Gary W’s Experience, Strength & Hope

Gary W’s Experience, Strength & Hope

I’m an addict my name is Gary W.

I was raised on a tobacco farm, I guess it’s why I like smoking so much! My mother was raised Catholic and my Father was raised Mennonite. I have one brother and my parents thought the ideal family was a boy and a girl, so they missed that deal. I was born cross-eyed and was operated on when I was 4. I was a problem child growing up and broke my leg when I was 5. I know my parents did the best they could. My mother worked very hard, my father liked to drink and was a womanizer. He came home from one of his binges with a letter in his pocket from a woman, my mother found it when she was doing the laundry. Mom had had enough. My father moved out and we stayed on the farm. Mom grew the crop, Dad moved around.

This made me very withdrawn from life and I did not want to participate. We moved off the farm and rented a house. I attended Catholic Church growing up and I had my 1st communion 10th of May 1964, confirmed 15th June 1966. Mom always seemed to be working and taught us good work ethics. she worked 3-4 jobs. Both of my parents were unavailable, My Dad would say he was coming to see us and he would show up late or the next day, drunk, usually all he wanted to do was beat my Mom. I had to repeat grade 1 and I did not learn to read properly till I was 12. I would fight in school, we would save until the end of the day so no one would get punished. My Dad came one time and had my Mom up against the stove, my Mom never fought back. As she wanted to get away she moved her hands stumbled into a cast frying pan, grabbed it, and landed it on my Dad’s face. This is one of the fights that my brother and I witnessed. This was the last time My Dad would fight with my Mother. Mom was Belgium and she worked at the Belgium hall, we lived in a town of 1,400 people
and there were 13 drinking establishments and miscellaneous Bootleggers!

At 15 I helped Mom cleaning up at Weddings, parties, and Saturday night dances that were mostly rock’n’roll bands. This was when I stopped praying. Our family had no age limit to a drink, I first got drunk when I was 14 on Lemon gin. I got sick, it sure cured me of drinking Gin. I started using Drugs at 15 and I did not have to fight anymore, my Dreams were gone. I went to High school and took shop.

Psalms 72:13-14 “He opens a place in his heart for the down & out, he restores the wretched of earth. He frees them from tyranny and torture-when they bleed, he bleeds; when they die he dies.”

My Dad‘s girlfriend had a son my age so we would hang out together. We loved driving around. I was fearless and bad news. I quit school after not completing grade 11, I was going to be an electrician. I went to work in a factory in Brantford, I moved in with a couple of guys. It was not long and we had 10 people in a 1 bedroom apartment. We sure partied, within a year the 4 plex, was being developed and we had to move. There was an elderly couple we always helped, the Husband was bedridden and we would help change the bed. When everyone moved out I was left by myself and OD’d.

My Mom and brother moved me out and mom nursed me back to health so I could do it all over again. Wandering around, my using had slowed down but still just could not stop. I tried moving to BC and find a woman to focus on…but my relationships did not last. I partnered up with a guy, we did well. My family told me they were praying for me. My partner and I moved to Calgary where my Dad was. He was sick, the binge drinking had eaten his organs.

I was picked up for dealing in a bar, with 19 cents in my pocket, no drugs and was sent back to Ontario on a cross-Canada warrant. I served my time and was educated.

Job 8-10 “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed with clouds and wrapped it in darkness. For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores.”

I found old friends and was up to old tricks. I was introduced to AA but used to get high on the way there and back.

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

I ended up in Toronto and carried on the same old abuse. In1987, I went back to the Catholic Church, still using, went to bible studies, but could not stop, In 1983 I noticed my body deteriorating and I started doing vitamins and would deal them. Old habits are hard to quit.  One night at Bible study a lady ask me for a product, I said I did have stock. She drove me home and asked why I was drinking or stoned at Bible Study. I just told her that was how I lived. But it stuck with me, I lost my job as a lead hand, was unemployable.

I entered the doors of Narcotics Anonymous, I surrendered and accepted that I could not use anymore! I had a sponsor and we would help people clean up, and clean house. There were six meetings in Toronto, we went to AA. Gave respect and they helped us build our Fellowship. God started doing most of the work, I went to therapy to get the answers from my past. I cleaned house and gave my life and my will to God.

For the time then came that the addiction of service in NA, and to women, Lust, I took meetings into jails and so on. I stayed clean for 13 years in the rooms, even through my divorce. This is the day God has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. I met a lady, bought a house and went to work with 3 guys in the program. They used me, so I picked up a resentment and walked away from the program. I stayed clean for 2 more years, getting more self-centered, selfish, and slowly started drinking and using drugs.

I finally stopped the drugs but drank, I found a church after my breakup in 2008. I started an overcomers group in 2010 at the
church. We changed to a Celebrate Recovery group, I still did not have a desire to stop drinking. Even when I started coming here.

John 20:30 “The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the recorded in the bible.”

Today there is still fear, confusion, of what is really going on but the freedom from active addiction is released, I have turned my will and my life over to God and I take it back. I leave the woman for me up to God. Other things I am not sure of: I still like to isolate.

I have peace in my life today! All I can tell you is if you work these steps, give your self to God, and don’t give up before the miracle happens! For God gave his only forgotten Son. John 20:30 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have by the power of his name.

Thank You, with God we are we have everything! No God No God, know God Know God!
Live in Love!

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