From Victim to Victor and Creator of Opportunities
In July of 1975 most of my friends were getting ready to go off to college. I was getting sober. My career with drinking and drugging started at age 12. I loved the feeling when I got drunk and high and couldn’t wait to party.
No one really knew but I had a primal wound of being adopted that I had a hard time dealing with. I was raised in Massachusetts and adopted by an Irish Catholic family. My drinking and drugging fed that wound.
By the time I was a junior in High School I was a daily drinker. By the time I was in the 12th grade I was having a lot of blackouts. I saw about a dozen people die of drug and alcohol use. These were my friends, my peers. I figured I would be one of them. I saw a kid drunk who walked in front of a car. I knew of another kid who asphyxiated on his vomit. There was another kid doing push ups on a moving car. Of course he died. Times were tough. In my world there was no social drinking. It was all about getting drunk.
By the time I was 14 I was smoking pot every day before going to school. I don’t know how my parents didn’t know, but they didn’t. I kept a bottle of liquor in my school locker. My grades weren’t that great and my parents insisted that I bring up my school grades. Somehow I did but I couldn’t finish my own sentences.
When I walked through the hallways at school, I kept my head down. I wasn’t engaged with others. I just took things one day at a time. I didn’t even think about my future. Let no one say that kids can’t be addicted because I was one of them. It was in seeing these kids die that influenced me to get sober.
I drank at the beach alone. One of the places that I drank was on the wall at the Henry Cabot Lodge. I was drinking straight whiskey at this time. Kids would come down to drink and leave. I was just never ready to leave. I drank with wino’s as well. One wino spoke into my life and I will never forget what he said. He told me that if he drank like me, that he would quit. I will never forget him telling me this.
I look back and realize that I carried a lot of sorrows. I felt I was a victim of life and I would ask God, “Why?” It took a long time for me to realize that the why was in my own hands. I went through periods of unwillingness and resistance in letting go of my victim mentality. I had false expectations that life was fair and I felt disappointed all the time. I was insecure and as I look back and I acknowledge that I was narcissistic. I always needed a pat on the back.
I had liver damage that didn’t clear up for 3 ½ years after I was sober. I did get sober though. It was a process of learning that my resentments fed my addiction. I had a lot of resentments. I always felt that I was being treated unfairly. This belief fed my resentments.
I played the guitar and wrote songs. Through writing I began to let go of m resentments. I have found that each song is a miracle.
I was sober for 8 years before I did STEPS 4-5 in the program. Over the years I had a lot of anger issues. After being sober for 20 years I felt that I was in a dry drunk. Somehow, I found the book “the Four Agreements.” I spent a week with the author. I realized that I was no longer a victim of life but a creator of opportunities. This new outlook changed me.
I have now been sober for 30 years. I now treat addicted men. I still play my guitar and write music. I practice gratefulness every day.