A Personal Story of Addiction and Hope – James M_Apr 2018

My story is like most of the people I see in these rooms. The only difference from us and the normal A.A. rooms is that we are currently incarcerated.

I started my road to this place 40 yrs ago. I was being abused physically by my step-father, so at 8 I tried to kill myself with alcohol. I drank 2 fifths of Irish whiskey straight in 10 minutes. They had to pump my stomach and put me in the shower and pour coffee down my throat for like 20 hrs. straight. I woke up a couple of days later and told my mother that no I hadn’t drank the night before (not knowing what had happened).

After that I was a pretty good kid but still had an addictive personality, so by 16 I was introduced to marijuana, amphetamines, and cocaine. For the next 12 yrs, I used cocaine daily mostly.

I got married and had a lovely daughter and got divorced. Got into trouble with the law and yet had a career as an automotive mechanic. My mother died of alcohol in 1996 and my grandmother died in 2003. When my mom died I went off the hook, but not so bad that I couldn’t keep my life functional. I had regained a wife, had 3 boys added to my life and obtained another automotive business, this time making it through and it became very lucrative.

Yet, something was always missing and I always had to toy with the wild side. So, just like my first marriage, I was living a double life, one where I could work and be a good dad. Yet, the other a game playing methamphetamine addict. I could get up at 5 am, get the kids ready for school, take them to the sitters or the day care and go to my shop, meet my wife at the bar she worked at for lunch, go pick the kids up form school, take them back to daycare and go back to work till midnight or 2 am, which gave me enough time to do drugs and fix cars. Being ADHD like I am, the meth or coke would let me focus, and I could work, yet I would isolate after hours at the shop.

When my grandmother died I lost all ability to control my wanting to not feel anything and I isolated totally. Hence, I needed more drugs. What better way than to make them and what better spot to cover the process up than an auto shop. (Not my brightest move!) Well needless to say it didn’t go well from there. In the next 2 yrs I was getting divorced, on my way to state prison, and running a muck. Then some friends stepped in to help me. The Feds!! They sent me to federal prison, Victorville, and a few others, and I was there for a long time. 9 yrs straight.

But I started doing A.A. there, and started really getting the message again that I had forgotten so long ago. That I am not alone and I can’t do this alone. Well, I went back and forth in and out and got terminated from the feds, and thought I would be good, all I had to do was not do crime. I could use, just not do crime. (That worked well, let me tell you!) One feeds the other.

It took a while but it brought me back to prison. But, really it’s a blessing in disguise cuz since being here I have decided to give 110% to the program of A.A. and into a program I would like to call, save James. The reason I would like to call it that is because for the first time in my 49 yrs of life I am totally doing something because it’s what I want to do. I know that my life is so much better today than it has been in the past and it’s because of A.A. and the friendships with the people that care about me. And my higher power and most of all myself. I hope to have the people that I care most about in my life back in my life one day from showing them the man I am because of A.A. So with that I will take another 24!

-James M

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