BoxcarMike What it was Like and What it is Now


Hello Everyone!

It is good to be sharing my story of what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. I have to remind myself constantly I am not here to share anyone else’s story. I can only share mine.  This is not my parents or family’s story it’s mine.  From birth on I had multiple set of parents because I became a foster child. I thank God today for my birth mother who chose to carry me until I came into the world.

I was born in the mid sixties and grew up in the seventies and eighties. If you were talk to most people today, they will tell you I still have a lot of growing up to do. I grew up in church most of my life. Even between parents as a preteen I chose church. Its what I knew to be of some normality. I had the misfortune of things happening to me starting at a very young age. I have allowed it to follow me most of my life. The best I can describe it as chaos reigned in the one foster home, I was in from 2years of age until 11 years old.

As a result of that home I do have PTSD and it has been a real deal to recover from. Yet, somehow today it gets easier, then harder, and sometimes it’s just different. At 10 and 11 years of age I started running away from home. Everyone thought it was just the normal kid not getting his way and sulking. Today I do know that I did want to teach those people a lesson because I was hurt and traumatized by many things. I had to scream but I had no words to explain why.

Running has been my theme most of my life. I wanted to smoke it away and with cigarettes you might say I still am doing that anytime I feel any emotion.

By 12 years old I found a friend because I wanted to die, and I didn’t want anymore of this world. My world had crumbled I lost a family and felt like I was in jail. The worst part is the real criminal went free. The friend I found was alcohol and it was my first drunk ever. I passed for 16 years old with a catering company and decided pouring beer in the gravy would be an excellent idea. I had more ideas similar that turned out really bad after that. I was fired and asked to not come back by the family who had helped me get weekend job.

I soon learned what anger was again living in two different group homes. The second one was where I learned I had power! I realized I could slam a door hard enough to go through to the other side of the door jam and plaster fall. I was amazed at this. it put people in fear. The same fear, I experienced in my many dilemmas growing up in the foster home.

I met my now Mom, when I was 12 years old. Later she and her husband would adopt me into their loving family. They had no idea I was a packaged time bomb ready to go off at any second. I was silent some, but deadly during those times. I know today it was not easy for them to know how to parent a child with such a past as mine. I also know today they did the best with what they could, and people should have told them truth. I mean the whole truth.

I did mediocre in school and soon poorly. I learned what it was to do weed and drink. I wanted that feeling back and I kept chasing it for many years. I didn’t even graduate when I was supposed to and later after being sober some years like 9-11 years sober, I finally earned my GED.

I would keep hurting my family and running away. I would keep on getting drunk and high. Looking back, I told others my parents were not there for me. Today I know the truth is they tried to help me get out of many scrapes and most of the not talking for some years was due to me not wanting face the music. I ended up in a treatment center in East Central Missouri. My dad came and got me the day after he and mom drove the 3 hours or whatever in hopes of getting me out that evening. But I was too high on Ellaville. I became addicted to that stuff and always asked for it when I would wind up in mental health.

I would never last long at home.  I would clean up and get a job sometimes. But this time I would end up right near where my dad had got me from before only this time I ended up in a small town and soon left there after more drinking scrapes. I then hitch hiked not too far because, I ended up with a truck driver all the way to Florida. I think someone from a youth place called my parents as I was only 19 still. My parents said they had no interest in helping at that point.

I could not blame them. While the sobering thought went in, I went to get loaded instead. I had to move it out like every other thought. My idea of a drunk was one who ended up in the weeds, barely dressed, and by the railroad tracks. (This is where Boxcar Mike was born just recently, as I shared this with some people). It was a turning point so to speak.

Behind the railroad tracks, was a place to get help. I answered some 20 questions to see if in fact, I was an alcoholic. While the score card was yes to almost every question, I got an opinion that I was just an out of control late teen. But I held the right to be alcoholic from that moment to nine months after 60 days I think it was I was in halfway house for men. You had to call every day and say that you were an alcoholic, you had been to so many meetings and still sober before you got a bed there.

I would stay sober 9 months and on an ordinary day a good day even, I was drunk that night in a bar I had never been to a bed I never slept in before and $1600 -1700 dollars gone in one swoop. I didn’t make curfew at the halfway house and I didn’t make it to work the next morning. I went to a meeting that next night and took a white chip. They got me back in the halfway house. I also had many times of suicidal rages both sober and not.

It would take 20 years for me bouncing in and out of doors of help to finally be serious about being sober. Many people die doing this! My parents even took me back a few more times. I kept moving back and forth and even to California at one point, Oklahoma another point, and after Illinois they said no more. They were done.

August 28th, 2004 is my current sobriety and clean time date. I still have a lot of work to do and a lot of amends to still make because some are just life long and some I have not completed and some I have not even begun but I am willing.

I do ask God for help and thank Him. I have had a real battle with my belief. The biggest thing for me was when the weekend my Dad would have a stroke. We got to talk face to face one last time, never knowing it would be the last. He said he wanted me to know he loved me, he is proud of me and I am to never forget that. I was 10 months sober. It still brings tears not just because my dad died. But because in all of my disease and selfishness he forgave me and saw past who I was and who I became. One month later after my dad had died in July, my mom celebrated with me my one-year anniversary at a meeting.

This journey is a spiritual one and I still screw up, but I don’t drink or use. I try to do better. I still want to do better today. I love my mom and her husband more than anything. I owe a lot to her and countless others. I get to stay clean and sober and hopefully make better choices. It’s one day at a time. I have more to share on recovery and helping myself in future posts.

Thank you for reading!





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