Harry's Story

Old 09-12-2003, 11:40 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Lowell, MA
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Harry's Story

My name is Harry, I am an alcoholic and an addict.

My father would give me sips of his beer when I was around 2 or 3, and I remember up to the age of maybe 11 or 12, I liked the taste. I don't remember feeling anything from it until the first time I drank a full bottle of beer. Like I said, around 11 or 12, and I remember liking that feeling. Ya, like a little light headed, but more importantly, was like a feeling of freedom on the inside.

The first time I got drunk, I was 16. Two Giant Imperial Quarts of beer and a 5th of Tango. Ya, I got drunk, passed out, then threw up all over the place, and woke up with a bad hang-over. And I said I will never drink to get drunk again. And I didn't for another year and a half. I joined the Army at the age of 17 and I started my career as a professional alcoholic. And I can remember having fun. Yes we had a lot of fun, WE were young kids in Korea, in the early 60's, so yes, we had fun. I managed to get drunk a lot, threw up a lot and had a lot of hangovers, and forgot what I had said when I was 16. "I would never drink to get drunk again."
I spent 8 years in the Army, developing my skills as an alcoholic, and practicing them very often. And when I went out to drink, it wasn't to have just a few. I could never have just a few, for when ever I did, I became very edgy. When I went out to drink, I went out to get drunk. Even if I wanted to just have a few and call it a night. It just never worked if I had the money. I would always get drunk.

I got out in early part of 1970, and my mother died 2 months after I got out. And for whatever the reason, it was truly the beginning of a down hill race. And I was getting down pretty fast. And during the years from 1970 to 1988, I had started on a new carrer of drugs. Using many until I could find the one that I would fall in love with, Crack-Cocaine.

In 1988, because I was without a job and homeless, I went to a Veterans Administration Drug Rehabilitation Program. And I want to mention, during the 3 months I was there, A.A. Groups would come in and put on a meeting. I sat in the back, saying, these jokers don't have a clue, I am an addict not an alcoholic. So after 3 months there I went to a half way house, was there for 6 months, which in the last month, I had already picked up smoking pot and no one found out. By the time I got out of the half way house, I had a job, and when I got out I found a studio apartment and shortly afterward, picked up vodka. I never drank vodka straight before, this time I did. And vodka did for me everything I needed it to do. And this was the start of a 9 month spree. During this spree, I drank when I got up, I drank on my way to work, during work, on the way home, when I got home, until I passsed out. It got to the point, all my choices were gone, alcohol had me under full control. I had to drink, no option.

I got back into AA and lasted 20 months before I picked up again.
I picked up vodka first, and that same day, I picked up crack-cocaine. And for a little over 10 years, my wife and I lived our own hell. Living in buildings that were roach infested, drug infested and alcoholic infested. And I couldn't see anything wrong with that. It all seemed pretty normal to me. Even had stayed in a condemned building, in the middle of winter and real cold. No running water, no heat and no electricity. And I couldn't see anything wrong with that either. My wife and I had run a house for people to come and smoke there crack. A bussiness that ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we never had our own privacy. And I just couldn't see anything wrong with that. Crack cocaine had me in it's grip and was just sucking the life out of me.

27 December 2000 my wife and I became homeless and went to a shelter for the homeless. And that same night, we both stumbled through to doors of AA, but for the Grace of God. Now, we at no point, from the time we got up until then, did we ever say to ourselves, or one another, let's go to an AA Meeting.

This time getting into AA, I had the GiftOfDesperation, in my life.
And I had hope, for probably the very first time in my life. And I started going to meetings everyday, sometimes 2 or 3 meetings a day. And I started listening like only a dying man can, for I was dying inside. And I heard that if I didn't change the person I came in with, then more than likely, that person I came in with would go back out. So I started working on making some changes within myself. And I guess I had to change everything but my name. But first and foremost for me to change, was my attitude and behavior. And I started doing that. They told me that if I wanted what they had, then I would do what they did. And I sure as hell wanted what they had. So I had to become willing to do what they did. I listened to them at meetings, and paid attention to what they said they were doing. And I didn't have to follow them, for most of the meetings I went to. they went to also. So this way, I saw what they did. I got a sponsor, which is the best thing that I could do for myself, for I needed guidance and direction, in general, help. And I would ask for help every morning from my Higher Power. Simply asking Him to keep me clean and sober and taking away all toughts and desires to have a drink or a drug, just for today. I would go to meeting, meetings, and more meetings, and along the way, I found meetings that I really enjoyed going to, and found myself just plain wanting to go to meetings. Listen with an open-mind, and listen for the message of hope and recovery. And every night I go to bed and out of respect I thank my Higher Power for keeping me clean and sober for one more day. On do this on a daily basis, One Day At A Time.
And presently I am working the Steps with God and a sponsor who has taken the Steps the same way, from the Big Book.

And today, as I found out, life is not getting better, For life is the same. It is just about the same as it was 3 years ago when I was out there using. But what I found was getting better, is me. My outlook and perspective on life was getting better. My acceptance is getting better. I am growing, and hopefully growing into a person who can be of service to God and others. It certainly is about progress and not perfection, for I am only human.

And it is not about reaching a final destination, it is about the journey itself. For me, a never ending journey. A journey till the day I die, as long as follow this path of spirituality.

Thanks for letting me share

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