but broke that promise to myself within a matter of months. I drove drunk countless time thereafter.
Married at age 18, a father at age 20, I was a child of the 60’s: pursuing sex, drugs, & rock ‘n roll. I was drafted into the service during the Vietnam War. My marriage was disastrous, and I began to drink not only for fun and recreation, but also to cope with my failed relationship and with my emotions. I blamed everyone and everything for my problems. At age 25 I checked myself into a psychiatric ward at my local Veteran’s hospital where I spent the next 2 months trying to “get my head together”. I was coaxed into attending an AA meeting, but immediately determined I “wasn’t that bad”. I drank and used other substances for the next year desperately trying to control or stop my use to no avail.
I experienced a rude awakening at age 26 following a head-on car accident while highly intoxicated. I was spiritually, physically, and emotionally broken and finally willing to fully accept help. I entered a wonderful 28-day 12-Step oriented treatment program and followed the good orderly direction they recommended. As a result, my life profoundly changed for the better. I’ve been in recovery ever since.
I returned to school and obtained my Master’s degree in Human Services. I entered the addictions treatment field and several years afterward started my own private practice. I later became the director of a local health department outpatient addictions treatment program and eventually became involved in prevention and recovery advocacy efforts. I remarried and raised a family and have dedicated my life to being of service to others in need of help. I’m now semi-retired yet continue to advocate for recovery efforts on a local, regional, statewide, and to a degree national level. I’ve had a wonderful life. I recognize that I’m deeply blessed and remain passionately committed to recovery advocacy.