The reality is that my story isn’t all that different from most addicts and alcoholics. I began drinking and smoking pot in my teens - sound familiar? Shortly after high school I started experimenting with hard drugs. Daily drinking was already the norm, but my drug use started gaining momentum. For the next decade I used almost anything put in front of me. Let’s be honest, most people experiment in their younger years – but the difference between myself and “most people” is that once I started, not only could I not stop, I didn’t want to stop.
Throughout my late 20’s and into my early 30’s, I somehow managed to build a successful cupcake business (yeah, cupcakes!), under the influence of drugs and alcohol almost everyday.
During that time, what started as me popping a couple ‘innocent’ pills led to me depending upon roughly 35 Vicodin daily. When opiates weren’t enough, I added smoking crack to the mix. My addiction was insatiable.
Negative consequences weren’t enough to stop it. Six stints in rehab, one in a psych ward; the deterioration of my marriage and complete loss of trust from everyone I loved; getting fired as CEO of my own company; rolling a car in Hollywood; two DUI’s; jail time, injuries and finally, sleeping on the floor in an office of a beat up warehouse – still weren’t enough.
So what was the turning point? It was in the wee hours of the morning. I was in that office, lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling. My heart did something I had never felt before, an eery fluttering for some time. For the first time, I honestly thought addiction would take my life, that night or eventually.
The next day, I told my wife I didn’t think I was going to live much longer. She had taken the tough love position and had refused to watch me die around her…but that night, she asked me to come home “right now” if I wanted to get CLEAN. I’m not certain exactly why she did, but I feel as though she felt my desperation on a different level. And although the voice of my addiction screamed “no,” I knew it was time.
They say it’s darkest before the dawn. Cliché, but true. Through God's grace, my relationship with my best friend and amazing wife (Sheila) has been restored, I’m a father of two sons (Jude & Otis), and I’ve found purpose and joy in my work with CLEAN Cause.