My childhood was as normal as most people. I played with the neighborhood kids, stayed outside and stayed quite happy. As a child with severe ADHD/ADD I was prescribed Ritalin to balance me out. I swapped schools halfway through 5th grade and moved to a different town. Middle school and high school were a little harder because I was kind of an awkward kid. I mostly kept to myself and kept a small tight group of friends. I then got a scholarship to college and enrolled at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
I started partying as soon as I enrolled in school. Shortly after, I enlisted in the Navy. I wanted to do law enforcement in the military but I ended up a machinist mate for reactor plants. The old saying “Drinks likes a sailor” couldn’t have applied more. Drinking gave me the sense of normalcy that I had been looking for. Once I got out, through a few turns of events, I ended up in Florida.
Florida opened up a lot of doors to experiences I had always wanted, but had never been exposed to. Drinking took a back seat quickly to drugs. I could regulate all of my emotions and moods any way I wanted to. I didn’t have to deal with any issues because they could just be buried down. Eventually a life of drugs, concerts and doing nothing with my life started to get old. I decided to get away from the drugs and bad decisions and go back home to Alabama. An opportunity to finally get into law enforcement was awaiting me.
Flash forward a bit, and I was hired by my sheriff’s department to finally claim a dream career I had since I was 5. I was on top of the world and beyond fulfilled by my new career. Unfortunately, the thing about untreated addiction is it will rear its head once again. I thought that changing my playgrounds, playmates and playthings would be enough to solve my problem. I would go on drinking binges when I was off work, and then when the drinking didn’t satisfy me, I eased back into drugs. I justified it as I always do and told myself I wasn’t hurting anybody. I eventually started to be honest with myself and began thinking something was wrong because I couldn’t quit on my own. The stakes were so high doing something that was so stupid. Yet, how do I ask for help as a cop with a drug problem? I didn’t like asking for help at all, let alone something of that magnitude.
Luckily the big man helped me with that. I was finally caught taking evidence and arrested for it. I was told I was going to rehab and couldn’t have been more against it. I spent some of the best weeks of my life in rehab in Guntersville. I finally got the education on addiction, and the tools to live life on life’s terms.
I now have over 2 1/2 years of sobriety and am happier than I have ever been. My journey through recovery has been more than I could have asked for.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. It’s a journey best traveled with other people that are already on that path. There are so many resources available, you just have to want it.