Sunday’s Monday Special Edition! part 1
Many of you may not have heard my story and I’m sure there are many that don’t want to hear it and that’s ok. The reason that I am publishing a portion of my story is to celebrate my equality in sobriety and addiction as of Monday June 12, 2023, I will be sober for 31 years and starting with the first beer I stole from dad’s supply in the fridge I was addicted to alcohol which grew for 31 years. There will be some that believe you can’t become addicted with one beer but I disagree as I loved how that first buzz made me feel. I embraced the power and bravery that came from that can, some call it liquid courage and knew I wanted more of that feeling. You see I was the smallest kid in my class and I do mean every class, every year until I quit. So, the edge that alcohol gave me at the age of 12 became a very welcome equalizer that I felt was vital for my survival. Now I’m not going into my sufferings, stupidity, losses, and hardships because it would take to much time, but I am going to start with how God gave me the realization of unconditional love. I had lost everything except my mother and my girlfriend and was on shacky ground with both. I was living with my girlfriend and had just lost my job earlier in the week and on that ugly Friday morning I woke as always, had my morning drinks to ease the guilt and woke my girlfriend for work. She got up, got ready and tried to encourage me, which only made me feel worse. She left for work and I continued to drink from the half gallon I had hidden, trying to cover the guilt, shame, and thoughts of absolute worthlessness. The more that feeling of loosing my girlfriend grew the more desperate I became because I could see the signs and yet couldn’t change. I was encapsulated in complete and total darkness only seeing what Satan was revealing to me and it was not pretty.
Out of pure desperation and hopelessness I considered suicide but when it came down to doing it, I was a coward. You see everything I had ever done never turned out as expected and I could in my drunken stupor envisioned the rest of my life as a vegetable because I screwed up the attempt. So that became a no go! After a serious amount of liquid courage and no where else to turn, I went to God. Yes! The last place I would turn, I am now asking His help. My request included His taking me out. I asked Him to kill me, send me to hell because I felt an eternity in hell was better than one more day of this emptiness. I ask Him to take my breath which was being wasted and give it to a newborn who may have a chance to make this world a better place. I repeated this request several times over because it seemed like He wasn’t listening. But in fact, He was, I was just to drunk to realize it. The television was on WBTV News and they ran a report on Charlotte Detox and how it was helping men to gain a level of sobriety and I ask God if that was meant for me. I didn’t get an answer but an overwhelming feeling came over me to call 911 to see if Catawba County, NC had a detox center and honestly, I had no clue that I was going, I simply wanted to know for future purposes. As it turned out, I drank enough to call and 911 gave me the number for Conover City Police and they gave me the number for The Flynn Home in Hickory, NC which served as the county detox at that time. I continued to drink to keep my courage up and made that call around 8:45 am. A nice lady answered the phone and I explained that I realized it was short notice but did they have an empty bed for a man who desperately needs help to get sober and she replied let me go see. A few minutes passed (which gave me time for another drink) and said, you’re not going to believe this but there is a bed back there that has a card on the pillow with your name on it. I shouted, great, I want it, she said it was mine. My next question was does the bus come anywhere close to there and she replied it stops at the front walk. I was so excited to finally find a place that would get me sober and help me stay that way. So, as I packed a small bag, I had a couple of victory drinks. I found myself with 25 minutes to kill and pondered what to do as I waited, the next thing I heard was the bus pulling away and I panicked, jumping to conclusions of what I should do. So, I called the lady to tell her that I had missed the bus and would catch the next one, if the bed was still open. She told me that she was just before calling the police to check on me because it had been about 4 hours since we last spoke and I had no clue that I had missed several busses as I set there and passed out while killing those 25 minutes waiting for the intended bus. Now that I am caught up with reality, I assured the lady that I would be on the next bus, which was 30 minutes away. Filled with doubt and insecurity over waiting that long to leave I decided to call Newton Cab to see what they would charge to take me to detox and the said $5.00 to which I agreed as I had $5.18 to my name. So I hung up the phone and looked at that Half Gallon which was one forth full and I decided that I shouldn’t be in the same room with it. So having 15 minutes to wait I decided to wait on the front stoop and as I was going down the steps an unexplained fear came over me and I turned back to the apartment, unlocked the front door threw my keys on the sofa and locked the door from the inside and closing it to lock myself out and the alcohol in. The cab took what seemed like an hour but when it arrived the driver joked and encouraged me along the way as he delivered me to the front door. I went inside and announced my arrival, to which I was greeted by the nice lady and a nurse. I answered a ton of questions and signed a paper stating that I now belong to them. After a brief physical they took me to my room to sleep the alcohol off and gain a correct composure for the rest of my stay. The awful fact that I left no clue for anyone to know where I had gone was not smart. My girlfriend came home to an empty apartment and started making calls to family and that’s it because I had no friends. My younger brother took charge of the search for Paul Loftin calling all the hospitals, jails, and police departments. The Conover Police Department told him they couldn’t give out any information but if he would’ve called, they would advise him to go to detox so my little brother called The Flynn Home and they told him they couldn’t give out any information. He explained that our sick mother was on the verge of a heart attack because her son was missing and probably sleeping in the cold. The man on the phone told my brother to tell Mom that he felt sure that her son was warm and being cared for, which told my brother everything they wanted to know. I didn’t sleep much that night because I was busy asking God thousands of questions and I only remember one answer from all those questions, I love you and I felt it to be true because I can remember the peace that came over me, and its never left 31 years later. I read, studied, and participated in all the classes. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was never going back into that Godless state of nonexistence. He introduced Himself with an act of unconditional love when He showed me that He had something more for me and literally gave me the way out. My mom and girlfriend came on visitor’s day to see how I was doing and mom was amazed at how my demeanor had changed and how good I looked, my girlfriend was still a little ticked off at how I handled things but she quickly got over it. I went in on a 14-day program and they released me at the end of 7 days because they said they could see that I would succeed in my quest for sobriety and that was 31 years ago. I assure you that there is much more to this story but for now just know that God gave me sobriety on June 12, 1992, and then on October 4, 1997, Jesus gave me eternal life. For 5 years I struggled with finding my place in society, church shopping (not just any but the one God had for me), searching for more than believing in God and Jesus (I wanted a loving relationship), and changing my thinking. The two things I knew without doubt from the get-go, God loves me unconditionally and my thinking had to change and this also has held true for 31 years and counting. God gave me the woman I needed to keep me on target and my children came back into my life. I had some really good jobs and some that were for learning patience. God gave me my own company as a handyman and loved it because I controlled how much people paid. I charged according to what I felt they could pay and still live afterwards. There were a lot of empty paydays as well as a lot of happy senior citizens. God has been faithful to supply everything I’ve needed from mentors to materials. He brought Joe Dillard into our lives 25 years ago and my life changed forever. He loved me, shared his life with me, became closer than my brother and I loved him more than my father. His purpose in life was pursuing the heart of Jesus and he did with everything in him and I was privileged to piggyback and learn. Sorry! That’s it for part one of my story however the real beauty in today is, this story is still being written and with each waking day, I have the privilege of adding to it.