I have a great Irish-Catholic family and I had a good childhood. My parents were hardworking and always found a way to make life enjoyable. All my siblings seemed to enjoy a good laugh, except my brother Mike. He was born with physical problems. His right arm was deformed and he was known to have seizures. He was nice enough most of the time, but every now and then, he would have major attitude. I remember being taught that working is a part of life. My first paying job was with my brother Paul to mow lawns.
When I was sixteen I worked at a liquor distributor company owned by my neighbor. I would drive the merchandise we couldn’t sell to the dump. Before long I figured out how to hide the bottles of alcohol in a ditch and come back for them after work. I would store then in my car and trade the alcohol for marijuana with my classmates.
I met Mandy while I was living in Manhattan, Kansas. We moved in together after several months of dating. She was beautiful, but she had a lot of hurt and regrets. She tried to fix them by self-medicating. She was an alcoholic and an addict. She was into a drug culture that I had always stayed away from.
One day Mandy asked me to go to a Pentecostal Holiness Church service with her. While at the service, she and I both surrendered our lives to God. She then told me that the desires to drink alcohol and do cocaine had been taken away. We were married two months after that.
Mandy lived her Christian walk the way she lived in the world. All out! We got to share in at least half a dozen people making Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. We moved on from the Pentecostal church and began to attend a non-denominational church. Life was great and we had managed to stay alcohol and drug free for the next three years. We had three children; Matthew, Malisa, and Michael. Michael’s birth had complications and the drug Mandy was given to stop labor pains had side effects. When Michael was six months old, we found out he had cerebral palsy.
Mandy had a lot of anger towards me. I think back and I still don’t understand it. My conclusion, right or wrong, was that we had thought that making Jesus the center of our lives, life would be perfect; it definitely wasn’t. The one thing that rings in my mind is her saying, “you were supposed to be perfect!” Well, I could never fill that expectation. I had picked up smoking because of her and she had gone back to drinking because of my selfishness. It wasn’t long before I realized she was better without me and left.
After moving back to Kansas, I met Cindy. Cindy had two daughters and was very good to me. We were married within a year of meeting. My children didn’t like her very much and were always rude and disrespectful towards her. We were only married for five years. We had a disagreement about Matthew and his pregnant girlfriend and she realized that she deserved to be treated better. I realize now that I made a mistake and nothing but God should be put before your wife. Cindy moved on with her life with her daughters and did not include me.
A doctor had prescribed Zanex and RhemRhon when I was going through my divorce with Cindy. I was so depressed that for several months all I did was go to work, come home and drink! After about eight years I tried to get off these medications. My doctor changed my Zanex prescription to Lolanipens. I had decided to get off RhemRohn during Christmas, but the withdrawals were crazy. I then decided to go to rehab in Florida. While there, they also took me off benzos. The withdrawals were more intense than I had expected. I tried to go back to work after thirty days, but ended up back in Florida. I was fired for missing too many days and also lost my house. I decided to move to Florida for good. I went a little crazier and became suicidal. I checked into a mental hospital where i got better because they put me back on benzos. They wouldn’t give me a script for them because I had been addicted. This began a trend of being in and out of mental hospitals. I moved back to Kandas and this trend continued. At one of the facilities I was treated for UTI and this seemed to clear it up and I was on my way to getting better.
I moved to Raleigh and my son, Mike, made arrangements at a facility for me. My major hurdle now was benzos withdrawal. The facility released me with no money and I was still unable to go back to work. during this time, the Durham Rescue Mission became my refuge. I have now been at the Durham Rescue mission for six months. After two months I was taken off all psych meds. Now I’m finishing up the classroom part of their Victory Program. I will now start looking for work. I hope now to become a fully functioning member of society. Thank God for the Durham Rescue Mission.