< Chapter 3:5 Chapter 3:7 >
When I arrived in Baltimore, I was 18, completely out of control and constantly under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. The guitar player I had followed to start a new band with, had been involved in the frat house incident and in no uncertain terms informed me that starting a new band was out of the question. So I decided to set aside my music career and focus on making a name for myself in business. My mother had some friends living outside of Baltimore who gave me a place to stay when I first arrived, but I needed to find a job and get out on my own as soon as possible. There was no way that I could continue to live my current lifestyle in their home.
It didn’t take long before I found the “alcoholic’s dream job”. I started working for a company that was basically a legitimate “street hustling” organization. We would sell house wares and electronics out of vans, or the trunks of our cars. It’s a nationwide company. Have you ever heard, “Excuse me, I work for a wholesale company down the street, and we have a big overstock. The boss said go out and get rid of this stuff 50-80% off”. If it sounds familiar, maybe we’ve met.
Already living my life out of control, this was the perfect job for me. There was no supervision, and I even had someone who was training me introduce me to the perfect sales territory. Go-go bars. Back in 1984, for the type of business we were in, Go go bars were a salesperson’s goldmine. It was nothing for a girl to make $500 or $600 on a bad night and over $1,200 on a good night. The customers always had cash, and most of them were happy to impress their favorite dancer by buying her something she wanted. Or else the guys needed to buy something to keep their wives or girlfriends from being angry with them for being out so late. For me, it was the ultimate job. I was getting paid to party.
The problem was, that by this point, I was totally out of control and no longer in the small town where I could get away with my insanity. My drinking and drug use was getting worse. I would drink during the day while I was out working on the streets. Then come back to the warehouse where we would sit and drink for a little while talking about our successes of the day, then off to the clubs at night. I was 19 years old when I was arrested for the first time for drunk driving in November of 1984. By February of 1986, just over 15 months later, I had been arrested for drunk driving 4 more times bringing the total to 5 arrests in just over a year.
It was at this time in my life that I was first introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous. I didn’t go because I thought I had a problem, I went because the judge ordered me to. Most of the time, I was already drunk when I arrived, with the full intention of going to a bar as soon as I left. You see, I didn’t realize that AA was about learning how to live your life without drinking. I thought it was about learning how to control your drinking, or at least how to drink without getting caught.
One night someone chose to point out to me I had the concept backwards. I was sitting in the back of a meeting, when an older lady approached me and said, “You may not want to get sober, but there are a lot of people here who do. To some of us, this is a matter of life and death. Unless you are going to come back here sober, don’t come back”. At that time, that’s all I needed. They didn’t want me either, so I wouldn’t go.
Later in life as I related that story to others, there were a lot of people who were offended by that woman’s words, but to me, they stuck. And when I was ready to really give sobriety a shot, they helped to keep me on the path.
For some reason, one of the judges I had to appear in front of was getting the impression that I was out of control and had a small drinking problem (I couldn’t imagine why) and that AA was not working for me, so he decided to try a different approach. He sentenced me to 10 weekends in the Howard County Detention Center. I would go into jail Friday night after work and then come out on Sunday night.
It was also around this time, that other seeds of change were starting to be planted. I had my introduction to Personal Development in the form of a book by Napoleon Hill called “Think and Grow Rich”. One of the people I worked with suggested that I read this book while I was in for the weekend and use the skills the author spoke of to help me be a better salesman. Little did I know, that book would become a staple in my life 15 years later. It is a book that holds some of the deepest and truest personal and spiritual truths that I stand by today.
As I’m sure you have figured out, by this point my drinking was so out of control that nothing on this earth was going to save me. My drinking and drug use was to me, what breathing was to another human being. I did it without thinking, and I also believed that I needed it to survive. I was so insane and my drinking was so far out of control that I was arrested for my 5th DWI as I was driving to the Howard County Detention Center to serve one of my weekends.
As I sat in jail that weekend I was faced with a new dilemma. In the past, I had been lucky; or so I thought. My arrests were so close together, that every time I went to court, none of the previous arrests was in the computer system yet. It was a simple clerical mistake. I had been arrested 4 times for drunk driving within 5 months. So when I went to court, each one was treated like a 1st offense.
< Chapter 3:5 Chapter 3:7 >
The Warrior Sage Chapter/Section
Who Is Willard Barth?
Preface - Exploring Strength And Weakness
Chapter 1:1 - The Process Of Self-Awareness
Chapter 1:2 The Stages Of Child Development
Chapter 2:1 The World Changed Forever
Chapter 2:2 The Vicious Cycle Begins
Chapter 2:3 Losing Faith
Chapter 2:4 My Dark Secret
Chapter 2:5 Where Is The Love I Was Promised?
Chapter 3:2 The Road To Alcohol Dependence
Chapter 3:3 Leaving My Childhood Behind
Chapter 3:4 Escaping Responsibility; The Joy Ride Ends
Chapter 3:5 Living A Duality Begins
Chapter 3:6 Out Of Control
Chapter 3:7 Crossing The Line To Insanity
Chapter 3:8 The Black-out Drinking Begins
Chapter 3:9 Facing The Music
Chapter 3:10 A New Beginning
Chapter 3:11 More Lessons To Learn
Chapter 4:1 The Final Party
Chapter 4:2 A Moment Of Clarity
Chapter 4:3 My New Life Begins
Chapter 4:4 Sober - Time To Face The World
Chapter 4:5 The First Year Of Sobriety
Chapter 4:6 Major Change Comes In Year Two
Chapter 4:7 My Daughter Is Born April 20, 1992
Chapter 5:1 Life Changing Decisions Follow My Daughter's Birth
Chapter 5:2 Recognizing The Voice Inside
Chapter 5:3 The Empress Hotel
Chapter 5:4 A New Chapter In My Life Begins
Chapter 6:1 Finding My Way Home
Chapter 6:2 Falling Into Place
Chapter 6:3 A New Awareness
Chapter 6:4 Personal Finances And Personal Development
Chapter 6:5 The George Washington Story
Chapter 6:6 Letting Go So Others Can Grow
Chapter 6:7 The Wrap Up
Jump HOME from Out Of Control