I don’t know how many times people, who were not friendly toward me, would ask me if I were crazy, over the years. They weren’t joking; they were trying to make me feel bad. I avoid such people. I admit I even call myself crazy sometimes. It’s a bad habit. I write about things like watching out for the nice men in the white coats coming after me with a butterfly net. I write about things like the Laughing Academy and the Loony Bin. Those are universally known expressions in our society. I’m not stupid. I graduated from high school with honors. But I found myself in state hospitals, in spite of my intentions or abilities. Look for some of my writing at the following address.
I spent the Vietnam War Era at a university in the south, taking alcohol and drugs, growing my hair, not having a clue, after excelling in high school, how to take care of myself on a college campus, far away from home. I ended up with a permanent draft deferment. My ability to work and support myself was forever handicapped by the way my brain processes information, since my breakdown at university in 1972. It wasn’t the university’s responsibility that I lost my sanity. It was not my parents’ responsibility, or my girlfriend’s, or my boss’s responsibility. I abused my body and my mind so badly, of my own volition, of my own choice, that I had to be taken out of school and put in a hospital by the authorities, not knowing my own name or understanding what had happened to me in the slightest. My own mother came to visit me there, and I was so sick I did not know who she was. My sister, who has been my closest lifetime friend, tells me she visited me in that state hospital, but I do not have any recollection of the event. My breakdown cost me a bachelor’s degree, a career, a marriage, and only the Lord knows what else. It cost me my sanity and nearly cost me my life, during my youth, of all times for it to happen to a person. I was devastated.
But the time came when I had to take responsibility for my own illness and my own recovery. I realized when I nearly died of alcoholism in the summer of 1983, that to simply keep my own mind shut against my own issues was not something that was going to help me. I was turned off against my own problems and denying my own mental illness, blaming everything and everyone else for my problems. I eventually realized I was not going to get what I want out of life thinking like that. I had to start taking care of myself, and trust my Maker to help me work things out in this life. I am not the sort of man who can glide along in life, and take things easy. Life confronts me constantly. I got to the point where I would either die of alcoholism, or stop drinking and start a life of being responsible for my own behavior. I didn’t get there until I was 32 yrs old. Now, I’m 60. I’m still sober.
I believe that the fact that you are sitting here reading my blog, means that my Maker has brought you here for a purpose. I believe my Maker has given me back my ability to talk and to write, for a purpose. About a year ago, give or take a couple of months, I was mentally incapable of using language or communicating with other people. It’s called Transmittal Aphasia, and I came down with it from accidentally overdosing myself on my psychiatric meds. I had gotten confused about how to medicate myself, when I was living on my own. I wasn’t trying to hurt myself, but I did do it in spite of my intentions. I ended up in a hospital, on the verge of death, and unable to speak. Once again, I was delivered.
God has given me so many talents and abilities, and so much recovery, I cannot remain silent about what has happened to me. Regardless of whether it is advisable or inadvisable for me to write the world about all of this, I feel compelled to do the work, anyway. I have written a considerable amount of music, and a considerable amount of writing in the English language over my 28 yrs of uninterrupted sobriety. I continually talk to my friends and acquaintances, and continually write things down, because I believe I am supposed to tell the world what I’ve been thru. I believe I’m doing what I have been very carefully trained to do. This is a volunteer job, and I’m living in the lap of luxury while I do it. The Lord my God has given me all the advantages, the talents, abilities and resources to do exactly what I’m doing now. What I’m doing is no accident.
I choose to be like this. I do. I took every drug and drink I could get my hands on with a hunger and a thirst to “totally cop my buzz.” The Lord took what was left of me and gave me a burden on my heart to share what I’ve been thru with others. Drugs and alcohol are a wide-spread problem throughout the world today, particularly with young people. I feel compelled to tell my story to the world, over the one universal, international medium: the internet. I took reefer, LSD, PCP, hashish, and a host of other such things, for a dozen yrs, until my body and mind were so sick, I was hospitalized repeatedly, and was in dire straights with my health like you might well imagine.
I hurt so badly from the childhood abuses I suffered growing up. I found myself bargaining with God, when he offered to take my life away from me, when I was drunk and suicidal in the summer of 1983. But He gave me a choice. I could either die and take the chance of losing Him forever, or I could stop drinking. My choice is that my life is worth saving. The deliverance I’ve experienced in my 28 yrs of uninterrupted sobriety has been nothing short of miraculous.