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Sobriety.... One year later... Please Read.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by RearViewMirror, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Oct 4, 2013 at 9:43 AM
    #21
    jobrien

    jobrien shit happens then you die

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    Glad to see you coming up brother from one 1st responder to another this job definitely takes a toll on us. I can honestly say that I'm not the same person I was when and before I started going into the fire/ems/law enforcement field. Glad to see you've started the climb back up and if you ever need any help at all from one brother to another I'd be willing to help you out (although we are complete strangers) but that's the way this brotherhood is. Keep fighting the good fight and you'll end up coming out on top.
     
  2. Oct 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM
    #22
    TacoSupreem

    TacoSupreem Dirty Trucker

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    I personally have been on the stretcher clinging to life. Ive been saved by good people like yourself. I cant imagine how it feels to be in your shoes. Just remember the ones you could help. That makes it all worth it.
     
  3. Oct 4, 2013 at 12:11 PM
    #23
    Tribull

    Tribull Only women shave beneath the neck.

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    Thanks for posting man. Everyone has their demons. I know I damn sure have/had mine. I got myself into some serious trouble over it. Changed my life forever. You're right about one thing: you have to hit rock bottom.

    I'm glad you found your way back up.
     
  4. Oct 4, 2013 at 12:29 PM
    #24
    RearViewMirror

    RearViewMirror [OP] Saw things so much clearer once you... were in my

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    Not a stupid question. As of right now no but I am working tirelessly to change that. Like I said before, we have had 6 people on the job commit suicide in my 20 years on the job. One of my best friends committed suicide on Dec 23, 2011. I still have the voice mail on my phone from the day before telling me "he loved me and I was like the brother he never had" (I should have picked up on the signs and I regret that everyday). I still listen to it every once in a while and it breaks my heart. We have had countless numbers of our members that have been "let go" because they popped hot on a random. 2/3rds of those members had over 15 years on the job. Did we help those members by letting them go or did we just compound their problems? Please don't get me wrong. I in no way shape or form condone drug use. But we somehow have to stop the process and recognize the symptoms before it ever gets to that. I will admit that in itself is a extremely hard process since everyone handles stress in many different ways. No one (and I mean no one) knew what I was going through. I cover everything up with humor so therefore everyone thought I was just fine when in reality I was dying on the inside.
    Even my rock bottom was kept quite except for the few friends that witnessed it. I fell off the grid for a while so I could concentrate on what I needed to do. Being a Captain I slowly released information to my crew because that is a razors edge that you must walk between them having "faith" in your ability to do the job and make the right decisions or the guy that just got back from being a drunk and a drug abuser. I'm lucky because I have a great crew and they understand but I doled out the information in a very deliberate time sanctioned manner.

    But I will tell you the worst feeling that I have ever had in this world was the next day when my wife came home.... I was so ashamed of myself that I literally could not look her in the eyes. That was enough for me. I have always been the strong one in the family but I told her that you have to be the strong one for now. I am fallible and I am obviously not the Superman that you thought I was.

    To all the other members that have responded... I thank you! As I stated before I did not do this for any kind of accolades or congratulations. I got sober for me and my family and no one else. If my story happens to touch someone else then that is just a bonus.

    I wish each and everyone of you the best and I humbly thank you all! (Yes, I typed that with a tear in my eye so what?)
     
  5. Oct 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM
    #25
    Watari06V6

    Watari06V6 Faster than a speeding ticket

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  6. Oct 4, 2013 at 12:58 PM
    #26
    RearViewMirror

    RearViewMirror [OP] Saw things so much clearer once you... were in my

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    Thank you!
     
  7. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:38 PM
    #27
    DEEVON911

    DEEVON911 Semi-pro

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    Just found this thread, good for you for getting clean. I have an addict in my family, and I'm all too aware of what that can do to family. So glad you got it handled before that got torn apart.
     
  8. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:52 PM
    #28
    TnRedNeck721

    TnRedNeck721 GO VOLS!

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    +1 Good for you for getting clean and good luck staying clean man.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2013 at 8:54 PM
    #29
    Haslefre

    Haslefre Offline

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    Thanks for posting this. While I never have been to that point, I have dropped into depression and drinking before. These are the things that are very hard for me to read because I know plenty of people who have fallen into this life and lost their lives or jobs.

    I had a lot more typed out, but it's hard to bring a lot of it up. The people I have seen come and go, the people who aren't here. The friends I have lost because they fall into that routine so hard, they just randomly disappear. The family members gone, the ones I have to tell that I loved the person like a brother. I am glad for every failure of us as a society to help our brothers in arms, there are 2 lives saved by the same people.

    Keep it up sir, the things you have seen and continue to see would make me just lose it at this point.
     
  10. Oct 11, 2013 at 9:01 PM
    #30
    Forster46

    Forster46 Very nice how much?

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    I don't really know what to say other then I know how it feels to see things you wish you could unsee. I have nowhere near the years of experience and runs, so I can't say I know how you feel. All I can say is I respect the hell out of you. If you have any words of wisdom for a young cadet feel free to PM me. I have been in the volunteer service for five years and have seen some pretty bad stuff, but nothing like you have. I'm gonna be testing for seattle in a couple weeks, and will hopefully be starting a full time career as a ff.
     
  11. Oct 11, 2013 at 9:17 PM
    #31
    tinker_troy

    tinker_troy I feel so Devo

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    thank you for sharing
    that was a hell of a read
     
  12. Oct 11, 2013 at 9:24 PM
    #32
    ChamYota

    ChamYota AKA Crash Bandicoot

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    Thank you for sharing.

    Much respect.
     
  13. Oct 12, 2013 at 4:35 AM
    #33
    RearViewMirror

    RearViewMirror [OP] Saw things so much clearer once you... were in my

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    This is a copy and past of parts of a PM but I think some parts of this are equally important for others that may be going through the same thing:



    For my problem there was no easy or clear cut fix. Each person and each circumstance is different. But I do know this... You have only two options. You either have to want to make a change and stick with it or you have to hit rock bottom. Those are your only two options. I know that is probably not what you want to hear (I know I wouldn't want that answer given to me but it's true unfortunately). For me, I had to hit rock bottom. That was my only way out. I hope anyone going through this can find a better way than I did.

    When I went to the restaurant that day I don't believe that I had any control over what I was doing or planned to do that day. I remember the drive to the restaurant like it was just any other day but in my pockets I had a bottle of Xanax and Percocet so subconsciously I had a plan. I was high before I even arrived. Add alcohol to the mix and.... well... you know the outcome. I was at the end of my rope and didn't have the strength to climb back up. That day I gave up. But that day I got lucky also as strange as that sounds. I was unsuccessful at whatever attempt I was making and got a second chance. My best friend didn't get that chance on Dec. 23 2011. But I knew the next day when my wife of almost 13 years came home and I couldn't look her in the eyes that was the turning point. She had put up with a lot of my shit but I could see it in her eyes that this was the last straw. My wife and I don't fight. We didn't fight that night she came home and nothing was really said. Her face said it all. Add to the fact that I scared my (then) 7yr old daughter to death because she didn't know what was going on that was the motivation for me to make a change.

    From that point forward I made it my mission to get clean and sober. Like some of you I was terrified. What started off as a hobby to me (I love craft beer) turned into a nightmare in a instant. I saw how fast depression and all the vices that come with it took hold and i was scared. I made a promise to my wife that day that I would never do that again but you can imagine her skepticism but true to my word I have kept that promise. I will not lie to you and tell you it is truly a day to day process. I have my good days and bad days like everyone else. But rather than coming home and grabbing a beer / drugs I just deal with it as hard as that is sometimes. The shame of what I've done is too great to go back to where I was and I have now told so many people my story that I would literally have to travel out of state to buy beer so I wouldn't run into anyone while doing so lol.



    This is my daughter when she was almost 5. I had just built her a swing set in the back yard for her birthday. These are some of my favorite pictures of her but there is something that you can not see in the pictures that only I know about (and now all of you). I was drunk off my ass when I took them. Camera in one hand, beer in the other. I barely remember taking them and that is a shame because of the admiration you can see in her eyes. If she only knew.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    I missed about 3 years of her life growing up that I will never get back and for that I will feel guilty the rest of my life. All I can do is move forward and look to the future. I can not change the past.

    But I will say this. It is hard sometimes but even my worst days are better than the alternative. I still tuck her in bed every night and spend more time with my family (like I should have done in the first place) so that takes the place of the vices I once held on to. I blame my Profession on a large part of what happened and it is true. But I would be lying if I blamed it all on it. Yes, there are some things that I will never be able to get out of my head but I could and should have handled things in a much more productive way. So for that I take full responsibility.
     
  14. Oct 12, 2013 at 4:53 AM
    #34
    RearViewMirror

    RearViewMirror [OP] Saw things so much clearer once you... were in my

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    Words of wisdom? Don't keep it bottled up inside you. If something you see bothers you don't be "the man" and act like it doesn't. I did that (albeit unknowingly) for 16 years. That dam will break one day and I promise you, you will not be able to hold back the flood from that point. If you slowly release it then it doesn't have a chance to back up. I hope that makes sense.
     
  15. Oct 12, 2013 at 5:47 AM
    #35
    MQQSE

    MQQSE Chief Pal Guy, GOB

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    I guarantee you've helped more folks with this post than you will ever know.

    God Bless you and yours and keep you safe.

    I salute you.

    Sincerely, Rob
     
  16. Oct 12, 2013 at 6:57 AM
    #36
    rick

    rick `

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    great post and much respect B. you have missed a few years of your daughters life, but if there is a silver lining, it is that you only missed 3 years and not 30. she has her daddy back, and you have lots of time to build great memories
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  17. Oct 12, 2013 at 7:15 AM
    #37
    jrws6

    jrws6 Well-Known Member

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    Props! to the OP

    Better man than me :/
    Congrats brother :)
     
  18. Oct 12, 2013 at 7:26 AM
    #38
    Fenwick1993

    Fenwick1993 Hillbilly

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    I know you said you weren't posting this to gain praise and all that, but you definitely deserve it. Major props to you, OP, +1. Glad you saw the light, so to speak, and decided to step up for your family. That makes you a lot better of a man than most. I hope you continue to do well. Thanks for sharing your story with us, and thank you for your incalculable services. Best of luck.
     
  19. Oct 12, 2013 at 7:45 AM
    #39
    tacodane

    tacodane The Slow But Getting Somewhere Build

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    Glad to hear you made the right decision. My brother went through a lot when he was a fire fighter as well. 2 tours over seas in the military and what not. But I think what hit him hard was he got a call to a house his daughter was at for daycare and the entire house was on fire. He looked around in that house every in and couldn't find no one not even his daughter he panicked real quick. well luckily is wife picked her up early from daycare. but from your point of view I understand its not easy to do the job you do and I support every bit of it. Thanks
     
  20. Oct 12, 2013 at 10:38 AM
    #40
    El Tano

    El Tano i am the one who knocks

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    Very glad to hear that you are feeling better and now you can enjoy your life.
    That's why every time we see firefighters at the frozen yogurt with my son, we pay their bill.
    Last week we went to a Bbq place and there were 20 soldiers eating and we paid their bill and left. I Just left a note saying "thank you for your service".
    My mother was an ER nurse, I know you guys are first at the scene and the things you guys do for us. That's why i teach my son to be very appreciative to firefighters and soldiers.
    I wish the government will do more for you guys..
    Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your service.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
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