I grew up around alcohol and although my parents provided for me and my brother, we were always afraid of what would happen when we came home from school. Their moods were unpredictable which also made it risky to bring over friends. My parents went to AA after my brother and I left home and I disowned them. Although I was proud of them because neither one ever drank again after that, there were a lot of wounds to heal. I wondered how my life would have been different if they had gotten clean and sober sooner.
Naturally, I started drinking and doing drugs when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s – my adolescence and young adult years. When I joined the military, everyone drank especially when I got stationed in northern Michigan where it snowed six months out of the year. My love affair with mind-altering chemicals from alcohol to hash and meth continued for over 25 years. Years before hitting my bottom, I worked at a different company that kept me on despite my progressive absenteeism until there were layoffs. That was a perfect time to get rid of the riff-raff and I was some of that riff-raff.
I was afraid to talk to anyone at work about my problem and felt like I would lose my job if they found out. Little did I know that they had a pretty good idea already. There was no program at this company like what PG&E has. The Peer Volunteer program allows anyone to contact a volunteer confidentially without fear of losing your job. I wish I had been able to do that back then.
I finally hit my bottom in 1995 using meth and I went to my first NA meeting. I came home one night after a long run, fell on my bed, and said to my self “God, let me die or find another way to live.” Through NA and a loving Higher Power, I have found a new way to live and have been clean for over 15 years now. I joined the Peer Volunteer Program because I want employees who are having problems with drugs or alcohol to have a place to go when they are afraid and lost. Even if it is a family member, we are here to talk to in total privacy and guaranteed confidentiality. We can listen, take people to meetings, and even help get them into a treatment facility if needed.