The Courage to Surrender


By John W.

cover image of The Courage to Surrender

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Unlike the memoir of a famous person, my story lives with the millions of baby boomers who passed me a joint and a beer in college and again at the corporate picnic. Before the Woodstock weekend in 1969, I graduated from college and married the mother of our love child, began training for a computer programming career, and a few months later got a high number in the draft lottery. My use of recreational drugs escalated from fun getting high to a craving that trumped my love for drinking beer.
I secured a project manager job at the corporate offices of a world-wide company which is where I entered a fast lane that became a free fall to the bottom of my life. My days began by smoking dope to medicate my alcohol ravaged insides, so I could tolerate the gridlock of morning rush hour traffic. Business days included getting high at noon while on the way to seedy strip joints for a lunch of drinking. The true measure of my self-destruction lay hidden on the dark side of my life where substances and out of control people influenced me into doing things I knew were wrong.
On Dec 17, 2001 my doctor showed me the results of my physical to explain that if I continued to drink I would die sooner rather than later. His prognosis scared me, so I poured out my alcohol and used an old AA schedule to attend the first of some 1800 meetings. My story is full of experiences from my days at the bottom of life, through the first years in recovery, to a day in sobriety. My book combines short stories of life with vivid descriptions of actual situations that allow the reader to see this life-threatening disease from all angles. There are messages for the friends and family of an addict, so they can see that secrecy and enabling are part of the madness.
When you have finished my memoir some of the mystery that surrounds alcoholism and drug addiction will be answered: why people hit deep bottoms, fear based decisions, motive driven behavior, and how the disease twists the mind of the alcoholic / drug addict. Although my past is a mixture of shame and guilt, I'll tell you who I was, what I did, and the lessons I had to learn more than once. Since Dec. 17, 2001 I have not found a problem or instance that I thought drinking and using would improve. I do not preach the virtues of sobriety I merely open my story for the reader to take what they need.
The Courage to Surrender