Mike's Story

I was recently asked if I would jot down a few notes to post on the Web page. How could I resist? After all that the Tuerk House has done for me, this is the least I can do.

It’s suggested that we give back in order to keep it. I am a newcomer so bear with me, OK?

Hello family, my name is Mike and I am an alcoholic and addict. It is suggested that we share our experience, strength, and hope. But if I were to go into what I’ve done, I would be writing a book. So, I’ll try to sum it up so that you can at least get a feeling of what it’s like to go from a pauper to a king and back again.

Coming from an alcoholic family and being the youngest of ten siblings, I grew up in chaos. Being the only Caucasian family for miles didn’t make life any easier for me. Drugs and alcohol became part of my story early on. I used so that I could fit in with my peers. I started selling Pot when I was 16. My business grew quickly and I loved being popular. After graduating high school at 17, I got a job and moved to my own apartment. A few months later, I quit my job because I made more money selling drugs. I met a man in Florida and expanded my business by adding lots of Cocaine for sale. With a pocket full of money and more fiends then I could count, I felt that I had it made. Motorcycles, cars, board, my toy collection kept growing to include property—man—I was living the life. I never noticed my continuing use of drugs and my sporadic spending until my arrest.

Not just an arrest, but it seemed as if it had become a weekend event. Laughs and court—it got so bad I tried to change states but couldn’t change my state of mind.

Ordered by the court to attend meetings was useless. Oh, I went, but only enough to satisfy the judge, and I usually went under the influence of something. Getting busted by the federal government was nothing like the weekend warrior that I had become. It wasn’t a matter of having a good lawyer, they took everything I owned and sent me to prison for 10 years.

I had to start all over again when I returned home. Everything had changed except me. My drug use hat tripled. I ended up on a Methadone maintenance program because I couldn’t afford to buy what I needed. About a year later I decided to detox. That is when I felt the first pains in my chest. Seeing the doctor proved that I had cancer and needed an operation. After having one of my lungs removed, I was told that I had a slim chance of survival. I went on a binge and lived the next several months in and out of one long black out. When I finally got sober I pleaded to be accepted into the Tuerk House. I could not take it any longer.

Once there I got an education about drug and alcohol abuse. Things I never knew. They taught me how to use my learning to create tools for my recovery. It was a short stay. I made the best of it and came out a very grateful and sober person.
I’m now living at the Tuerk House’s Weisman-Kaplan House, continuing my education and gaining strength to fight my addiction. I now live each day as if it were my last, giving life its due respect and making the best out of every situation.

So please don’t be like me. Don’t wait until someone tells you that you are going to die before you make a decision to live. Give yourself a break! There is a better way.

Thanks, Mike.