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MY LIFE HAS I KNOW IT
"so far"
"WARNING"
this page has my experience, strengh and hope. I do talk about what drugs I did and how it was. And what it took to get me into recovery.
Hello: My name is Chuck and I am an addict. This is my story has I know it.
I was born March 8th, 1959 I don't remember it though I think I was in a blackout."LOL"
My parents were good parents, My father worked at General Motors, He worked there for some 30 years. He is now retired.
My mother was a house wife my whole life. She was always there for me and she kept a routine in my life.
I have a brother he is 11 years old than me. I also have a sister she is 3 years older than me. "yes I am the baby of my family"
Now I will start my story by going back to my earliest memory.
My earliest memory is when I was at the age of 4 or 5. I remember that I just didn't feel like I was right or that there was something wrong with me. No real big deal, but this feeling grow.
Today I believe that this feeling of being different was addiction just waiting for drugs to bring it to full blossom.
Ok back to my story. When I was about 8 or 9. I was have trouble learning, especially with reading. The school that I was going to talked to my parents. So my parents took me to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City Missouri. The hospital did their test. They told my parents and the school that I had a learning disability called dyslexia. Dyslexia makes one read word backwards.
Then the school put me in Welcome Back Carter's class. For you that don't remember Welcome Back Cater's tv show it was a class room of miss fits. Today they call it special education or learning disability class.
Being put in a special class feed into my feelings of being different and that there was really something wrong with me. It wasn't long after this that I got my first interdiction to drugs.
The first time that I used. I was 10 years old. I was in the hall at school and another kid gave me a pill and said "try this. It will make you feel good" And I just took it, I didn't even ask what it was or what it would do. I find out later that it was some kind of speed.
I don't know about anyone else, but for me that first time was like magic. It was like the world shifted and for once in my life I fit in. "if it would have stayed like that I would have never stopped."
For a while I only used speed once or twice a week. When I was about 14 was the first time I smoked pot. It was in Jr. high school in one of the bathroom. It wasn't long after this that I started to drink and smoke pot and do spread every weekend and during the week was just pot and speed.
From this point on, when I used, I always smoked pot and drinked. Till the end of my using and I will get to that in a bit.
Ok sometime in the last part of high school I got my first experience with acid "LSD". At this time I almost gave up on doing speed.
This was in the spring of 1977. I had just got out of high school and working has a cook at a truck stop. And just partying has much has I could. In the summer of 1978 my father got me a job at General Motors. Wow I went from making $3.00 an hour to $11.00 an hour over night.
I was 19 years old. Living at my parents. With really no responsibilities excepts my car and giving my parents $50 a week for rent and food. I was set to do has I pleased. With all this money I was making and no responsibilities, I was free to use what and how much and when I wanted to. I got my only DWI when I was 19.
Sometime in the fall of 1978 I meet this girl. We started dating and partying. We got married in March of 1979. To make a long story a little shorter 6 years and 4 children and me using all the time latter, we separated for the last time. And some time in this time I had quit working at General Motors.
I need to back up for a minute. On December 23, 1982 I got arrested for 2 count of sells of a controlled substance. On March 18th 1983 I was put on probation for 5 years.The first 9 mouths I to take a drug test 2 times a week. And seen a PO once a mouth, But I really never stopped using for this time. After about a year and a half on probation. I was put on unsupervised probation. "only had to send a paper in once a mouth."
Ok back to 1985 it was right about the time my wife and I separated that I first did Coke. With coke it started out just some on the weekends and in a matter weeks it was all I was doing and thinking about it. It got where I was running 5 or 6 days and sleeping for one. Because of my using I lost at job. This was July of 1987.
I was still married but living with this girl. And for the next 2 months that was all I did. Using and looking for ways to use and get more.
My using had become the only way I know to survive. Life had become real insane. One day something happen and I blamed Coke for all my problems. So I told myself that I wouldn't do any more Coke. So for the next week I did everything else that came in my path, but it seemed that I couldn't get high on anything I did. 6 days of this using and not getting high on anything I did, oh and not sleeping at all. I went and got some more Coke.
I took this Coke and went back to the house where this girl and I was staying at. She was at work. She worked in a bar. I started doing this Coke. I was so afraid of whatever, that I couldn't sit in the front room of this house. So I went into the bathroom and locked myself in there. In the bath I just kept doing this Coke and not getting that high on it either. When the girl I was living with came home from work. She told me to get the hell out of her bathroom and out of her house and her life.
I left the house, I got in a car and just started driving. My life had falling apart and I know that I had no control over my own life. I really thought I was insane. I drove to a mental hospital, that I had been to in past. I sat in the parking lot, looking at the building and looking at the Coke that I had left. I wanted to take the Coke in with me but was afraid that they would find it, so I just did all I had left. This was in the early morning hours of September 20, 1987. It was also the last time I used.
PART 2 OF MY LIFE
"WARNING"
I do talk about God and how I find a god of my own understanding. I pray that the God that lives inside of me, touches the God that lives inside of you.
Well I went into the hospital. They asked me a bunch of stuff, I really don't remember what, but they did ask me when was the last time I used was and I said in "your parking lot" and they let me stay there for 30 days.
Let me tell you a little about what I looked like. I was 6 feet 2 inch tall and 113 lbs. My eyes were sink in and so was my checks. You could count all my ribs and my legs were shin and bones.
Treatment taught be the tools that I would need to stay clean. They told me don't use, work the steps and go to meetings.
They tooks us to meetings, but they only took us to AA. And I kept telling my consoler that I couldn't relate to them. " I was only looking at what was different and not what was the same." The day before I got out of treatment my consoler what talking to me. I was telling her that I was having trouble with relating to the people in . She told me that she wasn't suppose to do this, and she gave me a meeting list for the United Kansas City Area of Narcotics Anonymous. See at this time NA wasn't allowed to be talked about by the consolers of this treatment center. The next day I left treatment.
I was going to AA and sharing about what and how I was using. After a meeting these two old times came up to me and told me that they didn't feel like AA could help me, and that I should go some where else. I was leaving that meeting a this woman handed me yet another meeting list to NA.
In the NA basic text on page xv it says " We are grateful to the A.A Fellowship for showing us the way to a new way of life." and this rings true for me.
The next day I went to my first NA meeting. I got there and sat in the parking lot looking at the building. The Na meeting was in a Church. Churches scared me. I believed two things happened in church. You get married or buried in one and both scared the hell out of me. But I went in anyway, because I really wanted to stay clean and didn't think or believe I could.
I went inside and there was someone there that I had gone to school with, this did make me feel a little better. The only thing I really remember about the meeting it's self was I heard a lot about God, now I don't remember hearing any thing about god in treatment or at AA, they most likely talked about God and I just didn't hear it, but I did hear it at this NA meeting, and maybe it had something to do with it being in a church, and I was just listening for it. After the meeting this addict talked to me. I told him this God stuff scared me. He told me that the 3nd step said a God of your understanding. That no one was going to tell me what to believe and he told me to "keep coming back". By this addict telling me this, it made it ok for me to keep go back.
At meetings I heard alot of stuff. "Go to 90 meetings in 90 days" "Work the step" and "Get a sponsor one of the same sex" I was told about the 'H.O.W." the program, "honesty, open-mindedness and willingness." They told me these things, but when I got here I wasn't any of these.
See I had this perception that when I got clean everything would get magically get better.
They told me to do 90 meetings in 90 days, "I didn't" They told me to get a sponsor and since that sponsor had to be a man and I didn't trust any men. "I didn't" I had 3 years clean before I got my sponsor.
The only thing I did that they told me to was, I didn't use no matter what." and I was going to 4 meetings a week.
Let's go back. 2 days after I left the treatment center. I started working. I have been working there ever since. I was living at my parents, and had my 2 oldest sons living with me to. I was working but I didn't trust myself with money. So on pay day I would go home and sign my check and gave it to my mother.
A little before christmas 1987. I ask my mother to save 2 of my checks back so I could go shopping for christmas. When I cashed the 2 checks, the clerk start counting the money back to me. Has he was counting, in my mind I was counting grams of coke. and this scared me. It was a fear I never had felt before. When I got home I asked my mother to go shopping with me. And that night went to a meeting. I think that was the first meeting that I shared what was going on with me.
Without a sponsor I tried to work the step on my on. I worked step 1 2 and 3 to the best of my ability. But when I tried to write on the 4th step. Feelings would start coming out that I didn't like feeling. So after some time trying to work the 4th step by myself and not getting anywhere with it, and not liking the feeling that it brought on, I just stop trying to work the 4th step.
So after about 3 years of no sponsor, working the first 3 steps on my own, going to meetings, and still living at my parents house. I met this girl. It wasn't long after we moved in together. Well this relationship didn't last. I did learn alot about myself from it. When we broke up it hurt real bad. And I didn't know what to do with all these feelings I was having.
Right after this girl and I broke up. I went to a speaker meeting. I was really hurting. The speaker was celebrating his 2nd clean time birthday. I had watched him come into the fellowship. When he got here his life had falling apart, and he was a very angry man. Has he spoke this night I seen that he had changed. There was a peace with in him that I had never known. I want that, so after that meeting I asked him if he would be my sponsor. And he said that he would be honored. "he is still my sponsor today."
My sponsor has gaven me so much. Especially pen and paper. Working the steps with a sponsor has taught me so much about myself and about the disease of addiction.
Working the steps to me is with pen and paper. My writing on the steps I learn how to live these steps in my life. My sponsor started me on step 1. "A good place to start is the beginning." Step one tells me that I have no power over my addiction. And if I am living in my addiction my life will become unmanageable. It tells me that it is not drugs but my own way of thing.
Step 2 is where I got hope. The first place I got hope was at meeting. If it could work for you all it could work for me. It always showed me that there is alot of powers greater than myself.
Step 3 is where I find the God of my understanding. I find my God my taking a little bit of other peoples God a made my own. Making a decision to turn my life and will over to that God is a daily thing for me and some days it is every 4 or 5 minutes. My life is "from point A to point B" My will is what I do with my life.
Step 4 is a list of what I have done "bad or good" how I felt and what part I played. Step 4 is a step where I learned what I wanted to get rid of and what I wanted to keep. My first 4th step I was putting off do it, I broke my hand and was off work for six weeks. My sponsor said that being off work would gave me enough time to get step 4 done. I told him that I couldn't write because I broke my right hand and it was in a cast. But I wrote it any way.
Step 5 was part of letting go of the bad person that I thought I was. I belive that I should work the 5th step with my sponsor, he is the one who is guiding me in my recovery and he needs to know me like no other.
Step 6; Defects of character are things about me, Anger, Lust, Low self-esteem, Pride, Isolation, are all defects. I believe that all defects spring from fear. In step 6 I need to become willing to have God remove them.
Step 7: Is asking God to remove our shortcomings. A short coming is acting out on one of my character defects.
To put steps 6 and 7 together is like this. If I go out to my car and it has a flat tire. The flat tire is he defect. If "I" drive my car anyway that is the short coming
The 8th step: Is a list of people place and things that I have harmed. It is a list of who and what my part was. The 8 step is to become willing. Willingness to me isn't always what I want to do, but is doing the right things.
Step 9 is making a amends. Most of my amends have been indirect. I have to make some amends to people that are no longer alive. And the biggest amend I have to make is to myself. And the best way for me to make amends to myself is to do the right things for the right reasons, and not to act the way I use to act.
Step 10: is the step to keep stuff from building up. It is taking care of today, today.
Step 11: Is the step where I got and still get peace of mind. Pray is talking to God and meditation is listening to God.
Step 12: Is trying to live these spiritual principles in my whole life, and is giving back what was so freely gaven to me.
When I first go to N A they told me that I to coud live life without the use of drugs. They didn't promise anything else. Today I see anything else as a gift from the God of my understanding. Things that I once was leaving behind in my using are some of my greatest joys today. I love this fellowship and I'm internally in debt to the God of my understanding and the fellowship of N A. I truly believe when I got clean I robbed death. That God had either plans for me.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for being apart of my recovery today.
I want to thank the God of my understanding for being the God of my life.

Chuck S.










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