My story starts pretty much like everyone else’s. A great church going family, with a Mom and Dad who raised my brother and I in a loving family atmosphere. I was always an outdoor kind of kid. We were always outside playing ball and having fun. I was an athlete who played baseball competitively from little league on through college. I was never one to stay out partying at all. My life until age 30-31 was very normal. I got married at age 24, had my first daughter in 1980 and at this point, never touched anything except beer now and then.
It was after a tournament softball game in 1984 that I first tried cocaine. We were at a friends house and I walked passed the bedroom and saw some friends sniffing a white powder. I asked them what they were doing and they told me it was cocaine and you snort it and it gets you an energy high. I did try it and they were right that it did give you a great feeling. From that point on, I would partake when someone else had it and we had a good time with it. The good time didn’t last for too long! I went from here and there socially with friends when they had some, to buying my own and doing it almost every day! Had my second daughter in 1986, and by then I was addicted!! My first marriage ended in 1990 because a had a found a mistress, her name was COCAINE.
It didn’t affect my job so much at that time, but I didn’t have any money to speak of! Spent any extra cash on cocaine. I met another woman, an awesome woman, and never let on that I had a cocaine addiction, but it didn’t take her all that long to figure it out. I started working in a club as a manager and that was how I hid it for as long as I did. That place was my cocaine playground. We had a son and unfortunately, even that didn’t slow me down. It got worse and worse! I became a hermit sometimes. I would grab an eight ball and disappear to get high. I had about a $1000.00 a week habit but i was given so much free cocaine, that it probably cost me about $400.00 a week. Still a lot of money. It got so bad, that I don’t know how she stayed with me so long! Finally one night in 2005, we were watching TV in the basement and I got this overwhelming feeling that something real bad was going to happen if I didn’t get help!! I looked at her and said I’m ready! I need help. Never had a legal issue up to that point! She was on the computer and searched in patient rehab facilities ( I forgot to mention that to appease her at some point, I tried outpatient. That failed miserably, just like every urine test they gave me ). She was searching alphabetically but somehow God sent the curser to The Watershed. She called and they had me in a plane that night!!
It was scary for me, and I used to feel there was no way I could get out of the cycle and get clean. The facility and staff made me feel that I’m not alone and I listened to them and practiced what they preached that I could beat this. So 35 days later, I was sent home with a new purpose and a goal to show people that addiction isn’t a death sentence!! For me, it was a new beginning for the rest of my life!! Also a rekindling of my relationship with GOD!!
Work the program, work the steps, put into practice what you learn, people, places, and things, and meetings, meetings, meetings, and oh yeah, did I mention meetings!!!!!
My wife stayed with me until she felt confident I would be okay on my own, but she had already made up her mind to divorce. That’s the bad part!
Now for the good part….. my first wife and I get along great ( she hated me in the beginning). We actually spend some holidays and have dinner with our girls, who are very proud and happy to have their Dad clean and sober!!
My sons mom ( who also hated me in the beginning) and I are each other’s BEST FRIEND!! We are in each other’s life and spend a lot of time with each other and our son who is almost 17 and is my best buddy!!
I have been successful in my employment since 2006 ( I spent the rest of 2005 after rehab working on my sobriety ) I’m now a successful Regional Sales Manager earning great money, but the best part is life has become so much better and so much simpler without the lies, without the addiction!! It CAN BE DONE!! It isn’t easy, but it is all up to you!! You will feel urges and you may have to live your life 10 seconds at a time in the beginning, but the end result is so worth it!!
A very grateful recovering addict
I wrote “Walking the Walk” to get my story of addiction out there so that it may help someone(s) struggling with addiction and to let them know it doesn’t have to be a life sentence! That, with determination, hard work, consistency and professional help, you can beat the demons that are trying to keep you down!! I think that just as important as my addiction story, is “ where is Tom C now?!?
14 Years Later… life after active addiction!!
by Tom C a grateful recovering addict
I’ll start by saying, I am an addict! Yes, I’m clean for over 14 years, but I’m smart enough to know that I’m never out of danger! 1 line of cocaine and I’ll be back under the spell of the white powder, only worse than before! Please, never let the “pink cloud” fool you!!! Always remember where you were, how you got there and how hard you worked to be where you are now!! Outside of my renewed relationship with GOD, being in recovery is the best gift I’ve ever received! My drug of choice was cocaine, but whether it’s alcohol, opioids, meth, gambling etc, you only need to remember that YOU GOT THIS!! You have your future in your control!! Remember the steps! Work the program! Go to meetings as often as you need! Remember that the people at these meetings have been and may still be where you are or were!! They can help you!! They are just like you!! I have put myself back on the map! I have amazing children who love me and respect me, not just because I’m there Dad, but because they know my past and they know that I loved them so much that I did EVERYTHING I needed to do and more to take my life back from the evil white powdered demon that tried to destroy me!! I’m winning!! Notice that I didn’t say I won! The war is still there, but I’ve won every single battle for over 14 years! Huge shout out to my higher power ( I choose to call GOD ), whom without, none of this would have been possible! THANK YOU to The Watershed!! The facility and staff enabled me to have the tools and strength to stay on this path!! The biggest Shout out goes to my family! My children, and my ex wives ( yes, my ex wives )!! You both knew that that guy who disrespected the marriages because of my mistress ( cocaine ) was not the guy I really was. I know you didn’t have much love or respect for me then, but you both cared enough to give me a chance to prove myself!! Look at us now!! Much mad love for you both!! Thank you to EVERYONE who helped and continues to help this grateful addict in recovery stay the course!!