12 Step Planet - Justin C.
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Stories about addiction and recovery, Clean and Sober life styles

My story is either common or unique…depends on the reader.      

I think I had a pretty good childhood. My parents divorced when I was very young and I had to deal with a lot of assholes coming and going. Finally my mom settled on my dad (stepdad but more of a father to me than the real one). We lived in CA till I was 8 and then we moved to England, probably saved me from trying drugs early because on the air base, you would never think of doing something illegal for that meant your parent got demoted and sent back to the U.S. (that was the rumor, but put a good enough of a scare into us anyway). After 5 years there, went back to CA to, what my parents thought, was a quiet small town where nothing ever happens…well, that was the problem, nothing ever did happen so everyone partied ALL THE TIME.   I got into drums shortly before leaving England so after starting high school I quickly joined my first band. They were all juniors or seniors and I was a freshman. They smoked pot and drank once in awhile but I was very into “just say no” (had D.A.R.E. in grade school in England) and resisted for a while. I tried pot once with them and didn’t like it so didn’t touch it again for a year. Then in my next band, I tried it again, along with drinking and had such a bad hangover I again “quit” for another year. Then, at 16 I did it again for the third time and decided I just needed to get “better at it” and so it goes. By 18 I had my first DUI, second at 19 and third at 20. That’s when I went to my first 30 day rehab facility and decided I’d quit drinking but pot wasn’t an issue for me. Nevertheless, NA beer and pot turned into one 12oz real beer a day to one 32oz beer a day to one 40oz beer a day to one 6 pack a day, 12, 24…you get the picture. 3 years later, got my 4th DUI and for fear of the penalty, ran to Oregon with my then wife and son. Once there, drank everyday all day long to numb the fear and anxiety. I had whiskey hidden in my car, my house, my garage, my drum set at band practice (I went to Oregon with the intention of quitting but upon meeting my first band there and asked “Want a beer?” I didn’t feel like explaining I was on the wagon so, off again).   Needless to say, my wife finally left me and took my son to Nevada and so I moved in with a “friend” that was into meth. What!? You mean I can smoke/snort this shit and drink all night!? So, now I’m a meth addict. He didn’t make me pay rent, just wanted a friend, but after my wife threatened to come after me if I didn’t start paying child support I moved back to southern CA with my real father(thought maybe we could bond) to get a job. My step sister, a meth head, supposedly quit, found out I like the shit and so we started doing it again together. I got the job at a bowling alley, 6am everyday, so meth helped me wake up in the morning. Unfortunately after awhile I stopped even trying to go to bed at night. My longest run was 3 ½ weeks I stayed up….let me tell you, the tree people after 3 weeks are vicious fuckers. Being at my fathers was a nightmare, step mom drank a gallon of vodka every 2-3 days, sister was stealing all my crank and our relationship was getting “weird”, and my dad just pretended nothing was wrong. After a year we left there(my sister went with for some reason) and went back to OR where I proceeded to party and not work for as long as possible, living in a garage or jumping from couch to couch, fridge to fridge. My sister couldn’t handle the homeless lifestyle and moved back to my fathers and we haven’t spoken since (over 7 years now since I’ve spoken to either of them, step mom died of liver and kidney failure a short time later). Finally my ex wife said “say hi and goodbye to your son because this is the last time you’ll ever talk to him”. Wake up call, sort of.   My mom had been begging me to come to CO to get away from the party, so I figured, sure, I’ll live with you and pretend to get better till the heats off then go back to my ways. But, when I got there, she hit me with “you have to go to rehab to live here”. Fuck. So I went to OK to a 3 month rehab ranch. While there I figured I’ll play along till the heats off, again, and still smoke weed and sneak the occasional beer. I used in rehab (cold medicine, great hallucinogen) and got caught. They asked me to leave (they can’t make you leave, it’s a $10,000 program). I said no and decided right then and there that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I started going to class, working out, running and became a real person. When I left I got my sobriety date tattooed on my arm and decided this was for life. Since then I’ve been working (current job is going on 4 years) paying regular child support, seeing my son every summer and thinking about buying a house. I love being clean and sober. I have real friends, family trusts me and my new wife is the woman of my dreams. I haven’t pawned my drums in 8 years and I even got my legal issues solved and should get my license back next summer. Life is good and I work really hard to keep it that way. I went to meetings everyday for 2 years but since being sober, I can’t put up with peoples shit like I used to so I don’t go anymore. I love that I speak my mind and I don’t kiss ass hoping to get free drugs. I tell it like it is and I expect the same in return. I respect people for who they are, not what I can get from them. I guess that does about it…if anything is unclear, ask. Later.   -- Justin