My Life Before and After Narconon
I was born in a Dearborn, Michigan hospital and raised in Allen Park, Michigan. My life before I started using drugs was great! Everything was going fine. I had a whole lot of happy moments in my life. Playing my drums and music with friends, a good relationship with my parents and family as well. Lots of energy, happiness, laughter, smiles, and good times.
Back in the 80s, the hair band movement had taken over the airwaves. I started playing drums and hanging out with people who had the same or similar interests as me. I noticed that a lot of them were interested in drugs and alcohol too. This is when I began to use drugs.
Despite this, after high school, I signed a management contract with my band Steel Soldier. You can probably still find the late 80s video on YouTube by typing in Steel Soldier Heroes. I also had the privilege to record 10 songs in the same studio where the song “Smoking in the Boys Room” was recorded by the original Brownsville Station.
I don’t know how to look at this accomplishment now. It is not an easy feat to get somewhere in the music business. I had a lot of fun during my musical career. But with that career came a lot of drugs and immoral unethical behavior. So while this was somewhat of an accomplishment it also brought a lot of bad behavior into my life. My career was over by age 23 and it devastated me! My dream was gone and the drug use had taken hold.
Drugs seem fun at first and you can feel like you are having a good time with them and with your friends. While I took drug abuse to a new level in the music industry, I started using much earlier. Even in high school drugs had an impact on my school work and paying attention in class. I was less motivated to do my homework because of pot. And also at times made it difficult to stay awake and pay attention in class. I started to notice my 12 years of hockey and my 7 years of baseball started to get ruined. I was showing up to games and practices either hungover or stoned. One time I was pitching in a baseball game in a park where we regularly smoked pot. My pot-smoking “friends” were sitting on the picnic tables and as I am standing on the mound getting ready to pitch a person from my pot group thought it would be funny to yell “MARK’S ON DRUGS!!!” What he did not know is that my parents were sitting right there in their lawn chairs watching and heard him say that and my parents turned and looked at them. And I was so embarrassed!
So that was one of the first embarrassing moments of starting pot use. And “OH YES” my mom questioned me about it when I got home. I had to talk and dance around that one. But that was my first couple years of high school so I didn’t feel I was losing too much yet. Beginning in 11th grade I started to slow down on pot and drug use. I told myself that if I started drugs in high school I would be done with them by the time I graduate. And I was trying to live up to that promise I made myself. But the one mistake I did make as a senior in high school is a friend took me and my other friend a couple of miles down the street into Detroit where I lived just two miles away from and introduced me to my downfall. CRACK COCAINE!! I didn’t know anything about that drug. I had no intention or ever had a wanting to do that drug. And I had no idea that is what he was going down there for.
What lead me to come to Narconon at the age of 29 is that I had already tried other outpatient and in-patient NA programs for this terrible crack cocaine problem. And none of them worked!!
The sauna program to get the toxins out was a thing that I liked and found interesting. But also what I liked the most is that YOU ARE DONE WHEN YOU ARE DONE. You are not being rushed out the door because insurance says you are done. Or it’s only a 2-week program or a 2-month program and then you are told you are done and that now you need to go to pointless NA meetings the rest of your life. I am sorry but none of that worked for me. If it has worked for someone, great!! But I can honestly say that it DID NOT work for me!!! NARCONON DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I arrived I was a mess! I was broken, nervous, probably looked terrible, but was willing to do whatever it takes to get off drugs. I had a really nice and warm welcome from staff and students. The student body seemed to have a lot of positive and good energy. And in the condition I was in at the time THEY HAD WHAT I WANTED AND HOPED TO BE LIKE THAT ONE DAY. They seemed to have a different approach to things. And that is exactly what I wanted being I had already tried the NA programs and failed. So yes, I decided to stay and give this one a try.
I am now looking forward to the future and what that future may bring my wife and I. We have accomplished a lot together and can’t wait to see what else GOD may have in store for us.
One of my proudest and toughest accomplishments would have to be fighting and defeating my crack cocaine problem. It’s not the type of accomplishment that I go around bragging about. But deep down, I and a whole lot of people know how difficult the fight is. And once you have gone through the fight over and over and finally arrive to the day where you look around and can finally say “WOW!! I have come a long way.” My life is nowhere near where it was February 17th, 2000. And I have Narconon to thank for that!
The advice I have for the ones early in recovery is don’t give up! Stay in the fight! As long as you keep making the right decisions your life will continue to get better and better and BETTER until those days will add up to weeks. Then months. And then YEARS! Congratulations on being in the early days of recovery. You have already made the first good decision that will start your mind and your body onto the road to recovery. All the steps of this program are important! There is not one that is more important than the other. It’s the combination of all of them that will help you to defeat the drug problem in the end. In the beginning, it may not make sense at first. But you need to wait and get to the end of the program and you will see how it all comes together and gives you SO many tools in order to fight the drug problem. GOOD LUCK! AND I HOPE YOU PROSPER AND FLOURISH!