Folks call me Ram; I am 56 and a survivor of several major addictions dating back to 1979. I was out of high school, I had a job, but did not make good money. During this time, a friend of the family was involved in organized crime; eventually, I started to run illegal liquor. Finally, I was making money to support myself. On top of that, I also had my share of the product we sold. As my journey continued, it only worsened. You had to give samples of your product to clients and eventually it led to more drinking, because I began hanging out with people all night even after work hours. As I continued to get older, LSD and Acid were substances I used heavily while socializing. On top of that, I consumed cocaine to keep myself from ever feeling down. That was one thing about myself, I never wanted to feel “down.”
I was living in my mom’s house, and even today I am amazed she never discovered my very serious addictions to the several substances I previously mentioned. From age 18 until about age 23 this lifestyle prevailed. However, my mother did know that I was drunk most of the time because she was a registered nurse for over thirty years. I remember one time I was so scared to go in the house because I was so wasted, so I slept in the back seat of my old car on the street.
By 1983, I began a turnaround of sorts. I began by quitting drinking. In doing so, the people I hung around with disappeared. In addition, I worked hard and helped my mother. Over a period, I was no longer taking any of the substances that I had been. It took time to find other activities. I found myself helping others that had been formerly using drugs exit that lifestyle. I found that by helping others, I was becoming whole myself. I never really saw how much of my life was consumed by substance abuse until I was helping others, as I got whole.
This is why I am sharing my story. I am now an Ordained and Licensed Chaplain and Christian Recovery Counselor. I have spent almost thirty years working in every imaginable place with souls from all lifestyles just like me, to break addiction’s grasp. I stress that every human in life God created for a specific purpose, and no one is a mistake. When I was trapped in the grip of substance abuse, there was no way out. It is about choices, and we all have to make the right choice. Help is available; I am living proof of that.