The bottomless pit!!!!!!!!

by Mark W.
(Houston, TX)

I grew up in a small town in southwestern Minnesota with 10 brothers and sisters. Both my parents were alcoholics and worked very hard to raise us kids. My family was pretty close but you got a suitcase when you graduated.

I got in trouble when I was sixteen. I was really good in sports up until that point in my life. I was sent away to treatment for drinking. I got busted at the treatment center with weed and being drunk. They sent me to a state school for troubled kids in Sauke Center, Minnesota. I did really well there and was sent to live with my brother and his wife in Northern Minnesota. I did really well in school and worked 30-40 hours at a grocery store and loved it. I was really feeling good about myself.

I joined the Army in 1982 after graduating from high school. During my tenure in the Army 1982-1985 I was arrested for DWI 2 times and sent to treatment. My drinking only got worse as time went on. By the grace of God I didn't get kicked out of the Army. I really liked the Army, but once you get in trouble they won't leave you alone. My ETS (End Term of Service) date came and I got out of Uncle Sam's Army.

I moved to Texas and found work but my drinking continued to be a problem in my life. I think this was the first time in my life that I realized I had a problem with alcohol. I moved back home to Minnesota and got married to the love of my life. We had two daughters and life was just great. I was still drinking but I was a functioning
alcoholic. After five years, my wife couldn't put up with my drinking anymore and she filed for divorce. I was heartbroken and devastated...I felt like the world was going to end.

My drinking was getting progressively worse; I would get my daughters on the weekend and drink while they were with me. I was a good father to them and took them to the park and lake or whatever you could do in the city I was in. However I was always drinking and even driving with them in the car after I had been drinking.
Thank God I never hurt them while drinking and driving.

I was getting tired of the city I was in and I owed the Bookie money from betting on football games. I packed up my truck and left my daughters, job, and family all behind me looking for that geographical cure. I moved to Denver, Colorado and the drinking just got worse. I was now getting behind on my child support payments and not even calling or writing my daughters or my family members. I eventually quit my job as an apartment maintenance man. My drinking was getting so bad that I found myself homeless on the streets of Denver, Colorado. I now was a fully blown alcoholic and working day labor to feed my habit.

Being on the streets, the run ins with the cops started to pile up (public intoxication, camping in city limits, larceny, etc.) and eventually I had to make the Geographical cure again.
A couple of my friends and I stole a truck in Denver and drove to Las Vegas, Nevada. I worked there for a while but the gambling and drinking
brought me down again. I sat in Clark County jail for numerous charges. When I got out of county jail I made the Geographical cure again and took a greyhound to Tuscon, Arizona.

I don't remember too much about the ride there because I was pretty drunk all the way. I do remember the bus driver kicking me off the bus a few times along the way. Managed to sober up enough to stay on the bus to Tuscon. When I got to Tuscon, AZ I met a girl with a van and we lived in her van and I worked day labor. We pretty much stayed drunk all the time and she liked to drink also so there went six more years of hard drinking. I really liked this girl because we never even had an argument the whole time we were together. But the drinking just got worse.
By now the law was looking for me because of back child support. I was arrested in Phoenix, AZ and sent back to South Dakota. I did some time in county jail and then they released me six months later. It felt good to sober up for a change. I saw my daughters for the first time in ten years via telephone in jail.

It ripped my heart out to see my beautiful grown up daughters. I wanted so badly to get them back in my life. I got out of jail and got a job there and started to get to know my daughters again... I was so happy, I was sober, and I had my daughters in my life again.

But then I started drinking again and eventually tried to find that Geographical cure again.
I hopped on a greyhound and went to Denver only to find myself drinking even more and living on the streets again. I worked day labor and drank and worked day labor and drank!!! I got really tired of the street life and it was getting cold out at night so I got on the greyhound and headed for Phoenix, AZ.

Same thing there: day labor and drinking. I was arrested and brought back to South Dakota again for back child support. I did some more time and got out. I hopped on a greyhound and went to Texas for the Geographical cure. I ended up in Beaumont, TX and was working on a roofing job. I was doing pretty good but still drinking every day.

I went to work one day and was all drunk and hung over. The boss told me to go home and take the day off. No...I said I would be ok and climbed up the ladder to start work. About an hour later I was laying on the ground four stories down. They sent me to Houston, TX to the VA Hospital, I was pretty busted up and spent a month in the hospital. I
was laying in bed with a broken ankle and messed up back with no where to go... let alone how was I going to work.

I went to a place called Open Door Mission and healed in the convelescent program. I eventually joined the Doorway Program (nine months) which was a faith based alcohol and drug recovery program.
I am still sober and taking it one day at a time. I realize that I can not drink any more or I don't think I will have another chance.

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