Jared Bryan Smith
I was born into an alcoholic family and began to see it's effects, it's ravaging waste & self inflicted pointless tragedies early on. My earliest memories of my father were of him drinking Budweiser's and I would have been around 5 or 6. Later, he would begin accumulating DUI's, arguments, yelling and screaming would intensify, and I would watch him abandon beer for Rum drinks, and by the time I was 10 years old he was drinking vodka, whiskey or whatever straight from the bottle, steadily losing his mind. I watched him decline into madness, until my mother finally tried to leave him, and he began stalking us, threatening to kill her and my three siblings. Eventually he shot himself in the head with a .357. I swore I would never become that man.
And then I found LSD, marijuana, The Grateful Dead and low and behold drinking! I was hooked from the get go, and thus started a 17 year spree that only ended when I myself began losing my mind, jumped off a bridge, and was suffering full blown paranoid schizophrenic symptoms. My Dad had looked me in the eye and told me AA didn't work a few months before he killed himself, so I didn't have much hope, but I didn't have much choice either, it was AA or suicide, and I didn't want to put my son, through what I had suffered. So in 2006, after several looney bin, jail visits, and much family pleading I began in earnest to attempt AA and sober up.
Low and behold a miracle took place and I did indeed have the obsession to drink and drug removed through the 12 Steps of AA. Only to discover my liver was failing, that my dabbling with needles, however brief, had given me Hepatitis C, and that with no health insurance, the $2500 a month treatment would be next to impossible to afford. Interferon had a 50/50 shot of saving my life, but also was expensive. Miracles abound, this is the story of that struggle I began around the age of 30 to defeat the disease that had killed my father, and break the cycle of alcoholism, addiction, and anguish in my mind.
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