Thirty Seven Years Clean
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5: 18
Today I celebrate thirty seven years clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. My real clean date is April 1, 1979, but I won’t get my Narcotics Anonymous (NA) coin and cake until week’s meeting. Many of my NA friends and family will be there to share the moment with me. Their encouragement and mutual accountability have been a major source of strength and comfort for me over all the years and especially these past five years..
Yes, April Fool’s day 1979 was the last time I was the kind of fool who used drugs and alcohol to great excess. Fool that I was, my best friend at the time and I went to the county fairgrounds so that I could launch my brand new fire engine red 1979 Pontiac Trans Am off of the earthen cattle loading ramp. We figured that if The Dukes of Hazzard could do it on TV, we could do it in real life too. BIG MISTAKE! Oh we made the jump just fine at 135 miles per hour, it was the front heavy crash landing that did us in. When I woke up I was bruised, battered and bloody, but my friend got the worst of it. His head went through the windshield and there was blood everywhere. When I next woke up I was in jail, but my friend was in a coma for 6 days and almost died. That was my rock bottom, and thanks to Jesus and NA it was also the very last time that I ever used drugs and alcohol.
I started using alcohol when I was just 11 years old. We were at my great aunt’s place for Thanksgiving dinner and for whatever reason the adults saw fit to give me a big water glassful of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine. I did not know any better so I just chugged it, asked for more, and practically passed out in my mashed potatoes. I liked the numb feeling it gave me though, so I continued to get as much alcohol as I could. It wasn’t hard because my father was an alcoholic. Soon afterwards I started taking my parents vicodin and other pain killers whenever I could. It did not take long to find people who would sell them to me at school either. Mixing opiates and alcohol could have killed me, but back then I didn’t care.
Like I said, I used the dope to just get numb. Feeling nothing was the only feeling I could stand. My father started abusing me sexually, physically, emotionally and verbally when I was about 4 years old and it did not stop until I was 12. Even though the sexual abuse ended then I still had these totally awful memories. So I got drunk and high as often as humanly possible in order to avoid everything going on inside my head.
Jesus walked with me through my horrific childhood. I can remember Him holding me close during the times of abuse. However, I did not know or fully understand exactly who He was until 1976 when I went forward at a Larry Norman concert in Columbus Ohio. When I was finally exposed to the bible, it fully confirmed all of the things Jesus had been sharing with me since I was 4. Things about true fellowship, love, grace, truth and the church. Things I try to live out to the fullest even till this day.
Well, that’s my story. A big chunk of it anyway. Thank you Jesus, thank you relational housechurch, and thank you Narcotic’s Anonymous for all you have done for me. Let me just close with this: The fellowship of Narcotic’s Anonymous has taught me more about love, acceptance and actually BEING the church than the Traditional/Institutional “church” EVER has. NA has wide open, free flowing, sharing from the heart all the time. ” Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do NOT govern.” What I find at the tables of NA is total, brutal, gut level honesty about where we are and where we want to be. We simply love one another and carry each other until we can all walk again. “It is a Spiritual, NOT religious program.” It is real and never fake. My life really began at step 3…..”We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” In Jesus I have come to understand God. Not my will, but HIS be done!
Love and ……
Kirk Out !