It’s been a long time since I’ve snorted fat lines of coke up my nose. I used to love the way it was rapidly absorbed into my bloodstream and gave me an instant shot of adrenaline. The rush it gave me made me feel invincible. I thought I could do anything or talk to anyone. I could fuck for hours or jerk off for hours. It didn’t matter as long as there was more cocaine. I would go on a mission to get it, and nothing could stop me once the thought of possessing it entered my confused childish cranium.

I remember in the 80’s as a kid watching my father and his friends partying and doing lines of coke off of a vintage wooden framed Captain Morgan mirror. The kind of novelty mirror you might see hanging inside of an old corner liquor store next to a Coors Light Elvira poster and a box of rubbers. I didn’t really know what cocaine was back then, and in fact I am still shocked that I even remember this incident. I was only 4 or 5 years old, but the still picture of that Captain Morgan mirror all lined out will be engraved in my mind forever. I’m not sure if this memory played a sub conscious role in my decision to try cocaine when I was 17, or if it had anything to do with it at all. Either way, it was my decision.

I remember the first time I snorted a line. I was at a party with some friends. The Dead Kennedys were violently screaming through the speakers when someone invited me into the bathroom to “hit a bump”. I remember thinking to myself I was only going to try this once, just to see what it felt like. That thought didn’t last very long, and I was in the bathroom again for another bump within 30 minutes. This went on until the sun came up or the coke was gone, I can’t quite recall. But the problem with cocaine is that you never want the night to end. You are constantly chasing the bag, chasing that first high you had from the beginning…and you never get it. The only thing you get is a half limp dick, empty pockets, a bloody nose, and feelings of guilt and shame strong enough to move a house.

So what happens after all the cocaine is gone?

This is when the night (or morning) gets really fucked up. Just to go to sleep, I would have to drink cups of vodka, whiskey, or whatever was leftover to help come down from the coke high. This could mean shot gunning beers so the alcohol gets into your bloodstream faster, or one time I had to resort to drinking cooking wine because that was the only alcohol I could find in the house. After the last few cigarettes were gone, throw a sleeping pill in there, a rip or two off of the chronic bong, and you might be lucky enough to pass out within a few hours.

But to call it sleep would be an injustice. You kind of lay there for a while with your eyes shut, grinding your teeth together trying not to think about how shitty tomorrows going to be. When you flood your brain and body with that many chemicals, it’s equivalent to being paralyzed in a zombie like state. Your body is turned off, but your mind races with crazy ass thoughts and weird dreams that can leave you in a state of madness.

Ready for what happens when I wake up?

First, after the countless times I had repeated the above scenario, let me just say that I am grateful to be alive today. Like many of us, I too have lost a few friends suddenly to addiction. I was one of the lucky ones who got a second chance to live clean and sober. There are countless others out there still rooted in the struggle who have lost their voice to speak up out of fear, shame, regret, guilt, or just flat out hopelessness. This is what drives me to keep pushing the Sober Guy platform up the steep slope of recovery. This is what drives me to help people see that drugs and alcohol are fucking lame. I thought it made me cool to be the party guy, the guy who could do dope and drink and still maintain like nothing could affect me. There is nothing cool about being a dope fiend or a drunk. There is nothing cool about using drugs or alcohol, period.

We as human beings do not need a substance or chemical to enhance or numb the way we feel. Once I sobered up I have had the opportunity to get to know myself, and to get to feel again. I have had the opportunity to build healthy relationships, based on trust, communication and respect. I have been able to establish and start to build a relationship with God. Being clean and sober has given me freedom from my own worst enemy, myself.

In times of strife, instead of medicating with dope or booze, I give it up to Him. As we all know most of us don’t do a very good job of trying to play God. I can control my responses to people, places and things, but I cannot control circumstances. There will always be challenges and things to overcome in my life, but the difference now versus then is that instead of burying all my pain, hurts and insecurities deep down under my soul, I get to proudly wear them on my sleeve, as they have made me the man I am today. I can now deal with my emotions and feelings in a healthy manner.   This has been a learned process, and I am still learning new things in my recovery every single day. When I stop learning, it’s time to die.

Now, back to waking up after a long night of cocaine and alcohol abuse; It FUCKING Sucks! That’s it; I will save the hang over horror stories for your imagination.
Instead, let me tell you what it’s like to wake up sober. Every morning I wake up at 5 AM to an internal alarm clock with feelings that exceed excitement and gratitude. I can’t wait to get out of bed and see what God has in store for me. I may get a short jog in and watch the sun come up, or I may sit out on the front patio, sip some coffee and take in the warm fresh California air. I get to see my beautiful wife and two kids wake up, and know that I am here for them always, and that they will never see daddy drunk or high. Talking some recovery is a daily occurrence, whether it’s with my wife, in a meeting, in our Facebook group Sober Guy Sober Girl, or on Sober Guy Radio, I always find time to stay connected in recovery.

My life today is amazing, and I owe it all to the many rooms of recovery, my family, my friends, the Sober Guy Community, and most importantly, to God.