PART ONE - MESSAGES FROM THE THE HEART OF AN 18 YEAR OLD YOUNG MAN
It was the summer of 1986, and a few buddies and myself (I was 18) decided to go out into a wilderness area of huge boulders outside Canon City Colorado to get wasted.
We brought several bottles of whiskey and enough weed to keep us happy. As we began, and continued to slam the booze, we got really aggressive with each other. Sparring. Kicking. Punching. Chasing each other. Throwing rocks.
At one point, we gathered around the campfire.
For some reason or another, we got on the topic of the future. We asked each other, if we could have anything we want, what would it be? The answers around the campfire were typical. Cars. Mansions. Girls.
When my turn came around, I said, “I want to be TOTALLY clean and sober, and live the rest of my life that way.”
My friends didn’t get me.
But it was true. I deeply, badly, intensely desired and daily dreamed of the day when I was clean and sober, where I didn’t have to get drunk, stoned, and high all the time. I felt like a slave.
We got drunker.
As the night wore on, we also got crazier and crazier, as we got drunker and drunker. At one point, I sat down to catch my breath. Then someone came along and smacked me on the head. I got up to chase them, and the top of my body went way faster than my legs could carry me and…
I fell, face first, onto the rocks. I was too drunk to put my hands up and break my fall, so my head hit the rocks at full speed.
I started screaming, crying, bawling – all the pain and frustration from my whole short life came gushing out. My friends took me to my brother, and I kept wailing and crying and screaming until I lost my voice. After a long time, my brother calmed me down enough to try to sleep.
I began hallucinating. I saw snakes that weren’t there. I was coming totally unglued. Later in the night, I put a piece of toast in the toaster. It was one of those toasters that always stick, and I was too drunk to remember that crucial fact.
With one second to spare, my brother came out and took the toast out, right as the toaster was lighting the curtains on fire.
I almost killed myself, my brother, and his fiancé.
The next morning, I was looking at my bloodied face in the mirror. I had this moment of pure and utter clarity: I had a major problem, and I needed help.
Within two years, my deep and burning desire to be clean and sober, led me to the people and the groups to help me get there. With the unconditional love I found in those meetings, I was able to bridge the gap between desire and fulfillment.
I had actually used and abused drugs and alcohol from age 8 to age 19. The pain of my childhood was too much to bear. The cloud of pot smoke and the oblivion of alcohol gave me the escape I needed. Until it was too much to bear.
I have been clean and sober since February 18, 1987.
I share the above story to say that, often the deepest meanings and truth come out of our most painful experiences. Pain is the pressure cooker that many times, brings forth our greatest treasures.
I truly feel that my heart and mind has been forged in the fires of Mount Doom!
The courage of that young man to tell his drunken friends that he wanted to be clean and sober above all else, led me to the person I am writing these words. He gave birth to me, and to him, I say, thank you, and I love you.