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Chaz who?

I’m Chaz. Glad to meet ya.

I’m a 40-something husband and father recovering from some of life’s issues. Including, but not limited to divorce, depression, financial crisis, suicide obsession, drugs, and booze.

I graduated Magna Cum Laude in Business from a notable institution.  Have worked in Technical Sales for many years. 

By age 29, I thought I had everything.  Less than 10 years later, almost lost it all.  5 years after that, I am recovering and gaining back much of what I lost.  In many respects, more than what I lost.  I am not talking about materially, although that is coming back too. 

More importantly, the journey through the hell of betrayal, divorce, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, financial crisis, depression, and anxiety has forced me to dig deep and search wide for wisdom and recovery.  As a result of the journey, I have found inner peace like I have never known.  I no longer need booze or drugs.  I seldom feel depressed or anxious.  Today life is good.  Very good.  The good things are gifts for which I am grateful.

I try to share these gifts that I was freely given with all those whose paths I cross.  I hope I can share some of them with you.

Ciao.  Chaz

 

 

 

Longer Version….

I grew up in a working class family. My parents were divorced when I was quite young which was untypical in my neighbourhood. This left me with feelings of being different. Plus a less common name and less common ethnic background. I am sure many of us can relate to feeling different. No matter how much others see us as “part of”.

I did much of the typical teenage stuff growing up including party drinking, some marijuana smoking, chasing girls. But basically was a typically functioning teenager and enjoyed popularity, friends, family, sports, and adventure.

My Dad was an alcoholic. So were other family members as I later found out. I swore I would never drink like my Dad. I despised his behavior. My mother always made sure that although he was difficult, that we maintained a relationship with him and revered him as our father. For this I am grateful.

I got married in my early 20’s. Got an education. Got a career. Bought a house. Had wonderful kids. Things seemed ideal. Maybe it was too much too soon. I don’t know. I did not drink through any of this. My whole adult life, I felt a mild depression lying just below the surface. I was often anxious too. I always feared failure even though life appeared to be a tremendous success.

As life’s pressures mounted, and booze was offered to me in business and social functions, I found it very easy to say yes. Inside, I remember saying to myself, “Man, I love this stuff. Good thing there isn’t much alcohol in my environment or I might become an alcoholic”. So I fooled myself that my enjoyment of drinking and increased frequency was not a pathway to active alcoholism. And certainly I was not a conspicuous drunk like my Dad.

One thing led to another and my marriage started to get strained. Due to a lot of factors including booze, my marriage ended with my ex leaving for another man. This hurt to say the least. I was devastated. Loss is one thing…seeing the one you lose with someone else right in front of you is something else. The life you created with all of your blood, sweat and tears simply ends one day and is served up to another man. Me out, him in. That fast, that shocking, that painful.

I quit the booze, or so I thought, with sheer willpower. As the pain of the divorce escalated, I lost it. I wanted to die. I approached suicide a few times. I truly felt I had lost touch with reality. Every waking moment was living hell. I was haunted with dreams. All I thought of was suicide, suicide, suicide. I tried antidepressants. Didn’t work. So I figured it was ok to self-medicate and went back to booze.

Wrong time, wrong place, wrong blood alcohol level…. I got introduced to drugs. Life got a lot more complicated at this point. Total chaos. My world blew up in every way. Emotionally, relationally, financially, physically.

I have never lived on the street but I was headed that way. Drugs will take you there. So will booze. I went from a comfortable suburban life to almost nothing. I am grateful to say I have been given the opportunity to rebuild and recover.

Through a lot of effort and intervention, I was able to get off drugs and booze. My life was still in shambles, but at least I was alive and had some capabilities to work with. I am clean and sober a few years now. I have found ways to deal with much of my anxiety and depression. These journeys continue and probably will for the rest of my life. But this I will say, things are amazingly better.

I have since remarried and restored relationships with my kids, family and friends. I changed careers and have begun rebuilding life. I am blessed for the opportunity to do so.

I hope my story and journey is helpful to you.

Ciao. Chaz

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30 comments

  1. Chaz

    What area of the world do you live in? With the www we never know. I am here in London UK


    • What do we eat?
      I mean how do we build that body that contains the spirit?
      When I was growing up, there was a bowl of sugar on the table al the time.

      Wow, might as well be doing crack.

      I submit that many of us never ate very well to start with.
      living on white flour and fatty meats does have some disadvantages.

      Alcohol, I found , was part of my diet, (I mean you can live on beer(you get fat),( you cant live on pot.(you loose weight, no calories)
      either way you loose muscle, which I need to throw hay and ride bike.

      I consumed many different items, over the years, I found booze the be the only substance that had any substance, and that Is calories.

      I never learned to eat well, because I guess I was never taught to. Thanks for the email. I am into this


  2. Canada. Western part of country. Ya… never know who is where. Gives us the freedom to speak a little more freely and interact widely.


  3. Our story is similar in many ways. I felt the mild depression just below the surface even as a child. And the older I grew, the worse it got till it finally hit me with a vengeance I would not wish on anyone. It seemed like I was on the roller coaster ride to hell. And many years later (and I mean many years!) two angels came into my life. One was my sponsor, and the other my psyche nurse. They literally saved my life, for at that point in time living in my doom and gloom was not an option for me. I had had it with this business of living. That is why it is so important to use the resources that are available. Recovery had to be addressed in a two-fold manner. Both body and spirit needed the care and attention. They are interdependent.


  4. Thanks Msmac….

    Ya, I can relate to the depression being present in childhood. I can see how much I worried and lived in my head. This I believe was the groundwork for what later became depression and anxiety.

    So you have spent some time in the rooms with the rubber wallpaper too eh?

    Will try to catch ya on your blog.

    Ciao.

    Chaz


  5. Thank you for your honesty. I am grateful for your introspection and for your ability to share. While I have only read a few posts, I feel that your blog is going to touch me in many ways.


    • Thanks Attain…. I simply wanted to make my journey worth something to me and others. This blog seems to accomplish this to some degree.


  6. Chaz, glad to see you on the other side of all of that! Thanks for the honest insight into your life. It’s good to get to know you.


  7. Chaz:

    The recovery comes at a great price, but it’s worth it.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    D-Monk


    • no problem Dmonk…. on journeyor can relate uniquely to another which is one of the strengths of recovery programs. Ciao. Chaz


  8. Chaz,
    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s not easy to put yourself out there for all to read. I know. I just started being honest not only with myself but with others on my blog and some “in person.” The people I have been honest with “in person” don’t seem like they really care. I don’t hear from them, they don’t talk to me. This is the hard part for me about being honest with people I THINK are friends.

    I am still learning how to be totally honest with myself. I don’t think I really like myself yet. I feel like such a failure because I can’t “get it together” when my depression is kicking my butt. The only support system I have is my husband. He is good, but doesn’t always understand why I feel the way I do.

    I have had the suicidal thoughts as well; mainly when going through different medication changes. My first real attempt was in middle school. I too felt the depression at a young age. I was very close to attempting suicide several more times in high school. Over the past few years during the medication changes (trying to find ones that worked right) the thoughts began to creep back in. BUT, thank the Lord, I never did. I have too much to lose to give in to those crazy thoughts.

    I appreciate your boldness and your insight. I will check back often to read your blog.

    Have a great Memorial Day!

    Grace & Peace be with you,
    Kim
    South Carolina


  9. Hi, I just started reading your blog. Thanks for your honesty. I have started a blog too, but I am afraid to make it public really, I don’t put any labels. Right now, today, I am IN IT. In the pain. starting new meds new doc not sure if I’m on the right path. I am in a similar area to you. good docs are hard to find. feeling bad this last week, returned to work after 2 weeks off. great supportive husband, but what can anyone really do for you under the weight of extreme, unfathomable, unreasonable sadness?


  10. Hi BBA… no need to blog publicly if that is not what you are ready for.

    I do because I am at a point where the feedback helps me a lot. Also, sharing my experiences for which I am so grateful to have been able to go through and find a pathway to recovery allows me opportunity to give to others what was freely given to me.

    Depression can be a lonely prison. If you read my post about being emotionally paralyzed, maybe you can relate. https://yuppieaddict.wordpress.com/2009/03/01/emotionally-paralyzed/

    Few will understand your condition. Many will look at it simplistically. Don’t worry about that. Because although few will understand, those that do understand it deeply. And can be a tremendous help and support.

    So come back as much as you wish. Seek out others. Even it is anonymously.

    Glad this was of some help. Post to my blog any time.

    Ciao.

    Chaz


  11. I found my 1/2 of my Depression was due to a lack of Nutrition. I got 1/2 of my calories from booze. How was my body supposed to grow and maintain itself when I was not feeding it properly? I was run down physically. And lets not forget the ‘Smokes’. The Smokes were the worst part of my so called Diet.

    The Harder stuff to fix thou, were my unsatisfied demands. I wanted stuff that was just not reasonable. I wanted my Ex to love me. I wanted my finances to grow. I wanted to be a Rock Star. I wanted to be a social butterfly. I want, I want, I want.


  12. PB… yes, the common thread of addiction seems to be “more”. More of whatever.

    Leading of course to the chronic dissatisfaction that drives us nuts.

    And by our behaviour and thinking… we continually sign up for more of the same pain which we continue to receive until we change.

    Ciao.

    Chaz


  13. Hi,

    My name is **** and I am working with ****, an alternative alcohol treatment program. I came across your blog site and after reviewing your posts on alcohol recovery, I thought you and your readers may find this program helpful.

    *********************************************** is a progressive organization dedicated to developing and providing state of the art alcohol prevention and recovery programs for use at home. They develop specific programs that include prevention of alcohol abuse in youth and in assisting family members of those who abuse alcohol. They have recently launched a social media campaign, ………….

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    THE ABOVE IS A SAMPLE OF SPAM. I DON’T ALLOW IT. I DO NOT WISH TO EMBARRASS THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION SO I HAVE DELETED THEIR NAME. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM SPAMMING MY BLOG. IF YOU ARE PART OF AN ORGANIZATION, WE WELCOME YOU TO JOIN THE DIALOGUES LIKE ANYONE ELSE BY SHARING THOUGHTS, PERSPECTIVES AND EXPERIENCES. BUT ADS AND PROMOTION ARE NOT WELCOMED.

    THANKS. CHAZ


  14. Chaz takes a New Years spamming!!!!

    Sorry Candy, my friend, this is in poor taste.

    I appreciate that you are trying to do something noble, but this is not the way to do it.

    My blog is non-commercial and does not welcome generic spam like your post.

    I practice a strategy that does not promote itself. People are drawn to it. If your program is effective, people will flock to it.

    Good luck.

    I will be removing your post shortly.

    Ciao.

    Chaz


  15. “The recovery programs are comprehensive and full featured””
    How much cash will I have to spend.
    I agree Chazz.
    Recovery should be Altruistic.
    ‘that is you give what you have without any expectation of a return.””
    most recovery centers are based on financial Reward.


    • Thanks for the backup Paul.

      I have no issue with people being paid for helping others with receovery or anything else.

      But there is a time and place. And this aint it!

      I have both professionals and non-professionals helping me. I’m ok with that.

      My blog is non-professional.

      Thanks again… see ya on the boards!

      Ciao.

      Chaz.


  16. Your comments about depression ring a familiar bell. Depression can be caused by lots of things–drinking depressants, life shattering events, old age, and the like. Unfortunately, many newcomers suffer from it both before and after they get sober; and often their brothers and sisters just tell them not to drink and go to meetings. It’s a serious problem, suicide producing, and disasterous in the melancholy that goes with it. I personally came to A.A. and stayed – almost 24 years now. I also sought and received professional help because there was a good deal of mental illness in my family and I saw results produced by professionals. At eight months, I checked into the VA nut ward because I couldn’t handle life on my own. Fortunately, I turned to God and the Bible, kept swinging in A.A., and got some professional help then and thereafter. At almost 85 years of age, I am a happy camper, fervent believer, and A.A. supporter. God Bless, Dick B. http://www.mauihistorian.blogspot.com


    • Hey Dick…. thanks again for your comments and sharing.

      It encourages me to hear the story of a fellow believer of the Bible, an AA member, and sufferer of depression.

      You are my father’s age. He is a WW2 veteran and alcoholic. He has never dealt with issues of the past and to this day is a depressed, isolated, alcoholic. I say this only to emphasize the point that many of your generation did not or did not know to seek the kind of help it sounds like you did. So hats off to you for being open-minded and willing enough to do so.

      I agree, we need to do what we need to do. AA and much of the Mental Health profession are gifts of God as far as I am concerned. I too have been blessed by both of them in my recovery and am realistic about what I need.

      I was even under the care of a Psychiatrist who is also a Christian and sober member of AA who helped me immensely.

      I have spent some time on your site and drawn great encouragement by it. Your broadcasts as well.

      I hope to stay in touch. Might see you at a meeting on Maui sometime in next 12 months… we are planning a trip.

      Ciao.

      Chaz


  17. Hey Chaz: Thanks for the comments. I used and was thankful for every kind of derrick I could grab hold of to get over and out. That included one or more psychiatrists, a treatment program, after-care, the nut house, even witnessing to others in prison and helping them “find God” and study the Bible. Having resigned from the State Bar, I at first turned to volunteer work–reading to old folks, dancing with old folks, playing scrabble with old folks, booking some on nature quests–even working with toys for tots. Every step forward was rewarded. And God was with me all the way. Then came the present 20 year period of finding out and reporting how it all came about. That’s been the best. Now–about coming to Maui! Great. We will be speaking in California through most of September. How about a hookup there. See http://www.mauihistorian.blogspot.com.
    Thanks for your site and remarks. And, of course, now I’m one of the “old folks,” and still in the saddle. God Bless, Dick


    • Hi Dick… I will email you. Nice to hear from you. Chaz


  18. Way to go Chaz! Makes me think of a line from a Kansas song. “And smiling back at all who wait to cross — there is no loss.”


  19. Chaz, would you be interested in writing a couple guest posts for GWNI? (I can’t find an email address for you) – if so, email me at amyeden@guesswhatnormalis.com
    Thank you!


    • Sure, I will email you.


  20. Thank you for your comment on my blog. I have only been diagnosed for over a year with my depression & anxiety and as time goes on it continues to change (the diagnosis and the feelings). I am learning just as everyone around me is. I appreciate your words.


  21. Chaz: I look forward to your Maui visit in February. I’ve read your material again and look forward to your visit. My son Ken and I leave for California a little later in February as I will be speaking at the Betty Ford Awareness Center in Rancho Mirage. I’m not a morning bird, but if you give my son Ken or me a ring (his is 808 276 4945), we can probably honk up a lunch at our 5 Palms Restaurant in Kihei. Give me a heads up when you are coming, and I’d like to have your last name by email and also know where you hail from. God Bless, Dick /B.


  22. Hi Dick, just emailed you.

    Looking forward to connecting.

    Chaz


  23. We would love to have you and your readers join our Christian forums here: http://www.TheologyForums.org



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