ByDude Rocker, writer at

Addiction and the struggle to return from Fornever!

I am currently 58 years old and in Atlanta, GA training for a $150,000 per year job that I accepted two weeks ago. This is a far cry from the decades of my earlier life. Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer. It knows no cultural, financial or gender bounds. Looking back on my life I am struck by the number of bad moves and good turns that allowed me to survive to be a steadily employed husband and father of two. The stories of common people managing to prevail over substance abuse never seem as glamorous as the victory of the famous. That is society. Those that truly find recovery understand that pain of living becomes so great that, in desperation, we find help in a program and power greater than ourselves. Some die before having that opportunity. My name is Dave and I'm an addict. For over 5 years I have lived the NA program. I have guarded my anonymity. I know in my soul that one is too many and 1000 is never enough. I have had 1000, it wasn't enough. Here are some facts: Born in 1957 to a great family Started smoking at 7. Weed and booze at 10. Barbiturates at 11. LSD at 12. Crime at 17. Hardest of drugs for the next 22 years. Wrecked every car I owned. I had hostages instead of girlfriends. Stole what I couldn't have. Tried to deal drugs but I was my best customer and always owed me, and the man money. First moment of clarity came in 1988. I decided to try and stop using and go back to school. Degree, off and relapse in and out of NA. Met my future wife while clean. Off and on relapse. She stuck by me. Two beautiful children and a lot of soul searching later I started to figure it out. I could not use successfully and I needed help to stop. I got clean, got the house, got the Harley, almost died in a motorcycle accident. Surgeries, paralysis and a license to use. 17 months later, I realized I had seen this movie before. I stopped using. I went to an NA meeting, got a sponsor and worked the 12 steps, in a row. I go to meetings regularly. I give back that which was so freely given to me. I tell my son the truth about addiction and the world of drugs. Not to scare him, to arm him with the truth. I fill my children with self confidence and self-esteem. My beautiful wife and I parent together. We build our 13 year old daughters self image and self respect. We are truly happy. I am truly blessed, one day at a time. My life is amazing and when I get out of the way and let life "happen" things it's beautiful. My name is Dave and I'm an addict.


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