The Sky is the Limit
Before I share a little bit about my story I want to say how grateful I am for all the life experiences, good and bad, that I’ve lived through because it’s made me who I am and brought me to where I am today and thanks to a program of recovery, I can see that it’s been a part of God’s plan all along. I was born in Fairfax, Virginia 25 years ago, and I am the middle child of 3. I quickly was moved to Syracuse, New York with my older brother to stay with my grandparents. My younger sister stayed with my parents because my dad was addicted to crack and my mom was struggling to make ends meet financially for us 3. It was the best option at the time. I lived in a middle-class neighborhood in a suburb of Syracuse, and our home on the outside looked to be doing okay. I didn’t go without food or clothing for the majority of my childhood and was able to do the things that made me happy, but from the start I had always felt like an outcast; different from the rest of the kids growing up. I came out of the closet as a gay man at age 13 but my grandparents, I think, had always had an idea. I was physically and mentally abused by my grandpa for about 13 years of my life because that household was a very bigoted environment. He was very against my dad being with a woman of color and me being gay. Child protective services made frequent visits to our home. My dad would get clean for a little while, him and my mom would come together to try and get custody back, but he could never stay clean long enough to get us out of the house. And as I tell you this, I don’t want anyone to think that this is the reason I’m an alcoholic or a drug addict. I’m simply an alcoholic/drug addict because the minute drugs and alcohol touched my lips I fell in love with the affect produced and quickly made them my solution for my feeling of not belonging and not being able to cope with life. Seeing my dad addicted to drug, I swore to myself I would never be him and from a young age, I threw myself into performing arts. I grew up in theatre and started taking dance classes at the age of 10. Singing and dancing brought me so much joy and was my escape from the hurt of my parents not being in my life and the abuse going on in my home. Around age 13 or 14 I started going to parties and shortly after started experimenting with weed and alcohol and quickly fell in love. By age 16, I was selling drugs and prostituting myself when I needed the money, but things then came to a screeching halt, and at age 17 went to treatment for the first time. I was in treatment for 4 months and within 2 weeks of me getting out, I was getting drunk and high, this time much harder than ever before. This went on for 7 more years. After being raped twice while prostituting and burning everything to the ground with my friends, my family, and financially, I reached out for help. When I tell you God had shown up for me in more ways than I can imagine, it is no exaggeration. My friend’s parents then set me up to come to Austin and go through a 3 month program. It was there that I found myself. I worked through all the pain and misery and I stirred up over the years. Took a hard look at myself and searched for spirituality. My life today is bigger than I ever could’ve imagined. I have friends and family that I would do anything for. I have a life now that I’m proud of and my spirit is light. A job that I love and a home to go back to which is more than I ever asked for. God has truly done for me what I was incapable of doing myself. When I got on that plane to Austin I just didn’t want to hurt anymore and with some willingness and action it was all possible. Any one is capable of this life. I’m someone who never wanted or thought being sober was in the cards for me but with an open mind and some hope the sky has been the limit.