Addiction is a disease that has the ability to take over one’s life. However, sometimes the simple recognition of how this happens and why can be an opportunity to make a change and renew one’s lease on life. Today, John Dupre shares his personal story of acknowledgment and acceptance of battling addiction in, “The Battle I will Never Win.”
By John David Dupre
I begin this by saying an absolute truth: I have an addictive personality, always have and always will. I am a full-blown alcoholic, which is something I’ve tried to control, never could, and have lost a great many things because of it.
There are other things I was addicted to—pain pills, gambling, sex, steak, soft-core porn— if it makes your blood boil I’ve tried it and loved it to the fullest extent.
I stopped betting on basketball and football by taking myself out of the realm of sports bars and Sunday partying with the boys. I beat pain pills— because they killed several loved ones, and still do kill loved ones— by locking myself in my house and suffering for 17 long days. I’ll never quit sex, for the record…
But what led me here, today, was using one thing to stop another. Now I’m more out of control than I’ve ever been. It was during the 17 days I spent shaking and wishing I was dead from the opiates, that I turned to alcohol in the most real way I ever had. Sure, I’d always been a drinker, sometimes an epic dude, but it wasn’t my crutch, it was my fun. Those 17 days in 2010 changed all that and probably saved my life.
The dance: Battling addiction
I had fallen into shooting heroin, and taking upwards of 700 mg of Oxycontin in my nose, if I could afford it. I worked 60 plus hours a week and sold pot to support this habit. Then in August of that year I lost the person I held most dear. Losing her destroyed friendships and lives. I needed to stop before it took mine. So I buried myself with a bottle of Xanax, gallons of bourbon and swore to sweat out the opiates that were surely going to be my demise….
I hated the Xanax, but all of a sudden, for the first time, I needed the alcohol. I didn’t know it at the time, but my behavior reflected an inherent, almost instinct, to drink like there was no tomorrow to solve the smallest of problems, as well as the larger ones.
So, I quit the opiates, but I began a new dance, which ultimately led me to jail time, losing many many friends, jobs, and eventually my desire to live in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. I didn’t think I could survive there, so I moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.
This was probably not a smart move for an alcoholic in the restaurant business, but I figured if I wound up homeless, at least I’d be warm. Pathetic thinking. The rationale of someone consumed by something bigger and nastier than I could ever imagine.
The mindset: Self-gratification
I knew in the back of my mind I had a serious problem, I just didn’t give a fuck. I thought, “If I work and pay my bills I’m okay.” Being that I am very manipulative, it was easy for me to keep or gain acceptance…. Sneaky little shits do that… Although I’m no thief or any of that, I’m sneaky little shit to get what I want to self satisfy.
Florida was great at first and then, as a true drunk, I proceeded to fuck up every single blessing I had been given. I had been given a second lease on life, but my behavior was intolerable and unacceptable. Drinking more than ever, I pushed away people that believed in me. I screwed up two amazing jobs where I made more money than most people ever see. I allowed the alcohol to destroy relationships I’d gained and loved. And I still couldn’t look inside and accept any truth— that I was the problem and I only cared about my next drink.
Eventually, I wound up in Canada. Then after completely fucking that up I came to Rhode Island, where feeling totally sorry for myself, I vowed to drink myself to death. I’ve spent the last year and change doing exactly that.
Aftermath: The battlefield
I’ve tried to stop…more than once… and have failed in every way. I’ve tried to control it. It is impossible to control. Although I’m not afraid to die, I don’t want to. I love many people and I love living. Life can be lived sober, even by me.
I now have health issues, no doubt incurred by incessant drinking. I have hurt people who do not deserve to be hurt by my selfish pursuit of self-gratification. It is a disease. It cannot be conquered alone. I know I’ve tried and failed, miserably.
It’s an exercise in total humility to admit you can’t do it alone. While I’ve tried this before, I’ve never been humble enough to see it through. It has destroyed me. I have destroyed me. It is a battle I cannot win….
There are steps to be taken and I will attempt to take them once again… before I die or worse. Losing what you love because you want a nip or ten is unacceptable.
I am a guilty party…. I only pray that I have the strength to rise above this and save my own life…