yesterday i realized for the first time that i am an addict. I have been clean for 21 years 1 month and 7 days. When in 8th grade i began to smoke pot and steal alcohol from my parents. by 10th grade i had been arrested for possesion with intent to sell . I dropped out of high school in 12th grade when faced by gym teacher about my drug and alcohol problems . i was almost 19 when i joined the navy trying to straighten out my life . i quickly found myself awol living on the streets in nyc. My parents wouldnt allow me home because they refused to get in trouble for not reporting me. down and out i turned myself in to recruiter who because i turned myself in gave me plane ticket and travel money to go back to base. I quickly cashed that in and 2 more weeks of party time.I was taken back in handcuffs and spent 4 months in federal prison and given a dishonarable discharge. I tried to go back to school i made it long enough to get my GED but soon found myself drinking every night and all kinds of drugs cocaine to valume all but needles. I was now 25 and on December 3 , 1987 my son was born . I never did drugs again . I somehow became a casual drinker rarely ever drank and never again got drunk. Married for 15 yrs I had 4 children and began a path to success. Divorced due to crack cocaine and infidelity I took my 4 Children and began over. I watched my oldest son follow my same path driving without license , arrests , drop out of school and i fought to give him better it didnt work at least not yet. I watched my oldest daughter get arrested with my granddaughter and I watched her with fines driving without insurance and behind bars for fighting . county lockup is holiday inn compared to federal pen if you are wondering. I watch her battle with alcohol just as i did . I watch my youngest son quite , recluse no trouble with the law but never the less the demons are right with him . My little one 16 and in rehab , so strong , so beautiful but again so much like me. It is only helping her that i realized my own demons. I spent 21 years 1 month and 6 days in denial . I somehow found my source of strength, my babies but i always thought it was a choice . I judged others and didnt understand why cant others make the same choice as me . I know now it was my tool to overcome . My love for my children no greater then any parents love for their child .My love however was never weak and always their for me to help guide me and give me strength. I found what worked and with it I have found success in business for now i have a 6 figure salary working for the largest company in the world . I am a single Dad with 4 beautiful children and 2 grandchildren . I own my own home , drive a new car , vacation in Jamaica and visit my kids in rehab . What a wonderful thing to visit them in rehab? Think about it they are looking for the strength to overcome . I know my girls are embarrased and ashamed and I know that they think Dad is dissappointed in them. They are wrong I am proud of them .They turned there back on their friends who do drugs and they have put themselves in a place to help them find their strength . They are courageous and without them I would never been able to share my story
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