My name is Josh. I grew up in a small town in Kansas. From an early age, I was around drugs and alcohol. My father was a drinker and cocaine user, my mother an alcoholic.
My father has been sober for 25 years. After his 3rd DUI, he took custody of me and my brother. We moved back from Wichita to a small town when I was just 10. While growing up, my father had only two rules: I had to tell him where I was and I had to make sure I didn’t get caught.
I started drinking at the age of 13. My family owned a local grocery store, so I had all the booze and tobacco I could ever want right there at my disposal. By high school, I was popular because I could get anything my friends wanted.
By my sophomore year, I’d quit sports and was drinking on an almost daily basis. I was also smoking pot every day. That same year, I used meth for the first time. I thought it was great. Once I was 18, I was a full-blown alcoholic and a drug addict.
Senior year rolled around and I had become a father. Halfway through the school year, I dropped out and told everyone it was because I needed to work and support my family…but it was really because I stayed up stoned out of my mind every night.
Between the ages of 17 and 25, I was highly addicted to meth and would do anything to get it. I stole money from the store to support my habit and buy anything I wanted. The store ended up going bankrupt and my family was forced to sell it…all because of me. I carry that guilt really hard.
I promised my wife I would quit meth at the age of 25 – and I did. My dealer quit selling, so it was easy. Then I went back to drinking heavily. In a short time, I was drinking a fifth a day and was forced to do two stints in rehab.
I was sober for two whole years – completely sober. And then one day, my old dealer “friend” came to work with me and I started using meth again. That was two years ago.
The last 2 months have been caught in a horrible cycle: I’m up for five days, then I sleep for five days. I cant keep a job, but my dad still gives me anything I ask for.
Here’s the bottom line: I’m thirty-three, a father of four and still married. My wife is and has always been sober. I cant keep this up; its killing my soul and my family. I want help.