Self improvement and my life

I’d like to think that I had a good start in my life. I loved my parents and was doing what I guess I was supposed to do in this life thing we do. I remember being unhappy pretty early on and didn’t quite know why. As I grew up,(took forever) I remember having a brain scan when we lived on Guam. My Dad was Navy. We were there in 1968-69. They hooked me all up with needles in my head and told me to sleep. Yeah right..lol Of course I was still too young to know anything of the results so I just went on growing up.

Right up to my early teens I remember going to see a psychiatrist and various other mental health programs that my parents sought out to help me along. Have you ever had the feeling that you just didn’t belong? No matter what you did? I sure did.

In 1975 I lost my Mom to bone marrow cancer. She had been in and out of the hospital for quite some time. I guess it didn’t occur to me that she could die. I just thought she was sick. When you are young you don’t think of these things.

After that my Dad did the best he could with my two sisters and me. I’m the middle kid. Ann is two years older and my little sister Averill was much younger. I realize now that I didn’t know my Mom that well. I wish I had, that’s just the way it went.

In high school I used to joke around saying that I never made it to Boy scouts because I found marijuana. During those years going camping with my friends took on a new meaning. Smoking pot and drinking beer. Boy, that was the life I used to think.Now this alcohol stuff really made me feel like I belonged with the crowd. I felt smarter, better looking and more social able. I found what I needed in my life to be happy.

Self improvement and my life

That alcohol stuff became part of my life. It all started out as just a weekend thing with friends. High school keg parties. Just doing what the other kids were doing. It all seemed normal to me. Little did I know that this was the beginning of that long downward spiral.

My senior year in high school I did poorly. Drugs and alcohol numbed me and I just barely passed. I had to take government and history in summer school just to get my diploma. I was finally free I thought. I could do what I wanted to do.

By age 23 I was homeless and living in my car and not really caring about anyone or anything in my life. My Dad had found a really nice lady and married again. I just didn’t see the vagrant animal I was starting to be and I was no longer welcome in their home. I made a good decision that year. Time to be a man and join the Army. I was homeless, I had to do something.

I spent a total of nine years in the service as a medic. I had lots of good times. I was stationed in Germany twice. Yes I liked the beer that much. Funny thing though. Every place I was stationed I was always mandated to the drug and alcohol program. I was just being a young GI and doing what everyone else was doing I thought. I used to think the Army notified my next duty station telling them that a drinker was on the way and better pre-enroll me in the programs..lol I started blaming everyone for my problems. Not seeing that I was the problem. After the first gulf war the Army offered early retirement. Since I had gotten busted from E-5 to E-4 for having a keg party in the barracks (I was the barracks NCO) I took this retirement opportunity and was paid 20,000 dollars for the early out.

Free at last with money, stuck in Watertown, NY. That year was 1992. The money didn’t last very long. It was gone quickly with the way my life style had become. I continued doing the same thing over and over expecting different results in my life for the next 12 years. My teeth started falling out and I didn’t smile much after that. My health was very poor and I didn’t care one bit. I was 6’3” and was a whopping 145 lbs soaking wet. My life sucked! And I thought to myself, well, that is the way it is.

In 2004 all my resources were gone and I had drank every penny that I ever had. If I had more money I would have kept on drinking, but I didn’t. I thought that since I got myself into this mess that I could get myself out of it. Take it from me, detoxing yourself is not a good Idea. I had heard about a well known 12 step program and started going to the meetings. Day three of detoxing myself I had a seizure at a meeting and ended up in the emergency room. That should have shocked me back to reality but it didn’t. A month later I was drunk again.

Homeless, jobless, sick and tired of being sick and tired I surrendered. A friend from one of the meetings took me to the Canton Potsdam detox unit in upstate NY. I was scared. I didn’t know what else to do. My Friend reassured me this was the best option I had left.I stayed in detox for three days and begged for admission to the rehab unit. I stayed there for 92 days. God bless all those people that helped me. They are Angels.

I was willing to do anything to improve my life and was relocated to Newark, NY where I still live. I still attend those 12 step meetings when I can. I have many friends and I don’t ever have to pick up a drink to feel OK. Anytime I choose to go home I am always welcome in my Dads house.

Today’s date is Jan 3, 2009. I started building this website last February. I enjoy it very much and I hope that anyone who surfs it will pick up something they need for their life.

Be good and may God bless all of you and keep you safe.

Richard Runyon