Well let the blogging begin… my hope for this Blog is to start a dialogue about issues that have affected my life and many of the people I meet on a daily basis as Executive Director of the Buffalo City Mission. Addiction, homelessness, kids, spouses, recovery, hope, God, family, violence, and relationships are all intertwined within each other.
Like spaghetti, every piece touches another. My goal is to provide a place where we can discuss and learn from one another, through it provide a glimmer of hope and support, and make sure everyone knows they are not alone. I am no expert, however I do understand being hopeless and losing everything and the struggle back. I will post to keep the conversation going.
Here we go… Twenty-two years ago, this summer, I was residing at a rehab center in Western Massachusetts just figuring out I had a problem with alcohol and drugs. This begins to speak to the insanity I was feeling at the time. I had lost everything, my wife told me she was divorcing me (after 17 years), I was afraid I had lost my three kids for ever, my sporting goods store was foreclosed on and I had six figure debt. I had convinced myself that the problem was not me, but circumstances and other people, so if I changed those then everything would be OK. I didn’t think I had a problem until I was two weeks in rehab and realized that the guy staring back at me in the mirror each morning was the problem. That realization was the beginning of digging out of hell. One of my counselors asked me a funny question one day. He asked me,”When you drink a bottle of wine what do you do with the cork after you open the bottle?” I thought it was kind of a strange question but I told him “I threw it away.” He said, “So you never expect to ever put the cork back in the bottle”.
That was the start of suddenly learning that my behavior was directly tied to my addiction. Addiction serves behavior or visa-versa behavior serves addiction. This wine bottle thing seems a little trite but it was a revelation for me to starting to understand…understand what I am not sure but I felt I was heading down a new road and I wasn’t drinking or using, so my mind was starting to slowly clear. I could actually hold a thought for a while and think about it.