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Lesser Than

john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

Feelings and thoughts of being lesser than, echoing memories of those I’ve hurt along the way, the often seemingly insurmountable path to recovery that lay ahead and wreckage of my past that must cleared along the way are just a few of the challenges getting clean has presented. As I trudge this path I discover health issues from the years of abuse, emotional instability, and more pronounced immaturity, I grew up getting loaded and therefore stinted growth in such areas. Dental decay, Hep C, Insomnia, and a Criminal Record that isn’t going away, lack of schooling and a sporadic employment at best leaving me basically unemployable and faced with the thought of what’s next.

The trickster in my head wants me to forget that exactly what it would have me return to is what brought me to this state of disarray and turn back by inflating the struggle ahead into an impasse. Futile and not worth it, failure is far more comfortable to a dope fiend like me, normality versus the chaos I crave seems no match at all some days and therefore I pray. Hitting my knees some days and others sat upright or as I walk, occasionally while talking to you, often while I write, I pray and there are no specific words I say yet Please and Thank You are said most of all.

Recently some have suggested I slow down, well I don’t know how. Those who have come along dressed as everything from friends to family, advocates, and guardian angels only to let their true colors show have no bearing on my continued flow for each day something carries me along and each day I let. Protected from seeing the full scope of the damage I’ve caused, saved for a reason, and determined to reach as many as I can regardless of the cost I swear I will find a way.

A darkness has descended upon us in the form and shape of addiction slaughtering countless souls caught in its grips, my ability to break free of that nose dive is by no effort of my own. Being clean is a gift granted to me by a God I do not understand yet still I pray and therefore I give Thanks each time and say Please when asking that the obsession be lifted from one more day. Being granted this gift comes at a cost that I gladly put forth the effort to pay each day by carrying a message of hope, this debt is spiritual and God willing will never be fully paid for the energy to carry on is also delivered by its efforts. The struggles, challenges, and downright difficulties I listed are given a free ride in these efforts and the path is lit so long as I do this work well, I will not apologize for it and have no reputation to uphold.

The smiley faced glad hands who stroke their egos under the guise of spiritual beings be damned, they are sicker than the sickest of addicts and the lowest of bottom feeders I’ve encountered, preying on the weakened family’s pocketbooks like scavengers. These such pathetic individuals have come out of the wood works since my journey with Stop Frying Your Brain began and the loosely worn masks of genuine people fail to conceal that which lay beneath. The haters have come along on their coat tails, attempting to dampen my efforts yet claiming to have the same eventual goal of delivering a message and helping the addict who is still sick, if that were true than why the hate.

There should be no conflict if our mission objective is the same, no competition if we are all moving towards the same eventual goal and only collaboration if we all wish to see the sick become well. That and that alone is my objective and if your efforts also be true to that cause then onward we go aligned with one another regardless of the cost and indiscriminate towards who we help. If you pick up the phone and call me in need I will focus my efforts on finding you that help regardless of your insurance carrier and without regard for your financial means. Sure you can dig deep and pay for the comfort and soft pillow of high priced treatment but please do not confuse that with recovery, that is priceless and has no regard for your economic standing. Recovery cannot be bought despite commercials and facilities trying to sell it, no program in existence offers anything near a guarantee regardless of how hefty their price tag might be as freedom from active addiction is available to us all.

If you believe my efforts to be a challenge to you yet your motivation be true then by all means compete, please do your very best to reach as many as you can and carry a message of hope for I applaud your every step along the way. The addict that still suffers is my mission, delivering any form of inspiration that might aid them onward to a better life and save them so that they might in turn do the very same for the those yet to come. The unborn addict, the addict yet to take their first hit, sip, smoke or shot, the family suffering alongside of them and those families that which produce them most I seek to help break the cycle so that those yet to come will find this message before finding out on their own how dark and lonely addiction truly is. This is my objective and in these efforts,

I have found a sense of ease and comfort far greater than any narcotic could ever provide, a sense of lasting peace and protective shield from those who might seek to thwart my efforts. Quite ironic that I have found the most resistance from those claiming the same objective, the most critics among a community claiming the same goal and the most hate from those I watch mimic the style in which I go about doing so. Some of these people are profit mongers, ego maniacs and narcissists and that grace that protects me from the obsession to use also shields me from their efforts to bring me down.

Others too are exactly like me and driven by the natural human condition to compete they will find a greater voice and for that I am grateful, my prayer today is that God help me distinguish better between the too, continue to guide my every step and continue to shield me from the darkness I surround myself with in a world of addicts and the scroungers that prey upon them and their families. Live grateful, find your voice, speak loudly and reach many!

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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Last Time Out

john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

There were plenty of times in my life far worse than my last time using but not quite as demoralizing as that empty lonely feeling of accepting homelessness and pulling up some dirt underneath a playground. The ironic thing was that on either side of this patch of dirt between two churches anonymous 12th step groups met each day, multiple times a day to discuss the solution to the problem that had brought there. The churches themselves were built upon faith in a power above who could restore me from this bottomless pit of despair I now lay in and yet still their message had fallen upon deaf ears as I circled the drain and plummeted towards absolute zero.

For a week prior, I had been nose diving towards the avoidable fate and was powerless to do anything about it despite being consciously aware of the end I would certainly face alone. Fully employed and living in an apartment, driving a BMW with money in my pocket and convinced of my plan to relive my early glory days of criminality, I had also been informed about the progressive nature of my disease and knew in my heart of hearts I had no control over my actions and had changed far too much to execute this plan. Robbing and stealing, scheming, and scamming, lying and cheating was the order of the day back in my youth and although the actions I perpetuated this last time weren’t exactly forgivable I was no longer the victimizer I once was.

A ruthless streak inside of me kept me hovering just above this bottom and ultimately from acceptance of a complete surrender which has turned out to be the greatest of gifts in building a life of value and meaning. If faced with hunger I would take, poverty had no bearing on me as everything and everyone were simply tools for me to use as I took. Washing checks, assuming identities and stealing cars were common place in my hell bent younger years yet the changes I had felt and made in my life through attempting to recreate who I was had barred me from these actions. Internal strife and struggle launched this mental war within my head and as I fell deeper into the emotional combat I lost sight of the cliff I was stumbling off. Knowing full well that if I didn’t look up I would surely stumble clean over the edge I couldn’t stop my feet compelled by some unseen force destined to face my final dissent. If I were to survive the fall I swore this would be the fate I would never face again.

The job was suffering as I couldn’t pull myself from the bathroom after doing a shot, blood on my sleeve and eyes pinned in the light or saucers in the shade, sweating with lips chapped and dried, the desert is no place for tweaking. Eventually it became far too great a liability to keep me on as I would argue and fight with anyone to deflect how I felt about myself, I couldn’t arrive on time and sometimes wouldn’t make it at all. On the specific day that would be my last I was hardly there at all and for the time I was likely caused more damage than not, yelling profanities at a co-worker and sneaking off the shoot up quite often. The thing was I hadn’t paid my rent and had to move out of my apartment and was staying in the very hotel I worked at and driving a vehicle the boss had been financing my purchase of so if one went so would the rest. I knew this and yet still I could not keep it together and essentially forced this man’s hand, he couldn’t possibly keep me working when clearly, I wasn’t doing anything of value and was putting him and his place of business at risk.

One day I woke up in the hotel confused at how I had fallen asleep in the first place despite the dozen or so days I had been awake living in a hotel room with half a biker club coming and going, needle’s and dope everywhere and all at the very place I worked. Stepping outside I saw the wheel had been removed from my BMW (that wasn’t really mine because I hadn’t been paying for it) along with the lug studs to thwart a speedy getaway. Stumbling over to the main office to complain about this atrocity I was met with my final check and told this would be my last night at the hotel. Bing Bang Boom, no car, no job, no place and all because I couldn’t look up long enough to avoid the cliff I stumbled directly over, I was shocked somehow and well wouldn’t you be!

What normally would have sparked an immediate return to the criminal actions that haunted every waking moment of my past, this time I had no will to victimize others left in me, I would fall alone. Reaching out for help from anyone fool enough to still listen I was crashing hard from lack of dope or will to live and my cries fell upon deaf ears as one door after the next slammed shut. A dear friend who had a sober house picked me and the last of my belongings up off the curb in front of the hotel and was somewhat hesitant but let me stay until it was clear that detoxing here wouldn’t be a good look for the other residents who were all still early in their efforts to recover.

Waking in the morning I was told I had to go and as she was my final option as it were the remaining option was the street or a crime spree which I had already accepted as non optional. Gracious enough to allow me to store my things there at her home I insisted I be dropped off where the homeless people gather and accepted my fate. No dope to mask this harsh reality of homeless in the relentless desert sun in the middle of summer I fell deeper into a state of demoralization. Backpack packed with nothing essential to survival and crashed out on some concrete in front of the local grocery store with the veterans of this street life surrounding me, I owned the fact that it was my actions that brought me here. Once again, the trickster of my selfish and self-centered thinking had left me with nothing yet something was different this time, I began to pray.

That night I followed one of the fellow men in despair to a Filipino church that we heard had free dinner and as we ate the spaghetti and salad they prepared and listened as they preached about their God. Feeling empty at the time and unable to recognize their altruism for what it was, I snickered at this message of hope and knew there must be an ulterior motive yet they asked for nothing and only hugged us and thanked us for coming. I followed this street veteran who led the way to a safe place to call home for the night, it just so happened to be underneath a playground between two churches where not only the congregation met but also various anonymous fellowships, multiple times a day on either side discussing the solution. How ironic that this would be my first night clean, how ironic that I now attend groups at both locations, in both fellowships, share and participate and find my community and a host of friends. The next morning, I pulled myself from out from underneath this playground as a pastor came and told me “You Can’t Stay Here!” I strolled back to that grocery store and plopped myself back down.

.   “God please end this suffering I continuously cause myself” was about the best prayer I could muster just as a friend from the fellowship passed by and said four very spiritual words to me, a mantra I now somewhat live by. “FUCK THAT, GET UP” he pronounced, reaching his hand down and pulling me up from despair. That moment has been the forefront of a journey I am surprised by with each passing moment. Today I am eternally grateful for the constant reminder of the pain I never wish to return to that playground represents, the bottom I never sought to reach is now the bedrock from which I build an amazing life beyond my wildest dreams.

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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The Beauty of the Forest

john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

The disease of addiction doesn’t come at me with a full-frontal assault as it knows better, centered in my mind it has spent a lifetime getting to know me and my weaknesses.

This affliction is not external, it is as much a part of me as the nose on my face and as it is progressive in nature the further I am from my last fix the more of it I have. Powerlessness doesn’t go away, as a lack of power is my dilemma then the solution would be to seek a power and in such seeking, is where I have found it. The power I have found to find freedom from active addiction is granted to me by the power that I seek in spirituality. These are matters for each man to discover for themselves as recovery is not a team sport, we each walk our own path, have our demons and the although our solution may be the same the means by which we find it can often differ.

The anonymous fellowships that meet regularly to discuss the program of action found within their literature have often, in my mind been confused with the program itself and this has resulted in conflict, strife, struggle, and relapse throughout my path. Having lost sight of the beauty that forest holds for the ugliness of some of it trees I took what I heard in meetings in all sorts of ways confusing it for the simple instructions I would have found if only having cracked the book. The printed word may have been written by man yet I believe it to be divinely inspired and it’s track record for success if without parallel however what is said before finding the willingness to delve into the literature could potentially prove fatal.

Having sat in the rooms long enough to know that some insanity is usually at play in each of our lives and listened to the disease spew from our mouths I must stay vigilant to remember my words are powerful and may be the first introduction to the program an addict will receive. The program is in the literature and the fellowship is where we gather to discuss that program and give each other support while applying it in our lives. This be true from the newest newcomer to the oldest old-timer and for everyone in between as it makes no difference how far I am from my last fix, I’m no further from the next regardless of the length of time that passes.

 

Occasionally I will witness behavior becoming of a person still caught in the grips of the disease who is in fact decades from their last buzz, this is proof of the progressive nature our disease holds and I stay grateful that we are not all sick at the same time. Dope and Booze are the means by which we treat this disorder until a spiritual solution is found and this disease I have found can and will only be treated in one of those two ways. Either seek a spiritual solution or seek out that next high for those of us afflicted don’t have much middle ground between getting better or getting worse. This is the engine behind our success usually, defying all odds and rising above even the greatest of expectations regardless of how far we had fallen before our arrival.

Today I am blessed and celebrate a relationship with a higher power I do not understand yet trust in its ability as it shields me from thoughts of using and the self-destructive nature my illness yields. It is a gift that I receive so long as I stay the course and avoid the booby traps and pitfalls I have fallen prey to so many times before, when I stay in the solution I find more of it. If I were to travel to any bar room floor or dope den I’m certain I could easily find droves of folks with the same dilemma as myself yet in the rooms I seek solution, I’m interested in the problem as I have plenty of it, I want to hear and share about just what exactly we do about that problem.

What are we doing that works, how do we continue to do it and where do we go when things get rough is the basis upon which the fellowship thrives and continues to save lives. One addict at a time, we do get better, we do get back up and for this we do need each other yet be you one man with the book in your hand you have all you need for a beginning. Follow the instructions within as a manual for better living, where it says to write, pray, share, and work with others follow suit and do as it suggest and you will be amazed at how your life transforms from desperation to inspiration. Each and every one of us who arrives has an amazing opportunity to do something about our problems, the problem is that it works so well you may forget you have a problem and this is why we keep coming back!

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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A Call To Action!

With a world flooded with those who would seek to take advantage of those in need, the fleecing of private insurance providers by insane overbilling schemes and fraud within the treatment industry doesn’t end there.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

When a few ounces of urine are converted into liquid gold by profit mongers using elaborate laboratory schemes promising riches that far exceed any realm of reason, the sincerity of the message literally gets flushed down the toilet. Multi-million-dollar yacht owner James Slattery aptly named his boat “Pissed Away” as almost a means of mocking the federal investigation of his company Millennium Health and the subsequent 256 million dollars fine which was paid the day it was ordered.

This story seems overshadowed by the Chris Bathum scandal by where the self-proclaimed Rehab Mogul is alleged to have perpetrated over $400 Million in fraud, racking up 75 sexual assault charges and earning himself a 35 years sentence. Most recently we watched as the FBI raided Sovereign Health treatment facilities across Southern California to advance their criminal investigations of fraudulent activity within that billion-dollar business. Add to that the Steve Johnson saga in Palm Beach racking up 48 charges of patient brokering and so as the list grows from top to bottom we are forced to stare the corruption down as the epidemic grows.

The opioid epidemic can no longer be swept under the carpet as mainstream America and the world feel its deadly grip grows, grasping increasingly more within its fatal clutch.

The CDC mortality rates may not be the precise statistics some may require in order to raise the red flag yet you simply need a stroll through any impoverished area in order to look this beast in its eyes. That isn’t to say this blight on our species is limited to those poverty stricken by any means as suburbia suffers alongside the ghetto watching its youth die in unimaginable numbers.

Numbers and stats, rates and flow charts can’t compare to the pain we each feel when this brutal onslaught touches down in our lives and we are left baffled as to where we should turn for help. The headline news highlights these two evils almost simultaneously leaving fear for the lives of the addict in our world and doubt that any true help exists.

Power corrupts and great financial means is often confused as such which is what may cause these perpetrators to believe themselves untouchable until some alphabet agency kicks in the door, but what about the addict?

What about the loved seeking help and assistance dealing with the addict? What about the society that will bear the cost of treating the addict?

The solution is transparency and openness in this business which when corrupted is often shrouded and guarded from peering eyes hidden behind HIPAA, a protection intended to aid the client not the facility. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) is United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This legislation has been the protective shield for many clients, helping them find recovery without fear of the unfortunate stigma addiction carries.

Being that 91 Americans die every day from opioid overdose and over half those are prescribed by their primary care physician this shadow of darkness must be brought into the light!

When the epidemic more than doubles in deadly force from 2015 and the 33,000 estimated dead from opioid overdose alone, 158,000 estimated total deaths from all drugs that year to shocking numbers this year proves to show, we must rally together for effective means of putting this evil genie back in it’s lantern. 2017 shows so far to be the deadliest year on record where overdose is concerned and it’s only a little more than half over.

Combining the scandal and fraud perpetrated by the very institutions tasked with combatting this disease, the TRILLIONS spent, billed and thrown at it and the headline news airing something about the growing epidemic we must rethink, shift and find a new way. We at Stop Frying Your Brain are a community of over a quarter million addicts joining hands as we do at the end of meetings and shouting for change!

..Revolution in the means we go about treating the addict! Real Progress in the fight against the deadly killer which is not on the streets but the illness within!

Transparent facilities with open doors and legitimate practices! You got nothing to hide you say, SHOW ME! No more will we stand for the same lies and bureaucratic run around, we want to know what you plan to do different! Countless treatment facilities claiming to be evidence based,  well show us the evidence!

The numbers are shocking and I’m not quoting sources because I want you to look them up, I want you informed and not by me, go look and find 90% relapse rates, 85% of all in need receive no help at all, 23 million in need, 4.7 trillion billed…. This disaster must be treated as such, Start asking questions, start taking action!

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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Enable me Not

Everyone who ever picked me up and dusted me off along the way only increased the amount of times I fell, those who attempted to protect me from the depths my addiction needed to fall may have played a hand in how long it took to reach a sufficient enough bottom.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

Scraping along and hovering just above complete defeat is just as demoralizing as the absolute zero finally obtain, sparing me from a certain death and allowing recovery to begin.

This isn’t an attempt to shift the blame for my addiction onto my enablers, I was an addict regardless of their efforts or existence and honestly it was my manipulation that kept them from turning their backs and letting me drop out. Turning someone’s love into a weapon against them is one of the trade crafts of addiction and is our means of spreading the sickness to all we encounter. They become quite spiritually ill and at some point, may even be dependent on our illness as a sense of purpose almost unconsciously playing a part in relapses and without knowing possibly our deaths. You can’t soften the blows without increasing how many we’ll take.

This isn’t phenomenon, it isn’t rare and isn’t wrong as it starts and is rooted in the very beauty of being human. We love and take on the role of caregiver sometimes unwittingly yet when matched against the formidable foe of addiction this base instinct to care for one another becomes corrupted and perpetuates the disease.

The insidious nature of this illness moves through society like any other outbreak yet the symptoms are not only seen in those afflicted directly, there are those too who we encounter and break in our own special way.

There does exist a means of treating this spiritual bankruptcy yet the antidote has no effect until a crash landing upon an individual bottom is reached. What that bottom may look like is varied from addict to addict, from the soccer mom who misses her pick up to the homeless man who picks his dinner from the dumpster, we all face our own scenario. The one thing that rings true is there is nothing, absolutely nothing that you can do to cure or fix us and being user’s, we will use you up if you try.

Our cries for help are sincere, we not only want it but we need it yet self-centered and selfish to the core of our disorder we don’t see the affect our pain and suffering has upon you.

It is impossible for us to sympathize and show you empathy as we are consumed by the bondage of self that embodies our addiction. Somewhere along the way and not knowing exactly where we cross over the invisible line and put ourselves beyond the power of choice and far from the reach of human aid, the relentless persistence of self-destruction and cycle of abuse has begun.

Spiraling towards an unknown depth brings about a polarizing fear by which blinds us to our impact on those who we hurt along the way, if you reach out to help us with material solution we will take it and squander it as there is no solution of that means sufficient enough to stop this dissent. Recovery can’t be bought or sold and has no requirements for a beginning other than we begin at a place of surrender that you cannot provide, it must come from within.

Drawing from my own experience, blessed with a loving family that cared for me to no end and having a way with words, I could manipulate and manufacture a reason to take relentlessly as though the aide they provided was my privilege.

The sober alcoholic father and his personal struggle and subsequent recovery from a seemingly hopeless state of body and mind became my habit’s greatest resource. The disease we shared and the gift of recovery he found while my mother was pregnant with combined with the love of a father for his son made for the ultimate weapon when used by this dope fiend as I turned that all against him.

Today I can’t imagine what that must feel like, knowing full well he financed and fueled my using all the while praying for me to hit a bottom that he may have played a part in my resistance. Not his enabling nor his disease made me an addict and I fault him not for the support he gave me regardless of how ineffective it was, I recognize that my illness kept him sick as well. This wasn’t isolated to solely my parents, anyone fool enough to fall for my nonsense from employer to whatever hostage like relationship I had talked my way into was another means of keeping myself from the dreadful thought of going without.

The single greatest enemy I faced was always me and it didn’t matter how much aide, support, love or concern you threw my way I would always draw it up and inject it.

Nothing was held sacred in my active addiction and not a damn thing I said should have been trusted no matter how much I appeared to believe it. The quandary them who held me so dear faced when proposed with the pain of watching me destroy myself or coming to my rescue was a fabrication and elaborate rouse this disease displayed to make you believe those were two separate things.

The fact is I was going down in flame regardless of how your efforts may have prolonged the actual crash landing, it was an inevitability that hardly any man, woman or child had the ability to help me avoid. The could of, would of or should of show I ran through my head on the regular has ended, the fat lady sang her last song and I finally faced the music alone in world where your never far from anyone else the isolation was a cell within my mind. Not the shame or guilt of how I had been brought me to my knees but rather a feeling of loneliness I shudder to describe.

With each self-centered thought and action I took the walls of my mind closed in on me bringing about a sense of being alone regardless of the proximity of other people. Surrounded by that loving and amazing family with my own child in my arms and still I felt all by myself. It was this feeling, not the external circumstances that pushed me hardest to find a solution, it is this feeling that today keeps me striving to recover.

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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Busted and Disgusted

Getting arrested isn’t anything new to this dope fiend, it’s been going on my entire life. The feelings felt that first time the cuffs got slapped on were so long ago I could possibly bring them into my consciousness with any real merit.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

The years of being fueled by massive amounts of high powered stimulants kept me numb to the effects of something as traumatizing as being captured and whisked away by police.  I recall watching those around me begin to sweat the endless possibilities that having been busted might hold while I smiled and felt thankful for my indifference. Unsentenced time always seemed to last the longest as you pondered just exactly how long it would be before you saw the streets again.

So long as the offensive was not so major as to not provide an exit date I was relaxed and estimated the maximum penalty, mentally sentenced myself to that and crashed out. It took a long time before I linked my drug use and the frequency I was incarcerated, I always thought it was because I was a criminal simply unfit to live in everyday society.

This illusion made me far more comfortable imprisoned then those around me appeared to be, I had no fear of my peers and quickly realized the scariest looking ones of the bunch were those most consumed by fear.

The front and façade of their persona didn’t seem threatening to me and in retrospect had I developed a fear of these place I likely would have avoided them more. That wasn’t the case for me, it wasn’t as though I enjoyed it in there although if you looked my record would reflect something different. Doing time is not hard once you conclude that no matter how much time you think you can or can’t do it doesn’t matter, you do as much as you can and they’ll take care of the rest.

The system isn’t designed for comfort or convenience, it isn’t geared toward rehabilitation or reform and sure doesn’t care what you think or feel. Less than a few hundred men are tasked with the daunting detail of controlling a population of drug addicted, violent and criminally minded individuals that number in the tens of thousands.

All levels of society end up in the penitentiary, break the law once or serially and you run the therefore if you be addicted to an illegal substance your breaking the law every time you feed you disease.

Dope is how I treated my illness, it wasn’t the cause or result of the disease but rather the means at which I kept it at bay. Crime was not limited to the consumption, procurement, or possession of such substances and somehow, I avoided arrests for such crimes mostly only being apprehended for those which I committed as a means of financing the ferocious need I had for more.

The ways and means I went about to find and get more dope combined with an ever-increasing tolerance in turn increased the frequency and severity of the criminal acts I needed to commit to fund this hefty habit. Don’t leave anything exposed to the possibility of theft when surrounded by addicts, not all but most will take it, I know I would. So quick I could steal your socks without taking your shoes off and if I thought it might leave opportunity to do so again I would help you look for them afterwards.

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Many men and women have met their surrender on a jail cell floor, there exists no special set of circumstances necessary to meet this gift of desperation head on you simply must be open to it when it arrives.

The system doesn’t care how scared or prepared of incarceration you might be and the shocking level of acceptance over this concept I had begun at the ripe old age of 14.

Experience and repetition softened the blow this calamity for me but that doesn’t have to be the case for you, let it shock and awe your senses and come to terms with doing whatever it takes to keep it from being an eventuality in your life. The nation is turning the tide of how it addresses this disorder where law enforcement and punishment is concerned so embrace that along with them.

Treatment seems to be a far lesser cost and well more effective means of combatting the alarming recidivism rate our criminal justice system has seen. Incarceration doesn’t seem to be at all a deterrent for committing future crimes, this disease must be treated as such and as a society we are started to come to terms with that cold fact.

Court houses and judges across the land are looking for better ways to stop the revolving door of prison and county jails and the common denominator seems to be an ongoing means of addressing the addiction separately from the criminal act that may or may not be isolated to solely the abuse of drugs.

We are a people with a disease from which there is no known cure and that reality has the prison system packed to the very brim with people destined to return repeatedly until treating the illness becomes a priority. Most public defender’s offices employ substance abuse assessment units to better serve the needs of those addicted faced with doing time or finding treatment. Judges will likely opt for ordering residential treatment where applicable rather than yet another trip to the county jail and with these humble beginnings we may see the tide turn against an epidemic that steals increasingly more lives each year.

Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

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New Found Friend

The day I stepped off the plane in San Diego was like arriving on a distant planet, some space explorer weary of his surroundings and incredibly fearful of what dangers lie ahead. Not having more than a couple of days past since my father came home and told us to pack our clothes, I was now in California.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

This place I knew about from the movies and as big bad of a world that surrounded me in New York City was, I admit to being relatively sheltered. The enormous size of my family and tightly knit bond between us kept my view during childhood limited to those within it, good solid Irish-American Catholics in fear of God. Our community in the Far Rockaways was one of unlocked doors and open arms billowing with pride and a real sense of who we were. The culture transplanted from Ireland and visible at every turn gave us a real sense of that which brought us so close to one another, something that lacked greatly in my view of this new home I had found.

The baby weight hadn’t quite burned when I started stacking pre-puberty calories and I cannot deny having been a chubby kid upon arrival. The NYC accent shone through making me sound different and the style I brought with me didn’t quite fit in either, I was a beacon for attention and the sharks quickly began to sense blood in the water. On the flight, my mother sparked a conversation with another woman on the plane who spoke of the Poway Unified School District as being one of the best in the state if not nation. Concerned greatly with giving us the best they could possibly provide and having worked in education administration since becoming a mother that district was destined to be our home. What a difference between Rancho Bernardo and Queens, New York meant to me was a cultural shock that left me searching for an identity and insecure about who I was.

Any elementary school in the world will have its share of teasing and bullying regardless of how privileged or poverty stricken the area might be and my weight, accent and style made me prime candidate.

What my would-be harassers didn’t count on was the immense training in physical violence a tight knit family with many older male cousins will teach a young man and where I came from all but promoted the school yard fisticuffs. The teasing balled my fists and their challenge was accepted quickly as this was something I was familiar with; the result of an actual fight was something they were not. In the wake of such interactions I began to cultivate a bit of a reputation because to my surprise, having been beat up by a dozen or so older cousins regularly and returning such training to my younger kin left me with some rare skill sets in this part of the world. In short, I found out I could fight and so did they, both my peers and the staff of that school drawing unintentional negative attention.

Negative as it might have been it was attention no less and another by-product of the family had grown up to this point with was a lack thereof, not to any extent of neglect but naturally so given our staggering numbers.

The abilities imparted upon me by the attacks I had received and delivered among the boys of my family were now my greatest asset, quashing the teasing and giving me somewhat popularity. I cultivated this bad boy reputation from there and my attitude and appearance began to custom fit the persona. I was popular and liked or disliked that must have been important to me, I know it fed my budding ego and some false pride began to seep in. The “Real Me” would have to wait and remain an inner monologue as I exerted this tough guy image, who I was became far less important and over time would recess further into the obscurity of my mind.

The years following my arrival in the alien environment of Southern California saw my bright smile transform into a scowl, my fear of God dissipated and eventually disappeared, the intelligence I was blessed with no longer served me.

The rough and unapproachable façade I adorned would keep me safe and put those I encountered at arm’s length, the image I was representing would begin to take hold and my actions to support and reinforce it would lead down a dark road. In the beginning, it was simply acting out whenever I felt any type of way and regardless of the consequences I would feel better but soon I found alternative means of escaping my feelings with far more rapid results. The weekends were drinking, fighting, and destroying property, lying to my parents, and staying out all hours until those weekends spread into the week. This may sound typical of the late teenage or college years many experience yet I was barely in middle school yet and not even in my teenage years.


The onslaught of puberty matched with the excessive drinking and taking of whatever, I would raid from the medicine cabinet of friend’s parent’s bathrooms, smoke pot and do anything else that came along.

This such debauchery dulled my senses and freed me from inhibition dropping my guard against the drug that soon took my full attention. Speed came first from one such medicine cabinet, Adderall prescribed to a friend’s younger brother and a full bottle no less. Myself and the co-conspirator I unwittingly dragged along discovered this gem of pharmaceutical fun after breaking into the house of someone we knew to be away on an extended vacation the summer before entering my final year as a middle schooler.

At the ripe old age of 12 I wasn’t in the least bit fearful of our burglary bringing any trouble my way, after all it was trouble that freed me from having to feel like myself at first. In my mind who I was becoming was great and in retrospect probably kept me from feeling the depression and awkwardness of those years which may have killed me.

Already buzzed from the booze we pilfered out of the stocked bar in this house I didn’t even pause a moment to consider popping the top off the prescription and splitting up the spoils with my accomplice. 30 little pink pills sat in my palm for less time than it would take to count as I threw them in my mouth giggling as I washed them down with another swig of some liquor and prompted the kid I dragged along to follow. The fear in his eyes was exciting for me and I knew he would join me as his need for acceptance ran far deeper than mine, we didn’t know what we were doing and who really does at that age. The difference is we probably had better sense of who we were than most, mainly we knew we didn’t want to be whoever that person inside us appeared as and certainly didn’t want to feel how that felt.

BOOM!!! I was found finally and at long last as the intense stimulation from this miracle of modern science began to course my veins, I was alive and cared not that the effects of the alcohol were washed away.

This felt amazing and I wanted no interruption to distract me from its powers, I could do or be anything or anyone, my senses enhanced and fear vanished. This feeling was shared by my friend who suddenly went from timid and nervous to pronouncing himself a God and storming through the house smashing things at will. Laughing and assisting in this gratuitous vandalism and expression of new found power we both seemed to now have the ultimate solution to becoming the people we had been pretending to be. This show needed to be taken on the road as the confines of this house became too small for the aspirations of debauchery expanded within and without hesitation we abandoned this place and paraded through the neighborhood knocking over and kicking through anything in our path.

Without even noticing the entire night had gone past and here we were still invigorated with the spirit of an invading force the could not be stopped. “This stuff is amazing, maybe we should be on it!” stated my future co-defendant and my only response was “Yeah, I don’t think you’re supposed to take 30 at a time…” We laughed and continued.

The only thing I was concerned with was getting more of my new found favorite form of escaping into this amazing place of absolute freedom. What would I have to present as symptoms to my parents, teachers, or doctors to keep this in steady supply was my dominating thoughts as it slowly trickled from my system. Even then I knew that half of the month long supply I had taken was barely enough to last a few days before the yearning for more crept in and I wanted to feel this way all the time… The Hunt was ON!

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

Theme song short

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Theme song Long

 

My Family Had No Bearing On My Addiction

Born into what I now know to be an epic family, truly one of the greats, I can firmly say and absolutely believe they had no bearing on my addiction.
john wallace

John SFYB Admin/Outreach

Perhaps the enabling could be pointed as what made them sicker as my disease progressed but I was what I was and am what I am because of something far from their blame. Constantly I here to people making references to the genetic factor titling addiction as a “family disease” and yes there may be far more exposure and access drawing those with the inkling to cross over the threshold and place themselves beyond the power of choice in some situations.

This undeniable truth doesn’t account for those who have no real trauma to speak of or upbringing that might be to blame yet still suffer and hit bottoms the same if not lower as those that do. In my ancestral chain, there exists a mild prevalence of self-diagnosed alcoholics along with obvious addicts regardless of their denial and this personal experience is where I speak from.

No medical or psychological training supports my opinions nor does academic study reinforce that which I have lived, the views I express are and have been hard-won through experience alone.

They are mine and if you disagree with them yet still find yourself wanting to read further I hope I can at least entertain you if not provoke some thought and consideration. Each of us walks their own path and in reflecting on the steps we take, we can either argue the differences keeping us terminally unique or seek the similarities in search of the message that is almost always found.

The third of four siblings, when I was brought screaming into this world my older brother was 4 years old and our sister 2 years my senior. Only but a few months earlier had my father been rendered sober by means of industrial intervention when his employer offered him a chance to go away and do something about his uncontrolled alcoholism or simply go away. In a moment of clarity, he saw the young family and pregnant wife who depended upon his ability to provide for them not fairing so well had he not at least accepted the offer.

The 30 days in “spin-dry” he was blessed with prompted 38 years of uninterrupted sobriety thus far and to this day he affirms his absolute intent to drink again as soon as he satisfied them.

Once they were off his back he would tip his hat, pull up to the bar and rejoin the rest of the only society he had ever know.

This was Far Rockaway in 1979, nothing but Irish Catholic working men of the middle class, tightly knit and socially married to the ritual of the drink. Breezy Point was, at that time and in many ways, remains an extreme case of voluntary segregation. I only recall one single child that didn’t have Celtic blood flowing through his veins when growing however two lovely Hibernians adopted him.

Every man of marrying age wore the Claddagh Ring, Cead Mile Failte on every doorstep and exclusively populated by friends and family of the same socio-economic and ethnic background.

Irish town through and through with as many police officers as fireman residing within its confines, one church which of course was Catholic and a pub that needed no décor to dress up as any more authentically Irish. Booze was as part of the culture in that NYC off-shoot as anything else and the exposure as children we had certainly didn’t slap away the thought of having that first drink.

The point I’m making is simple, my father’s alcoholism wasn’t passed to me in anyway more than his was to him and the proof of that is seen in my siblings who don’t suffer as I did yet still have drank and used drugs. If this genetic predisposition held some validity it would also be shared with those of the same bloodline, especially my elder siblings who were there to witness to my father’s drinking yet can maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol.

This is a Human Disease and if you happen to have humans in your family then there lies potential for it to spread.

That isn’t to say that environment doesn’t play a part in the perpetuation of addiction or ferocity of its spread, it just is one such form I’ve found of owning what is mine. This disease wasn’t something I contracted at conception although there might be some merit behind having born with it by no fault of Mom and Dad.

The older brother I mentioned earlier and I went to the same schools, grew up in the same loving household, same parents, churches, priests, sports, and overall environment. Today he teaches at a Catholic school, married his high school sweetheart, is raising FIVE beautiful children, owns a home, and has a pension from a FedEx Career of 15 years. In stark contrast despite the identical circumstances and situations we shared growing up my story includes 9 felony convictions, 27 months in every county funded treatment facility in San Diego, countless arrests, track marks that outdated his starting at FedEx, homelessness and not a single romantic relationship that has made it over a year.

This phenomenon is by no means a rare or unique case study, do your own research and call me a liar but that’s my life.

The older sister who also is a teacher of special needs children for Catholic schools was closer in age and even used dope herself early on yet is also a happily married mother of two remarkable youngsters with a career and home to call her own. The youngest of my siblings has a similar story short of the Catholic teacher career, she owns a fitness business that is thriving, has an amazing marriage and is a mother of 3 incredible kids that raises with her husband in THEIR home.

For FAR too long I sat and stirred in the pathetic thought of “Why Me?”, victimized by this clearly unjust world and fueling the fire behind my need to get high, if you felt like I did you would use like I was too! The thing about the family background I just described is I had no way to blame them, if it were their fault in any way it would have affected them as it had me.

The faith shared by my older siblings is something I envy yet my younger sister only 18 months my junior isn’t a devote Catholic as they are so my lack of faith isn’t what made me different, what did that was my disease telling me every day that I was so.

Not being able to point a finger and show the world what had been done to me, granting myself permission to carry on only prompted me to create such a tragic tale that would justify the self-loathing lifestyle I clung to.

The only tragedy today is that I didn’t see myself sooner or at least open enough to let you see me, I wasn’t willing to change, my surrender was not complete and so on it went. In the end I found a beginning and cleared away the old lie of yesterday, we do recover and I am worth the life I lead today. Day by day life improves and more is revealed, the stigma and lies of yesterday slip away and my faith grows. It took a long time to get my head out of my ass, it’ll probably take a while to clean it off as well…

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Stop Frying Your Brain song kept rattling around in my head after visiting their website. It was worse than it’s a small world at Disneyland. Eventually… I would hook up with those guys and it’s all because of that one stupid song.

Theme song short

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How Have I Made It This Far?I Refused

Raymond Kyle

Founder Warrior Foundation.

For many of us our past at times may have made us wonder how we are still alive today? Well I will tell you how….by the grace of God!

We all have done things in our lives or put ourselves in situations that it’s a miracle we made it out of. For some of us like myself it seemed to become and everyday thing. We would willingly put ourselves out there not caring what the outcome would be. Escaping death for the first time was scary but then it no longer became a fear it became who we were.

You may ask why God would save us time and time again when we didn’t even attempt to save ourselves. Why would he save us and not the ones who died doing the same things we were? Well all I can say is its by his grace we are here today! His mercy and his love is what has gotten us to this point in our lives.

How Have I Made It This Far? Click to Tweet

He is a father to us all so therefore he protects his children. If you are one of us blessed children of God that has lived the life of addiction and crime then you are here still cause you have a purpose that you need to fulfill. So to you I say quit asking why you are here and start asking how do I fulfill my purpose. God has a plan and it’s up to us to fulfill than plan. God bless you!

Raymond C. Kyle

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  • Stop Frying Your Brain Our Capabilities Please join our network of over 250 facility operators ! stopfryingyourbrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here to learn more Do you...
  • Lost In Limbo? Hey if you need a friend and some help reach out to me Robert @ 772.206.6676 If you’re a service provider and wish to become a member of our network call John...
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  • stopfryingyourbrain.com one of the most viewed Substance Abuse sites in the nation click here to learn more   We are looking for the best books to recommend to our user community. If you are an...
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