I hope that Steven’s message today will give you the ability to go out and get help with your addiction. Listen in on his message of hope.
Steven decided to come onto the show today to share his message of hard work and determination when coming off drug addiction. His early life, as a child living with his mother, gave Steven his first exposure to drug use and addiction. This was a radical difference from the structured and disciplined military life he led when he was under his father’s care.
At eight years old, his aunt gave him his first joint, and his uncle gave him his first beer that summer. Later that year, he started smoking cigarettes, also given to him by a family member on his mother’s side. By the time he was 13, he was smoking a pack a day of cigarettes.
Enabling children and giving them what they want tends to lead a person down the path of addiction. Being able to do “anything you want” gives the impression that doing anything is OK. The enabler is not able to stop the behavior that is allowing the addict to continue.
Steven’s introduction to continual access to drugs and alcohol started in middle school, where he would idolize rock bands, play music and go out into a field and get drunk with his friends. In high school, he joined his first band, half of whom were on probation. Steven himself ended up on probation for six months. During his probation, he developed a reliance on synthetic cannabinoids. Even though he was on-track to graduate early from high school, he was expelled his junior year and dropped out twice his senior year. Steven thought drinking was a typical teen activity. Looking back, he realized his behavior wasn’t normal – the party never stopped – he was continually drinking throughout the day. Playing in a band gave Steven purpose, finding a role in music was where he fit in socially.
His world as an adult is still tied to his childhood traumas, with abandonment issues and feeling he isn’t good enough. These are the feelings that lead to addiction and make addiction so hard to break.
In 2017, Steven broke up with his girlfriend, and he realized he was always drunk. He would buy beer, put the beer in his backpack, and drink beer in the bathroom every hour he was at work. His ex-girlfriend was also addicted, she didn’t want to be addicted. Steven realized that he, as well as she, needed to go into rehab.
Listen in to hear Steven’s story of drinking, being miserable and him being in and out of IOP and working a 12-step program.
[04:29] I introduce Steven and he gives background on his lifestyle growing up and the large amount of difference between living with his mother and living with his father.
[07:25] Steven tells about his family growing up, how his family became a blended family.
[09:29] His mother and aunt are still addicted and not clean.
[11:45] Steven and I talk about the enabling aspect of addiction.
[15:26] Where Steven’s addiction stems from.
[17:20] Steven’s first consequence: probation for six months.
[19:27] The party never stopped for Steven, he was always drinking.
[20:30] He describes how playing in a band gave him purpose.
[25:49] Steven deals with abandonment issues, even as an adult.
[27:24] The turning point where Steven decides he has to make a change.
[35:23] How Steven started drinking more to cope with the misery of the breakup with his girlfriend.
[38:03] What is Steven doing now and what would he say to the Steven that was living under the bridge several years ago.
[44:05] The message I’m hearing is hope!
[48:26] “Give yourself a shot, even if you don’t think you’re worth it.”
Links and Resources:
Real Recovery Talk on YouTube