Table Of Contents (click to expand)
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: My Story 13
Chapter 2: What Is Addiction? 17
Chapter 3: Take Action Now 21
1. Take Action: Stop Using and Detoxify 22
2. Take Action: Live with Other Sober People 23
3. Take Action: Improve Your Health, Physically and Spiritually 23
4. Take Action: Keep a Diary 27
5. Take Action: Get Out and About 28
6. Take Action: Go to Recovery Meetings 29
7. Take Action: Get a Sponsor (or Two) 29
8. Take Action: Develop Your Own Program of Recovery 30
9. Take Action: Get a Job; it Provides Structure 31
10. Take Action: Contribute to Society, Be of Service, and Help Others 32
Chapter 4: Please Do NOT Do Any of These 34
1. Do NOT Take Action: Do NOT Go to People or Places Where Drugs and Alcohol Are Used 34
2. Do NOT Take Action: Do NOT Get into Sexual Relationships 35
3. Control Your Mind: Do NOT Let Your Guard Down on Alcohol 37
4. Control Your Mind: Do NOT Convince Yourself That You Can Do ‟a Little" Drugs or Alcohol 39
5. Control Your Mind: Do NOT Stress 40
Chapter 5: Control Your Mind to Achieve Long-Term Sobriety 41
1. Control Your Mind: The Answer to All Your Questions Is LOVE! 41
2. Control Your Mind: Honesty Is Essential 42
3. Control Your Mind: Learn to Say ‟NO" 43
4. Control Your Mind: Improve Your Emotional Quotient (EQ) 44
5. Control Your Mind: Talk about Your Feelings, Thoughts, and Actions 45
6. Control Your Mind: Voices, Stories, Personas, and Identities 46
7. Control Your Mind: Be Your Own Person 47
8. Control Your Mind: Move toward Something New 49
Case Study: Sterling, Skateboarding on Heroin 50
Chapter 6: Mental Health Needs Funding 65
1. What Came First, the Mental Health Problem or Drug Addiction? 65
2. Bi-Polar Is Difficult in a Sober Home 68
3. Suicide Is a Domestic Tragedy 68
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Is Common 69
5. Adult Child: Arrested Development Is Common 71
Case Study: Haley: Relationships, Alcohol & Cocaine 71
Chapter 7: Drugs Most Commonly Used, Illicit and Medically Assisted Treatment 90
Illicit Drugs Most Commonly Used 90
1. Alcohol 90
2. Opiates (Heroin) 91
3. Stimulants (Methamphetamine and Cocaine) 92
4. Prescription Medications (Opiates, Stimulants, and Benzodiazepines) 93
5. Cannabis (Marijuana or Weed) 94
Medically Assisted Treatment (MAD) Drugs Most Commonly Used 94
1. Methadone and Suboxone 95
2. Vivitrol 97
3. Antabuse 97
4. Klonopin 97
5. Clonidine, Trazodone, and Gabapentin 98
6. Ibogaine 98
Case Study: Mike: Alcohol, Ecstasy, Meth & Heroin 99
Chapter 8: Family Advice 106
1. Early Addiction 106
2. Hardcore Addiction 107
3. Enabler 109
4. Warehousing People 109
Case Study: Blake: Construction Work on Opioids 111
Chapter 9: Patterns That Occur Often 121
1. Strong Need to Escape 121
2. Drug or Alcohol Use Started in Early Teens 122
3. Abuse and Chaos 123
4. Little or No Connection to Society 123
5. Poor Decision-Making 124
6. Cycle of Addiction 125
Case Study: Whitney: Heroin and New Life 126
Chapter 10: Personalities 134
1. Manipulative 134
2. Delusions of Grandeur 135
3. Gossip and Finding Fault in Others 135
4. Lazy, Selfish, and Not Willing to Find a Job 136
5. Ex-Convicts Have Structure 138
6. Friendly Adventurous Soul 139
7. Appreciative to Have a Home 139
8. Camaraderie toward Other People 139
9. Proud to Be in Recovery 140
Case Study: Luke: Fighting for Drugs 140
Chapter 11: The Benefits of Being Clean and Sober 153
1. Consistent Thought Patterns 153
2. Lower Risk of Injury and Disease 154
3. Lower Risk of Death 154
4. Lower Risk of Incarceration 155
5. More Conscious and More Fun 156
6. More Power and More Respect 157
7. Better Relationships 158
8. More Meaningful Life 158
Case Study: Robert: Old-School and Alcohol 159
Chapter 12: Additional Case Studies 180
Case Study: Elijah: Alcohol and Cocaine 180
Case Study: Clara, Alcohol, Cocaine & Heroin 192
Case Study: Ivy: Alcohol, Pills & Relationships 197
Case Study: JJ: Alcohol and Everything Else 207
Case Study: Kendra, Heroin and Homelessness 225
Case Study: Michelle: Sexual Molestation & Alcohol 230
Case Study, Andrea: Meth, 260
Case Study: Billy: Gang Life, Prison, and Meth 268
Case Study: Heather: Alcohol and Cocaine 280
Case Study: Amanda’s Spiral of Addiction 287
Chapter 1: My Story
My name is Paul, and I am an alcoholic and a drug addict. Today, I am clean and sober, and I have been since January 6, 2015. I am also a landlord, who has years of experience running a residential complex in Santa Cruz, California, as a sober home.
I grew up on the coast of South Africa, and it was a good life. My parents were very loving and we went to the beach often. I loved to swim in the sea. By the age of 10, I had my own surfboard and I identified as a ‟surfer.” Now I am much older (56 years old at the time of this writing), and I still surf and I still identify as a ‟surfer.” Surfing is a healthy activity, an outdoors lifestyle. It is also a culture that has some dark spots. Heavy drug use was not common within my circle of surfing friends, though alcohol and marijuana were. As a young surfer, I looked up to the older surfers. Most of them were drinking beer and hard liquor and smoking weed. As I got older and stronger and became a better surfer, I was included in the group of older boys, and soon I was drinking and smoking too.
This was innocent experimentation, in my opinion. It is normal development of a teenage boy into a young man. My problems came much further down the line. I continued surfing throughout college, and I continued drinking beer and smoking weed. I tried smoking cigarettes, but I didn’t like them. They tasted foul to me; however, I liked smoking weed because it made me feel relaxed.
My ‟habit” was to ‟have a few beers” and then ‟have a smoke of weed” and have a few more beers and another smoke of weed and then have a few more beers and another smoke of weed. After six beers and three joints (or bong hits), I was loaded and definitely over the limit to drive a vehicle. If a person does this once a month and stays home while doing it, in my opinion, it is not a big problem. The problem for me is that I was doing this every night and I did this for 33 years, from age 18 to age 51. In addition, there was a progression in how much drinking and smoking I was doing.
I always worked hard, doing intellectually demanding work during the day, and after work, I would play hard by surfing, playing rugby, and hitting the gym, but at night, in order ‟to relax,” I would smoke weed and drink beer. My problems with alcohol and marijuana were getting bigger, and I knew it for at least 10 years before I was able to stop. I tried to stop smoking weed many times, but it was never successful for more than a few days.
I was single, as I had never married, and I wanted to be with a loving partner. I had girlfriends over the years, but these relationships seemed to come to an abrupt end, and I would spend six months trying to figure out what went wrong before I would try again with someone new.
When I got loaded in the evenings, I would stay at home because I knew that I would not be able to attract anyone who I would be interested in when I was ‟bleeding from the eyes” and unable to talk without slurring my words. I found the loneliness crushing. On several occasions, I cried into my hands, because I was so lonely. It seemed that beer and weed were preventing me from finding a partner, but I was not able to stop using them and this seemed to be a vicious circle with no solution.
Then something dramatic happened. I went surfing at a surf break called ‟Four Mile.” It is four miles north of Santa Cruz, California, where I had lived for 15 years. I had been surfing Four Mile as my main break for many years. On this day, I didn’t walk along the base of the cliff to get into the water from the rocks, as I normally did, but rather I used the current to take me into the middle of the bay and I paddled toward the break. While I was in deep water in the middle of the bay, the dorsal fin of a large shark came to the surface of the water and it was swimming straight toward me at a fast speed. I was in a very bad position!
I was certain that this would be my last day alive. I thought that my number had been called by ‟the man upstairs” and I would die in a pool of blood and bubbles and no one would know until my surfboard washed up onto the beach. The shark was swimming straight at me, and I could see a fountain of water coming off each side of the dorsal fin. Time slowed down and my life flashed before me, including all the things that I had NOT done and that I had always thought that I would do, specifically getting married and having a child. My fear was extremely high, but I remained calm enough to make the decision to face the shark head-on and fight it. The shark submerged inches from the front of my surfboard and passed underneath me, and I turned, expecting it to come up behind me. It didn’t, so I paddled as fast as I could to safety.
It took at least two minutes to get to safety and my adrenaline was so high that I was not able to sleep for 72 hours. I couldn’t even lie down for more than a few minutes. I was so wide awake that I had to walk around bthe town of Santa Cruz through the middle of the night for two nights in a row. This scary event is still a major focal point for me, letting me know what is important to me. Smoking weed and drinking beer was not on my list of important things to do, as my life flashed before me.
I was not able to stop smoking and drinking immediately after this scary event, but it was the catalyst that propelled me forward toward recovery and leading a full life. After I had become serious about recovery from addiction, I relapsed four or five times before I was successful in overcoming my addiction. With each relapse, I got a little smarter about what would cause the relapse and I got a little more understanding of my personal problems that manifest as addiction. I realized that for me ‟alcohol and weed” went together like ‟bacon and eggs.” I knew that I had to stop BOTH to stop either.
A major asset to me in overcoming my addiction is Alcoholics Anonymous. I will forever be grateful to AA. The first time I went to an AA meeting near my home, introducing myself, ‟My name is Paul and I am an alcoholic and an addict,” a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I had admitted to a room of peers that I had a problem, and the problem seemed to become more manageable as a result.
No one ever did anything for me or gave me specific advice that I remember. It was simply me admitting my problems to others and knowing there is a place to go where there are other people who openly admit they have problems that manifest as addiction that are too big for them to handle on their own. That was a major step forward for me. It has become more and more clear to me that this type of HONESTY is extremely important to recovery!
I planned my detox date and I struggled hard to not use drugs or alcohol for the first few days. I was constantly telling myself ‟NO!” The first week was very difficult and the first month was almost as difficult. After three months, I felt that I had too much to lose to relapse. After six months, I felt much more ‟in control” of myself. It was also around the six-month mark that I could feel myself moving toward ‟a new life,” rather than constantly telling myself ‟NO” to my previous life.
I own a four-unit rental property, and as these units became available to rent to new tenants, I replaced the tenants with people who want to live in a sober living environment. I live on this property with my family, and we manage the property, along with a small management team who are clients.
I sometimes get cravings to use alcohol or marijuana, but they don’t last long and thoughts of using are replaced with thoughts about the chaos and misery that drugs and alcohol will bring into my life.
Years after my scary event with the shark at Four Mile, I asked my girlfriend to handle the camera, while I stood in front of the camera, and we made a video entitled ‟Surfing with a Shark at Four Mile,” which is on YouTube. After shooting this video and with the camera still rolling, I knelt down on one knee and asked my girlfriend to marry me.
At the time of writing this book, my wife and I have a very active son, who is already learning to surf!
The recovery lifestyle is a much happier and healthier lifestyle than a life of alcohol and drugs. I am very pleased to be clean and sober, and I hope this book will help you in your struggle with addition and desire to be clean and sober yourself.
Does this book inspire you to be part of the solution?
I, Paul Noddings, the author of this book, am reaching out to investors and partners to develop Very High Density Metropolitan Housing, Detox Centers and Purpose Designed Sober Homes.
For many years, I have been a part of the solution to the drug addiction, mental health and homeless crisis in California, using my own capital. I would play a bigger role if I had the support of a philanthropic billionaire or access to significant capital.
If this subject is of interest to you, please contact me for detailed discussions:
Cell Phone: 1-831-818-1186