And The The Band Played On............

By
Dave Dauber
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

Addiction has touched my life on all levels: mentally, physically, spiritually, socially, professionally, and psychologically.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

There is a solution. Are you willing to work for it?

I grew up in a Northwest suburb of Chicago, Glenview. I played hockey and began playing the drums when I was about 5, but got more serious about it at about 15. My mother was abusive, physically and verbally and I think, sexually, but I am not sure. I grew up with mixed messages from my mother, which added to the constant chaos in my mind. I was raised by my parents, who both enjoyed part taking of the herb. They were both successful in their work and all of their friends were of the same mindset. I thought it was normal for people to smoke marijuana. At 13, I smoked my first joint with a friend. I am pretty sure, I had a contact high before then. Alcohol use started at 15 years old and I drank until I threw up. This was the beginning of an illustrious career in drinking and drugging.
By the time I was 18, I had tried meth, cocaine, ecstasy, acid, mushrooms, etc. About the only 2 things I did not do was smoke crack or engage in IV drug use. I started drinking until I blacked out, by this time. I started collecting DWI's at 18 years old and by 33, had 3. I have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance, which was thrown out of court, assault with bodily injury, which was lowered to unlawful restraint and had really destroyed my life. I was a hair designer for 21 years, was married from 22-32 and was slowly killing myself. I had eventually got to the point that I was using and/or drinking on a daily basis and had become suicidal. I had given away my wife, son, career, my mind, my spirit and everything material that I had amassed over the years. I attempted suicide in October of 2002 and thought there was no way out. I had stopped the use of everything but alcohol at this point, but was drinking about 1/2 gallon per night. I would drink until I fell asleep and would drink more, if I woke up.
I had been sentenced to AA on all 3 of my DWI's, but never worked a program. I had been on and off probation from 18 years old and finally completed my last in about 2005. In February of 2003, I walked into the probation department, reeking of alcohol from the night before. I was finally given the option of treatment or prison. With a gentle nudge from Denton County Adult Probation, I entered a 90 day treatment, in Chilton, Texas. For the 1st time in my life, I actually wanted to quit and learn how to live happy. I began listening to what counselors and members of the 12 step community were trying to teach me. I began to believe there was a solution and I wanted more of it.
I completed 60 days of treatment as the funding ran out and we were advised we would be leaving the next day. For the 1st time in my life, I uttered the words, God, if it is your will, find me a place in Waco. All I knew of Waco at the time, was the Waco Kid from the movie, Blazing Saddles. I moved into a sober living house and slowly transitioned into a leadership role. I completed 6 months of outpatient treatment and counseling for childhood victims of abuse. I made my meetings, got a sponsor and finally became a part of the solution. I began a journey of recovery that included changing everything about me. I came to believe,\ the alcohol and the drugs, were just a symptom of the problem that was me.
At 39 years old, I returned to college. I was terrified, because I was told I had to take college level math. By the grace of God and a lot of studying, I made it through school with a 3.92 GPA, was Mental Health Student (Not Patient) of the year, a member of Phi Theta Kappa and graduated with High Honors. I currently work as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor at Clear Springs Ranch, in Aquilla, Texas, which is just outside of Waco.
Oh, that sober living house, in Waco, Texas that I moved into after treatment...my wife of 7 years and I co-own and we house 12 men in recovery, that are all working a 12 step program and becoming productive members of society.
I am happy to say that I have lived 14 years of continuous contented recovery. I am no longer a slave to my addiction. I have surrendered to my disease and I have turned my will and my life over to a God of my understanding.
And the band played on.