How old are you? 44
How many years sober? 7 years and 4 months
So you got sober at: 36
Describe your childhood: I thought it was bad because it was a violent household – but looking at it since being sober I realized that they were just doing the best they could. I moved a lot – Illinois, NM, Colorado, Michigan…
What was your drug? Acid, Meth, alcohol – I was a garbage pail but my primary drug was weed.
When was the first time you drank/used? 8 years old. I smoked pot. My Aunt and her boyfriend were watching me – they wanted to be alone so she gave me bong to keep me occupied. I loved it. I don’t blame her – she was young. I started drinking at age 10 when my family offered me a beer at a party.
What was “life” like at the worst of your addiction? Living in my van in Hollywood – my day was spent hanging at Coffee Been on Sunset – smoking weed and hanging out with the Armenian Mafia.
When did you make the choice to get sober? I got into a fight with my girlfriend, my roommate kicked me out and I spent a week in my van and going hard on drugs and alcohol. On Nov 9th, I had just smoked a bowl – I heard a voice that said ‘you need a meeting’.
How was recovery in the beginning? A friend once told me about Visions so I went to the candlelight meeting – sat through it, left and smoked again. I was in a drug program after being arrested for possession – they UA’d me and it came up with pot because I was helping a guy who had AIDS and smoked with him. So I left there and went to Salvation Army – got kicked out – went to another program. Bottom line I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want anything to do with it – I hadn’t hit my bottom.
What is the biggest thing that helps you maintain your sobriety? Other-centeredness.
What is life like now? It’s bitchin’! It’s not all rainbows and butterflies but I have learned to live life on life’s terms.
How are you being of service to other addicts? I sponsor guys, I share at meetings I am currently enrolled in the addictive studies program which will hopefully lead into the chance to counsel. Right now I am a head chef in a recovery center. Once I quit trying to manage and control my life and gave it to God things just started opening up.
If you had one thing to say to someone who is struggling with addiction what would that be? Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle and don’t quit five minutes after either.