This picture was taken in the summer of 2002.
I was 31, on Blood Pressure Medication, Cholesterol Medication and could not walk a flight of stairs without getting winded.
I wore a XXL-XXXL Shirt and a 48-50 Inch Waist. Believe I got as high as 325, though the highest weight I ever registered was 315.
I am holding Teddy, the little Doxie my Folks got for their 25th Wedding Anniversary, he would die in 2008 at the ripe old age of 15.
I finally quit drinking on 11/1/2002 after a 4-day bender. I finally got scared enough about my own physical future to really attempt to get better.
I take you to page 83-84 in the Big Book of AA:
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
I had Christmas in 2002 in an AA meeting, I went to meetings all over the area to find mine that worked for me. This particular time was different as a short way in, I met a man named Ray… Ray was about 17 years sober, raging, angry and bellowing bout how much he still wanted to drink and use.
That is when I understood that only Jesus Christ, the higher power I knew once as a child was the only way out of this mess. I knew I did not want to be raging about still wanting to drink after 17 years, I also knew that Jesus had never left. Once I let Jesus back in to my life, everything changed.
By 11/01/2006 (4 Years sober), I had taken over the family business, lost 130 LBS, was driving a neat-looking hotrod, was making double what I did previously and of course had just gotten Married 11 Days before. I was 35 and everything in my life had been turned on its’ ear.
I am not promising anyone reading that you will have the same earth-shattering results that quickly, but what I can tell you from working with people over the years and the results of getting sober, finding a higher power to rely on (which I hope is Jesus Christ) and being willing to work some sort of program for accountability will do wonders for your life.
When I first decided to be public about my sobriety, it was both an act of defiance against people around me that were embarrassed over it and to defend against people discovering it and using it for political gain. Over the years, it has turned in to something of a ministry where I get the chance to meet people all over the state in a similar situation. I’ve made some life relationships that are bound together by the common bond of being through the ringer.
This is me (Wearing the Black Baseball Cap) as of 10/21/2017 with a buddy at the recent CAGOP Convention. It serves as a reminder of the transformation.
At least for me, when I surrendered my will and the care of my life to Jesus Christ and worked a program of therapeutic recovery, everything changed.
The above picture is as much of a reminder as the stretch marks that are in various places of my body are a reminder of how obese I was. The scars remain as a reminder of what could happen to me if I suddenly decide that I know better than God, or if heaven forbid, I start thinking I am “Cured”.
Yes – I deal with hard-hitting politics and I often lead with my faith and personal experience when I write about people or situations. I hope this give you readers a little better perspective as to the significance of my faith. Without Jesus, I am not Sober. Without Sobriety, I have no Insurance Business, No Political Blog, No House, No New Cars and of course No Jodie.
For those of you that got a chance to read this, I hope you find some inspiration and perhaps feel closer to God as a result.