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Artin2010

Joined 7 years ago from Northwestern Florida, Gulfcoast

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Hello everyone,

Where do I start? I am a 56 year old male. I am the oldest sibling of five children. I was very active as a boy,I was into sports, fishing, off- road motorcycle riding. I was raised in the Catholic Church and attended a Catholic school until entering an integrated public high school. As a young person, I spent a good amount of time with my grandparents due to the overcrowdedness of our small woodframed offgrade home with window air conditioning!

  My parents brought us up on a $475.00 a month income.My first bicycle was a modified second hand 20 inch with a bannana seat and high rise handlebars.

I remember eating alot of fish and grits, hot dogs and potatoes.

As a  teenager growing up in the late 60's, early 70's, I got into my share of trouble with my peers. I spent much of my time when not at school, hanging around the hood with my friends.

At the age of 18, I decided to follow in my dad's footsteps and joined the United States Marine Corps and off to bootcamp I went.

I spent three adventurous years serving as an enlisted Marine, in March 1981 I ended my military career by choice due to unfortunate circumstances I'd rather not go into. I was honorably discharged from active duty and went back to that place I called home.

I got a job doing construction works and enrolled in the local Vocational -Technical College to learn the trades of AC, Refrigeration, Heating, Basic Electricity, Solar Energy. I made it to finals week of the first semester, my job quit me, my car blew up and I had so many distractions going on around me, my head was spinning off.

Well, I didn't make finals, dropped out of school and became the same person I was basically before joining the military.

 I had become such a backslider in all things including my faith, that I felt there was no hope at all of being  successful and productive as a citizen. I continued to spiral and  wallow in my negative behavior for at least another four or five years and everyone around me was an enabler contributing to my self destructive behaviors.

 I got laid off from my job, she took the kids and left, our Quaker parrot, "Yoggie" escaped from his cage and flew away, the dog disappeared all in a three day period. I was left all alone with a mortgage payment, utility bills and crack smoking, alcoholic neighbors. My wife filed papers for divorce and took what little money was left in our bank account, bought the best attorney in town and gave me the hammer.

At this point in life, I was so confused and miserable, I couldn't help but talk to God, I really wallowed in extreme pain and loneliness until I got really sick and had to go to the doctor. The doctor assessed my condition mentally and physically and decided to admit me to the VA Physciatric Hospital in Gulfport,MS.

After 15 days of observations and evaluations, they moved me to a 28 day in-patient treatment program for addictions. This saved my miserable life and to this day I am grateful to them and to God for bringing me through what seemed like the road to eternal damnation, a very dark season in life.

I am continuing to battle illness and I read the Bible daily, I pray often that God help me to do the things I can not do on my own and I am relentlessly thankful, for His mercy shown on me.

"You spared a wretch like me!"

Yes, I have a colorful past, but not unlike many others. You know that old saying, I've been there, it applys!

I will never forget where I've been in life, have no regrets and I now look forward to better days as each day is a new gift that I have.

I love my children unconditionally, try to help them in every way I know how to and I pray also that God keep them safe and sober. 

My story is that of millions of people who have grown up in poor mans America in an age where things were rapidly changing and under the disguise of getting better all the time.

I hope that someone here is encouraged to write their story and share it with the world as I have done.

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