My Story of 39 Years of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

A Few Simple Rules
June 15, 2017
From Good, To Bad, To Worse
July 24, 2017

My Story of 39 Years of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

I was born in Italy on June 26, 1962. My father was in the military and we lived abroad, I’m so blessed to be an American. My father served in 3 wars during his time in service, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I have two step sisters, one that lived with us and one that didn’t. both my parents had them thru previous marriages, I was the only child from them both.

I was a free-range child growing up, times were different back then, you came back home from playing when the street lights came on. I often was picked on a lot from the neighborhood kids and would get beat up a lot, not that I didn’t know how to fight I just didn’t want too.

I was very easily distracted in school from 3rd-6 grade, I would daydream a lot, my mother hired a tutor to help, it did some good but I was still failing, So I was put in a private school, had to wear a suit and tie, I hated it, when this school didn’t work out I went to a Pentecostal private school, there I learned much about god and faith, often with a whipping but I conformed and was almost top of my class, I learned how to think things through, thoroughly.

Then the deception started, I could manipulate people and things. I often always got what I wanted since I was the only son, my sister was 10 years older, and I would act out to keep my parents attention. If I didn’t get what I wanted I would take it, I started stealing very early, almost never getting caught. This behavior still persists almost to this day. This a character defect that I’m asking god to help me with, I would take things, not because I needed it, but for the thrill of it.

When I was 12 we moved again from the neighborhood ware all my friends were, to 10 miles out in the country, there, we had 7 acres of woods and fields to explore and absolutely no kids to play with.

My father drank a lot and was very southern and old fashioned, women took care of the kids did the cooking. My father was very stern, when he was drinking it was worse, he abused my mother and took his rage on us kids. My mother also drank, but not like my father. She threatened to leave him on more than one occasion, but never did, that’s because I would talk her out of it, to stay together, manipulation my strong point I had valid points.

So out in the country I spent a lot of time secluding myself in the woods, seeing how nature works, how the seasons changed and the cycle of life. Little by little I found more friends, but I had to ride a bicycle many miles to reach them. My father bought me a mini bike, and I rode and road it till it broke, he then got me a Honda XR-75 moto cross bike and then he took me to a race, and I won! MY soul was now dirt bike racing, and I was good at it, I have 100s of trophy’s in my show case, nothing else mattered.

Then at 15 years old my addiction had me take the wrong fork in the road, I bought a car and got a job as my old man told me to help pay for the racing. With this freedom, I had got a fake ID and started going to liquor stores to get beer and alcohol with my friends so getting drunk was fun but the headache was not, I then got a girlfriend and she in turn introduced me to pot, WOW that stuff Is great. So, my down- word spiral started, my life was Dirt bikes, girls, and drugs.

Within two years those priorities changed too drugs, girls, dirt bikes.

So, I didn’t even realize that getting high, getting laid and then my racing was the start of the end. I got high before a race one time and I crashed very hard, broke my arm and leg and had a concussion, they found THC in my system and my father was done with me, I was a disappointment once again, I always tried to please my father, but it was never good enough…

I begged my parents to send me back to public school and they let me, I was on high honor roll in 11th grade colleges were looking at me I won a Scholler ship to the American Motorcycle Institute at Dayton Beach and then by my senior year I just was barley passing, getting in trouble with the police and embarrassing my parents.

But I didn’t have a problem they did!!! That was my thinking. I mean, my parents didn’t mind me drinking like they did, but I wanted more, I got high, I don’t know why but I liked pushing myself to the limit and beyond!

My thoughts of God and his grace were greatly diminished, for instance I once had a dream the night before a very important race, I would meditate and picture myself at the track and racing and winning that race to phyc myself up, the dream I had would haunt me for years to come, I was in that race and there was one rider in front of me, try as I might and even trying to take that person out I could not pass him, I remember the initials on his pants plainly, it was “J.C.” he won that race. He took his Helmet off but never faced me, he had long brown hair and I asked why, he told me that I could never beat him! That set off a fire storm in me, who is he that says I could never beat him? I didn’t realize it till years later that those initials of J.C.  were in fact Jesus Christ. I know now that I couldn’t see his face, because I was a sinner. I was very bitter and resentful at this. I lost my faith, how could a loving God do such a thing to me? The Devil had sowed the seed of doubt and resentment and it had taken root on my soul.

After graduating High School, that summer I was introduced to cocaine, acid, ludes, meth. I had a job at the Honda shop, and life to me couldn’t get any better, a fifth of jack, an ounce of weed and other drugs under the seat of my 68 Mustang, slowly I found myself going into addiction, I panicked and I joined the army, thinking I would make my dad proud and I could salvage my life. My thinking at its best again!!

A friend of mine while taking acid one night told me how he could get high going into the service without getting caught. By huffing suede spray through a toilet paper roll. Well after basic training I had weaned myself off all the drugs and took to alcohol, switching from one to another, I was then shipped to Germany for 2 ½ years. Once there I was very homesick, being 19 years old I was lost, so I took to huffing that suede spray and it got me high to the point of passing out in the toilet stall. I would time myself how long I would stay passed out, setting a number so as not to kill myself or draw attention. I scarred myself to find out that I was out for over 2 hours before I woke. So, I stopped, I turned back to alcohol until I met the hash man, I loved hash, I would travel many miles around Europe to find it. Not just wanting to be a user of hash I wanted to be a seller, I found a Palestinian connection and was buying high grade black hash from the Palestinian Liberation Organization it was stamped in gold letters right on the brick, I was funding the very organization that was killing out people, I didn’t care I was getting mine! (INSANITY) I was the major dealer on base, doubling and tripling my money, I smuggled Hash back home so my friends could buy and use it. Over there I also had a meth connection as well as opiates. Being very very careful not to flash money or deposit it I had my bases covered. I became depressed thinking is this all there is in life for me? I took a bunch of pills one night an overdosed, I was found by the night guard and was rushed to the hospital spitting up blood and pieces of stomach lining, had my stomach pumped and survived. My official record states I had a reaction to medication. I never told them different for fear they would kick me out of service. At 20 years old, that would be the first of two attempts at my life. But as my time over there was ending the undercover operatives were homing in on me. I came up dirty on a drug test one week prior to leaving, Now I had connections in high places so to say, and I managed to have my record expunged before I left to my new duty station. Another hurdle jumped. I arrived at my new duty station at FORT RILEY, KS. I drove there from the east coast, still having a big chunk of black hash I smoked along the way thinking that it won’t last forever that I have to find new connections. It didn’t take long.

After self-detoxing once again off of meth, I told myself I wouldn’t do that again because of the pain, well that was wrong! After meeting the locals at bars and strip clubs, I found pot dealers, acid dealers, coke dealers. After sometime there at the base I got a pool of people that partied like me, then I went to work, hustling for the dealers I saved enough to once again be self-supportive in the drug trade, selling the whole works, I got hooked on acid, taking up to 7 hits at time and drinking fifths at a time I spiraled out of control, still after all this I had a proficiently well-adjusted military bearing and cunning to hide behind the mask. It all caught up to me on one of my lost weekends where I would travel the endless dirt roads of Kansas not knowing where you are and then trying to find your way back.

Tripping on lots of acid and mushrooms, I broke down, and on a lonely dirt road 30 miles from the nearest farm somewhere between Dodge City and Salina, Kansas, I stopped the car, pulled out the 12 gauge in the trunk, and as the sun was setting, said “God, if you truly love me, send an angle to stop me” I waited, nothing, I took the shell out of the box, and chambered the round. I put the gun under my chin, and with tears in my eyes I said, “I’m sorry lord” and pulled the trigger, I just herd the click, the click of a misfire. I pumped the round out the chamber, looked at it and it had no marks! I dropped to my knees and wept and said thank you God! I made my piece with him that night. But that did not slow me down.

I left active duty, and went back home, I lived with my parents for a time which I hated, I got back with the same girl I had when I left, and we got an apartment together. I grew pot on my parent’s property for extra income.

I landed a job with the State of Delaware, and joined the army reserves still trying to impress my father. I put the acid and the other drugs from Kansas behind me, back to alcohol and pot buying and selling, holding a job paying my bills, meeting new friends. Serving my country and willing to lay down my life for it, even if the drugs were going to kill me first I to this day have a sense of honor and patriotism that only this country offers, I’ve been around the world, and we are so lucky to live in this great nation!

I broke up with that girl and I met my future wife, we dated for 3 years all the while hiding behind the mask, she would drink with me and on special occasions might take a hit of pot, but she knew nothing of my drug use. I had switched from the army reserves to the air force reserves because I wanted to travel. During the start of Desert Storm in 1990 I was on call to go and asked my wife with 2 days’ notice to marry me, we did at the justice of the piece. We built a house and sold everything we had to get it I thought to myself, I need money but how?

My unit traveled to Honduras, to build a road through the mountains to connect it with the other side of the country, it’s now year 2000 or 2001 I was deep in the Honduran jungle, I remember stopping in a little village and there was a young boy I say no older than 7 selling pure base cocaine out of rusty bucket, he would hold a baseball size clump up and say” buy for a dollar!” WHAT? Of course, I didn’t have the right people with me and they said not to get involved. I felt sorry for the kid his hands stained white cocaine coursing thru his system, he won’t make it long I thought. I already had a “plan” and I didn’t listen, I ended up smuggling 2 kilos back on military transport, very safe and no checks after arrival. I went back on another tour down there, and was after a different drug I heard about called anahouska a very powerful hallucinogenic. I asked around and the chief had some made for me, I almost didn’t survive that, the things I did in that jungle fueled on pure base Colombian Cartel cocaine I almost didn’t come home. Somehow god was with me and I came back.

I lied to my wife were the extra cash was coming from, I was very very good at manipulating remember? I paid cash for a brand new ford truck with all the bells and whistles, I still have it. It was a 40 year birthday present to myself. My nose a bloody mess snorting so much, I always took things to the extreme!

Still working for the state for 15 years I had failed a drug test, I was hot but I denied it, I fought it through the union, stating that Lab corps was at fault for having no protocol for the test (it was early in the testing program) it took 2 years to go to litigation, the state had fired me and I was embarrassed, the air force found out and wanted a piece of me too, still claiming innocence the air force tested me and I was clean, through the grace of GOD! Now the Government was backing me on my case. I picked up the bottle to compensate during that time and had trouble one day and went to the doctor, he said my liver was almost shot and if I continued I would die! Dam!

Well the verdict came back and I was found not guilty and was to be placed back to work immediately, with 2 years back pay and vacation and sick time! I did a lot of praying and once again god came through! The state was MAD! I was drug tested almost every month. I started looking at natural was to get high, like salvia and other herbs that weren’t on the ban list. Then one night while watching Seinfeld they were talking about a synthetic drug called serenity now or spice or synthetic marijuana! How it doesn’t show up on tests, BINGO! I started my search and it didn’t take long to find it.  That was around 2005, that drug was exactly what I was looking for, I was tested at work and was clean. So, hearing of the dangers of it, really not knowing what chemicals are used to make I took it slow, like a night cap at the end of the day, they high was around 20 minutes and took seconds to get there once inhaled.

Years went by, I had convinced my wife that pot was ok, we grow pounds of bud a year and sold all of it, I didn’t get high on my own supply because it didn’t get me high the spice was much stronger. I was finally turning her to the dark side, she bought things with the money and started having fun with it. But we always were afraid that somebody would catch us or find our patch. We had kids now, I told her I would take the blame for all of it if we were ever caught. I was so paranoid I trimmed every single leaf on the plants and rounded them off to make them less noticeable.

I was a regular spice smoker now, I told her it was safe and not to worry. I had 28 years now with the state, I retired from the military with honors. I found myself going to stronger and stronger spice, you see like crack you chase the high. Now I started experiencing something strange at work, I would get sick all of a sudden break out in a sweat and puke. I went to the doctors and they couldn’t find nothing wrong. Time went on and I was nearing my retirement, people at work started to notice my sickness. Then it hit me, I was getting dope sick. People were starting to talk. I retired 6 months early, that’s ok I said, I made it! The finish line at last! After the pomp and circumstance they all told me not to just lay around the house, but I had a plan!! My wife has 5 more years to go before she retires, so I’m home alone. I retired on Jan 1, 2015.

By May I hit bottom, I was getting my spice through the mail, I would wait like a snake in the grass and slither to the mailbox and get it, making sure the cops weren’t looking for me, I secluded myself to the garage, my kids and my wife new something was wrong, I was spending more than we brought in and I was selling stuff off to pay for my 200.00 a day habit. Finally, my wife told me while I was high that I needed to find a rehab or she and the kids were leaving!

I was in denial, I refused to believe that I was that bad, a dear old using friend came over one time, he tested me and I failed. I had thrown a bunch of spice in the trash that didn’t get me high anymore, he tried it and got ripped, he told me that I’m addicted and I have a problem. I will never forget that. He tried to take the stuff I had and I was going to fight him for it. He said see! See what it does!! That night I really went down the rabbit hole, I was hearing my dead grandparents talk to me, hearing my mother crying for me to stop, saying hello to a dead cousin that recently passed and I loved very much. This went on night after night tripping talking too who I thought was God, but it wasn’t God! One night on the TV there was one of those ads playing about addiction and to get help, I remember coming to and having the phone in my hand and a person saying hello! I can help! Tell me your name! I had dialed that number and didn’t realize it, I hung up. That was a coming to Jesus moment for me.

The next day I forced my way on the computer and started researching recovery houses, after much searching I settled for Watershed, that would be the best fit for me, far enough not to leave close enough not to lose touch with my family. I reluctantly made the call, but It was something I had to do, my family on the line and she was serious. I packed for 2 or 3 weeks, they told me the night before I left to have one last hooray, because I was leaving it all behind. SO I did all the way to the airport, I was crying my wife was crying, watching her go up those escalators leaving the airport was the hardest thing in my life to see, I just wanted to run after her.

Getting to Boca, I was out of my mind, drunk and high I was in very bad shape. Not knowing what to expect, all I can say is I never went through this before and the staff was so kind and understanding, the people there helped me immediately. Watershed saved my life period. I went through weeks of withdrawal, I wrote down in a journal every day I was there, how I was feeling the classes I took the food I ate, the ups and downs to try and understand what and who I was, they helped me do that through the different classes and exercises I loved the meditation classes.  The other clients told me of their own recovery and what I could do, I wrote to never forget, I’ve been on deployments around the world but none was as hard and emotional as this. There was sooo much at stake so much to learn in such a short time my mind was on overload. I spent 30 days there, I was taking all different types of medications, depression, anxiety ect.. but I never gave up. I reconnected to God as I understood him.  He never left me, he kept me alive all these years. I did what I was instructed such as to be aware of people, places and things, that they must change! I called my wife and told her to get rid of all our stuff, tens of thousands of dollars’ worth, she did, my so-called friends were all too eager to get their hands on it. I instructed her to set up a party when I got back, and say no alcohol or drugs. Second, get to a meeting immediately your chances on recovery diminish by half every day you don’t, do the 90 and 90 meetings, find a sponsor and a home group, get a circle of recovering addicts such as myself. Do the step work, at Boca you go over the first three steps, these are critical steps they would like you to complete. The first one was a big one for me, but I finally admitted that I was an addict and my life was unmanageable. And the rest fell into place. At the end of my stay I was unsure I wanted to leave, I was safe there, I was helping new people, the staff was fantastic. For some, this wasn’t the first or second or eight time there, I couldn’t understand why, but I’m powerless on that aspect, I gave my thoughts of hope and relevance to them. The day before I left to go back home, I was given my plane ticket, I had prayed to my higher power if I was doing the right thing, when I looked at the ticket the Flight number was 1962 the same year as my birth! I received my message. I mean what are the odds here?? The one thing they told me that bothered me a little was there is no finish line, this is the rest of my life I have to be on guard because this disease will blindside you and you will never see it coming! I have heard countless stories to that effect, no matter how much clean time you have.

On the flight home I was riddled with anxiety, hands shaking, they gave me medication for that, they lady sitting next to me ordered 2 drinks, I was very nervous seeing the alcohol and smelling it, she kind of figured something was wrong. So, after we had landed I apologized and told her I just got out of a rehab, and she said she was so sorry to do that to me, that her husband went there too. She gave me a big hug and told me things will be fine, then a young fella in a leather jacket sitting behind me said “I’m sorry for listening in, but I want to give you something for your anxiety” and he gave me a rubbing crystal and said in time of stress to rub it and it will help, tears at this time were coming down my face as several people hugged me on their way off, I was a mess emotionally, then I see my wife and I could not contain myself and cried in her arms, I think she was a little embarrassed with people watching and all. But the ride home was one more surprise, going under an over pass as we were about to go under a person holding a big sign leaned down over the rail at us the sign read “Jesus loves YOU!” I looked back and the person was walking off the bridge, my wife did not see it, it was meant for me, I lost it again!!

Once home I reunited with my children, how happy I was. The next day I did a meeting and got established. I went to IOP here at home and got a wonderful therapist, that I still see and talk to today! I did my 90 and 90 got a sponsor and a home group along with therapy, this is the foundation to my recovery. I threw a party at my home and invited over 40 friends only 3 showed! The word was out, Scott no longer partied. My phone had gone radio silent, that hurt! But over time I found a church that is much to my understanding and the people are so kind. The first 9 months were hard, the rollercoaster as they call it of emotion and questions, time going in slow motion, the cravings and resentments all play a factor, I made it through by not giving up, getting help, talking to people in the middle of the night, whatever it took. I just didn’t use

Now I have 2 years clean and sober! I wore a well fitted mask before, but that mask is gone now, I had gained over 50 pounds the first year, filling the void of my addiction, that’s ok! And the food was good! LOL. But I got to the point that I had to get on more drugs for cholesterol and borderline diabetes, I thought to myself this disease wants me dead one way or the other! Cravings are gone for the most part, what’s left passes very quickly. Time is flying now, I’m still very young into my recovery just 2 years out of almost 40 years of doing my will. Now I pray every day the third step prayer, take my will and my life guide me in my recovery and show me how to live! Without my higher power, none of this would happen. I’m still working on my step work, there is no time line, you go at your own pace!! I help other addicts when I can, go to meetings even when I don’t want to, you see that’s the thing, just about all the people that relapse have a couple things in common, they stop going to meetings and stop talking to sponsors! That is just one pit fall. Fill your tool box with recovery nuggets you get from meetings, never be a prisoner of your past, it was just a lesson not a life sentence!

Today I joined a gym and have a personal trainer and nutritionist, I have lost almost 70 pounds! I’m proud to say I’m off all Medication! Anxiety, depression, cholesterol, diabetes etc! I feel great, my wife at first didn’t know how to handle me, we were at two different levels with some therapy for her we now leveled off and we are finding each other again, after 27 years of marriage it’s almost like meeting for the first time and falling in love again! I was just recently asked to teach Sunday school at church! ME, a recovering addict! I was so humbled and scared! I will do it, after all if you’re not out of your comfort zone you’re not growing! I’m a little depressed that I missed my kids growing up because of my drug use I do remember some things but I’m powerless against that, I just look forward to tomorrow and what it holds, I’m so grateful for everything and everybody in my life today, just for today, I’m not the same person I once was!!

 

Scott H.