Welcome to MA Online
Story 1: I Found a New Life Online
My addictive behavior started before I ever smoked. I was six years old when my family moved to Frankfurt, Germany. I had to make new friends. The kids I grew up with were across the Atlantic Ocean. Not only was I coping with going to school for the first time, I had to learn a whole new culture. We were there for 3 weeks, and my brother was hit by a car. He had multiple fractures and barely survived. That changed our whole family. I didnt see my brother for a long time. But he came back about a year and a half later. He had been to many hospitals and was finally walking again. I did a lot of things with my brother. One thing we did was go camping. He smoked cigarettes and left them out by the campfire. I grabbed one to try it and liked it. But found out later when my brother was looking for it that it wasnt a cigarette. It was a joint!! I was hooked at age 8. I found out the difference when actually smoked a cigarette. Yuck!!!
When I was ten years old we moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Again, I had to make new friends in a whole new culture. But I quickly found friends who did things I liked. Youd be surprised how many stoners were in the 5th grade. We hung out a lot and found places to ride our bikes to smoke. I found another love, playing my guitar. I also loved playing soccer in Argentina it was like a religion. I didnt smoke until the weekends because my lungs couldnt take it playing soccer. In 1970 my family moved back to the USA in Wilmington, Delaware. In school I quickly found the stoners and made new friends quickly. Through high school I tried every drug imaginable. Barely made it through school. I did well playing on varsity soccer team for 3 years. But when school ended so did my excuses. I had to go to work. My grades werent good enough to go to college. I got a job at a restaurant as a dishwasher. I lasted there for a while and also was a soccer referee. I was contacted by my coach from Argentina and told me he was an assistant coach for Boca juniors. He invited me down for a try out. My parents paid my way and I made the team. I made it all the way to the 3rd division, which is about equivalent to AA in baseball minor leagues. I was smoking pot every day because it so cheap and all my meals and boarding were provided. After 2 years down there I had to leave because of the turmoil with the government.
When I came back I got a job through my father at DuPont. It was a great job and I was really set up for life, but I didnt like working there so eventually I quit. I wanted to work at a record store. With low pay and no real future but you could smoke pot all the time. See where my priorities were? Well eventually this lifestyle got me in trouble. One night I was pulled over by the police after drinking all day at a party. I was arrested and spent a night in jail. When they closed the gates I knew my life would never be the same. I was living with my parents. My Dad strongly suggested that I join the Air Force. I finally agreed and joined, thinking maybe I could finally get some structure in my life. I went through basic; at first it was tough to get up at 4 in the morning and being told what to do all the time. But after a while I got used to it.
I met a beautiful woman named DeAnn and we spent most of our free time together. We had Christmas Eve and Day off. DeAnn and I went to Mass. Not being Catholic, I didnt really want to go, but being with be her made it ok. Before I met up with her someone handed me a joint! I couldnt believe it. I showed her the joint and she was excited. So we went church and about 5 minutes into the service she said she wanted to go smoke. Then she winked at me and went outside. I realized then she didnt smoke and didnt even want to go to church. She just wanted to be with me, or maybe she just wanted that joint. Anyhow, I finally went out and she gave me a big smile. We smoked the joint and held each other. Then she looked me in the eyes and said, "lets find a place where we can be alone." The only private area I could see was in a dumpster. I told her they are clean, because I cleaned some today. There were no Sergeants or anyone around, it was Xmas eve!
We climbed in and she pulled out a joint too!! I couldnt believe it. How lucky can one get! Then Ill leave it up to your imagination what happened next. After basic training was done we went to different bases. She went to Travis, California and I went to Chinute in Illinois. It was freezing and I got sick the first week I was there. But when I got better I found out my roommate was a dealer. Just my luck, huh? He got me some pot and showed me how to stash it. One way was to take an ounce and put it in a Pringles can, and then cover it with detergent. Many Airmen kept their detergent this way so it was a decent way to hide it. We always were getting our lockers searched. Another way was to just hide it off base. But if someone found it you would lose it. My roommate went to his parents' house during the weekend so I usually had the room to myself. Several of my neighbors got together and we would party up. I took a blanket and duct-taped it to the door, then placed a towel under the door to keep the smell out. Then I turned over a beer can and poured aftershave in it, lit the aftershave on fire and supposedly you couldnt smell the pot. Imagine going to such extremes just to get stoned.
One weekend, I was awakened by barking dogs, and security police. They were looking for my roommate. He was home and I was in big trouble. They searched my room and found a quarter ounce of cocaine in his locker. They placed handcuffs on me and put me in a holding cell till my roommate got back. They wanted me to tell them where he got it. I had no idea to begin with and even if I did I never tell. That was the code of a drug addict. I finally got to make a call so I called DeAnn and told her what happened. She wanted me to come see her. I didnt know what was going to happen but I knew my military career was all but over. Eventually I was able to go back to my dorm room and I told DeAnn I could see her over Memorial Day weekend. I had to assist the Guard overnight from 7pm to 7am. My flight was at 1:15 at OHare in Chicago to LA. So after attending a class that ended at 9, I had till 11 to get on the bus to the airport. I decided to take a nap. I didnt wake up till 2:30. When I saw the clock I realized I had overslept and missed my flight. I was really pissed; I couldnt believe it. I went to the cafeteria and someone asked me why I was still here? I told him I overslept. And missed my flight. He told me I was a very lucky man. The plane I was supposed to take had crashed shortly after takeoff and there were no survivors. I felt a chill up my spine. I had cheated death. I spent the rest of the weekend with a bottle of Jack Daniels and never left my room.
On Tuesday I was called in to the Majors office. I was informed my military career would end at noon. I signed a few papers and got my last paycheck and booked a room across from the base. I called my former roommate and bought a pound of pot. I rolled about 30 joints and just started smoking one after another. I was just trying to forget another screw up I had done to my life. The next morning I woke up and continued smoking. I smoked up to ounce in one night. I called DeAnn and told her what happened and then I called my brother and told him I was taking the train home. No way was I going fly! I got home and my Dad wouldnt even speak to me. He was ashamed of me. He was a Marine in the Korean War and couldnt accept what I did. I was constantly smoking and when I wasnt I found ways to get high. I was in a farmhouse with a bunch of bikers, who were talking about taking all my money and slitting my throat. But someone helped me out of that situation. I think that was my Higher Power at work. I found a voucher from the VA where I could get educational assistance, so I went to college.
I chose a college in Kansas, because I assumed there wouldnt be any drugs in Kansas! Boy was in for a rude awakening! I was in Kansas for 15 minutes when I walked to a convenience store. The store manager asked me if I smoked pot? I couldnt believe it! What do I have a neon sign on me? How do they know? He turned out to be a great source. He would front me a quarter pound and I would sell 3 oz. to get 1 free ounce. I spent 2 years there and hardly went to school. A good friend ended up being slain with five shots from a rifle in his back. I had enough of this life. It just brought pain to me. I was ready to surrender.
I went back home and entered a rehab in the mountains where I was introduced to the 12 Steps for the first time. I finally understood that I was an addict, but I really didnt want to give up smoking pot. I could give up shooting meth, doing LSD, speedballs, but not pot. I went to a lot of meetings when I got out. I had a sponsor who told me just dont use and dont date for one year. I did neither. I met a girl named Michelle at a meeting and fell in love the first time I saw her. We started dating and soon I was smoking again. She looked at my fingers and noticed they were yellow. She knew that was from pot. We started smoking together and I was back to where I was before. I was in a very depressed state and chase Michelle away. One night I decided to go to a meeting. After the meeting, I found out Michelle was getting married to her ex-boyfriend. I was devastated. I got needles and shot some speedballs (meth and heroin). When I confronted Michelle I found out she was pregnant and she said I was the father. The first couple of years she wouldnt let me see him but she let me eventually. I got married but never had kids. I got to see my son occasionally. Michelle had a gotten into a bad cocaine habit. I gave her money to help with our son. But she used it to buy cocaine. When he turned 13 he got in trouble and was sentenced to a detention center. I was called one night and got some frightening news; my son had taken his life. Some of the inmates had helped him hang himself. My world was lost. The only thing I could turn to was pot. That would get me through this. All it did was keep me from grieving. I was in a fog for 5 years. Then one night I got on computer and typed in the word marijuana. Like a miracle the group Marijuana Anonymous came up. There were online meetings! This was amazing. I didnt have to leave my house for a meeting? When I went to my first meeting and heard what other potheads had gone through I knew I was not alone. Now I find that helping other find what I have gained is the spiritual enrichment one can gain. I have 2 years free of marijuana. I could never do it without the love and support of the people in MA Online, and my land meeting. I realized the time that wasted being stoned 24 hours a day. Now I just thank my Higher Power for every day I have clean and the ability to make decisions without pot.
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