See You on the Other Side

VINCE

Three days until freedom, 183 days until my release.

I will not be able to write as frequently from boot camp but I will when I can and I think it will be even more powerful than ever. The following story will be the last thing that I write from Moose Lake.

In the last 10 years, I have spent three + years on meth, six + years as a drunk, and eight months in prison.

By far, being a drunk took the worst toll on me. It didn’t land me in the clink, but I lost so much of myself that it’s really hard for me to look back on it and be honest about it.

My mother has written about it from her perspective and I’ve always just kind of brushed it off, not wanting to deal with the truth.

Truth is, I was a mess. Every day. Drunk. I held jobs through most of it. But in every other aspect of life I failed.

Every cent I had went to booze. No room for food, clothing. I guess I paid my rent most of the time.

I had three days off per week. So starting right when I woke up, I would drink my breakfast, say 7 a.m. Drink beers and smoke cigarettes until the bar opened at 11 a.m., then drink into oblivion until I blacked out. Waking up somehow back in my apartment, or somebody else’s.

I’ve woken up on pool tables. In the middle of the street surrounded by police. Under water, naked, having just tipped my best friend’s canoe, losing it forever. And once I woke up and I realized I was clutching a fully loaded shotgun, with my finger on the trigger guard, safety off. I’m not saying I was suicidal, but I did question my motivation. Then laughed it off.

Every day, for years, I woke up with no food in the fridge. I worked in restaurants, but I still only really ever ate one meal a day, four days a week. I was not healthy.

It’s Tuesday morning. 7:50 a.m. In 24 hours I will be leaving this terrible place, in search of the tools that will make it so I never have to re-visit the places I have just described.

I had a picture of me taken one week before boot camp which my mother will somehow put near this last post, and we will put up a new picture in six months, just to show the physical improvement gained through the program. I weigh 200 pounds here. We’ll hopefully see a transformation. Again, I will keep writing, just not so much.

Pre Boot Camp

I really enjoy reading the feedback we’ve been getting keep it coming.

Alright, it’s time to go get my life back. Wish me luck.

Here I go.

One thought on “See You on the Other Side

  1. Catherine R.

    Hi Vince-

    Your Mom and I are friends and I’ve been reading about your shared journey since day one. Like you, I’m an alcoholic and addict. I spiraled down to the bottom of hell because of my addiction. What lifted me out of that morass of insanity–and has kept me clean for 24 years–was AA.

    You wrote in one of your posts about your departure from Florida and return to Minnesota. :You said that you started hanging out with the wrong crowd, didn’t go to meetings and of course started using again. I am praying that you’ll take a different route this time, that you’ll find your way home.

    About AA: it saved my life. I have a love/hate relationship with AA. But no doubt about it–saved my life. In fact, it completely changed my life to one that has honor, hope, dignity, pride–all things glaringly absent when I was using. Yes, there are many things about the program that are perplexing, annoying, seem stupid, are hard, obnoxious, whatever……

    But, it works, if you work it. Go to meetings everyday, 3 times a day if you have to. Hang out with people in the program. Live in a sober house. Stick with the winners. Follow the rules, to the nth degree. We alcoholics hate rules and think they don’t apply to us, but I can guarantee you that if you don’t follow them you’ll use again, sooner or later. For once in your life just do what they tell you to do! That’s the only way–turn your will and your life over to a higher power. Yes, it sounds really stupid, lame or whatever–but it works. It’s how I’ve stayed clean and sober for these past 24 years.

    Oh yes, and I’ve learned a few things in those years about living such as how to actually enjoy life, have an adult relationship, do the right thing and be of service. Like I said, I have a love/hate relationship with the program. The love part is because of all the incredible gifts I’ve been given because of it, the amazing friendships I’ve formed, the practical tools for living that I’ve acquired–could go on and on.The hate part is because I don’t like to be told what to do, because I want to be in charge, because it’s HARD, because I like to think that I know it all–could go on and on. But the point is that I did what I was told to do. After 20 years of daily drinking and drugging, I FINALLY turned my life and will over to my higher power. I got out of the way and made space for the divine to enter. I’m hoping this will happen for you. Good luck Vince!

    Catherine R,

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