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 My story - John of the Roses 
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Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 10:16 am
Posts: 136
Location: St Petersburg, FL
First of all, to let you know more about ME… I am the son of a son of a preacher. I was also the 7th child born in a family of 7. 4 of my siblings didn’t live past their 1st month of life. I was born with a deviated septum, and had three operations to correct it before the age of 2. It opened up again when I was eleven. I have two older brothers, Bob, 11 years older & Bill, 14 years older, so by the time I was ten I was living as an only child. Bob was a gifted basketball player and went on after college to play in the ABA for the Houston Mavericks. Bill had few ambitions and ended up working in the travel industry.

I began my drug use at age 14 and began drinking beer at 17. It was sporadic use, nothing like daily use. I was a talented artist. I was accepted to an art school in Chicago in the 10th grade. I also sang bass in the school chorale ensemble. Mt Father didn’t want me to go to art school in downtown Chicago, so I made a deal with him. If I were to attend a liberal arts college on a campus, for one year, he would pay for art school. That one year was one of my favorite times of my life. But I still managed to head off to art school. During my college years my drug and alcohol use began to grow into a daily use. I only spent 1 year in art school, even though I had been offered a full tuition scholarship. I enrolled at West Virginia University, where I stayed till receiving a BFA, in 1978. It was while at WVU, that I saw my first video game console.

After a few stumbles in my art career, I moved my life to Southwest Florida, to be near my Brother Bob, who had built a thriving marine construction business, having broken his back playing professional basketball. One of those stumbles was being a T-shirt artist for a motorcycle accessories company. There, I met my future wife, Doris. After moving from job to job in Florida, I had the chance to once again become a T-shirt artist, and that is when I heard from Doris, who wanted to visit. Long story short we were married inside four months.

We lived an idealic life, drinking cases of beer every day and smoking pot. On a trip to her parents I had a terrific vision, which prompted me to enroll in Seminary. So we moved to Atlanta & I began my theological studies. Long story short, I learned to play Frisbee golf, drink hard liquor and flunked out my first year. But all was not lost. Doris had begun work for the health department and got me a job managing a group home for developmentally disabled adult men. Four years later I lost my job so we moved back to Florida. I began to work for my brother Bob, who liked to be called Ben now. Bill had also moved to Florida, and was working in real estate.

During this time Doris was working as a manager for a crafts store. In case you were wondering we never had any children together, but we were raising her son from a previous marriage. She dies in 1998 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. That took my drug & alcohol use to a new level. My addiction took over my life. Nothing mattered except that next drug or drink. In 1999 I sought recovery with a geographical change. I moved in with my brother Bill in St Petersburg and began my journey in NA.

After four months of clean time, I was living with my sponsor and his adult son, Aaron. Aaron kept talking about killing Fippy Darkpaw and I soon saw what he was referring to. It was a game on a computer. I asked Aaron if I could play for a little while and soon he couldn’t get me off it! Around this time I met my second wife Diane on an online dating site and once when she came over to visit me, (I was playing the game) She sat on the bed beside the desktop computer and said “Hello John”. I responded Hey Diane, but when I turned around to see her, she wasn’t there. Aaron said, “She left a couple hours ago, you’ve been playing that game”.

15 years later and I’m still playing that same game. Sure, I’ve had bouts with long-term recovery, but I always reinstalled or made new accounts & relapsed. I found Olganon.org 7 years ago and became one of the first online meeting leaders. At first it was me and BigH501 leading meetings, but now there’s two meetings a day there. And on CGAA there’s another two meetings a day. I always tell newcomers in NA that service to the still-suffering addict is what keeps me clean, but in truth it’s much more than that. Honest communication within the Fellowship is very important. And another thing I always tell the newcomer to recovery: “Meeting-makers make it.” I’m starting over, again, after a recent relapse, but I’m done this time for sure. I finally hit my personal bottom. If there's anything I've learned it's what we can do together that which I could never do alone. And that includes the steps, which I'm working both with a sponsor & a sponcee. Thanks for letting me share.

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"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference.
The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative."
―W. Clement Stone


Last edited by john of the roses on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:27 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 10:08 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Boston/Providence area
State/Province/Country: MA/USA
Thank you for sharing, John. Hugs


Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:52 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:28 pm
Posts: 550
Wonderful John!!! It's so good to hear about you.

I am so glad you are here. Hugs!

_________________
Let your past make you better, not bitter.
Don't Lose Heart. If your efforts are greeted with indifference, don't lose heart. The sun puts on a wonderful show at daybreak when most people are sleeping. Keep shining!


Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:27 pm
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 3:06 pm
Posts: 905
Location: Charlottesville
State/Province/Country: Virginia
Thanks for sharing your story here, John. I've appreciated getting to know you better and I appreciate your enthusiasm for recovery!


Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:51 pm
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Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 7:54 pm
Posts: 216
I'm real happy you posted your story, John. It's enlightening to know more about you and where you've come from.
Glad you're here with us now :)

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    skype: jslinden
    other: Ascender or Zenn


Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:06 am
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 323
Location: Detroit, MI
Thanks for sharing, John. Hugs. Glad you're here.


Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:40 pm
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:24 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Oregon
John, I loved learning more about you! One of the things I learned is that you are a very good writer and you have a comedic streak! I'm really glad you are here, and remain profoundly grateful you were there to welcome me when I came in. And that neither you nor Big made fun of my sniveling and sobbing through the meeting.


Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:36 am
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