Hey guys!! I’m so excited to start Sober Saturday AND to begin with my Dad. He’s a very outgoing person, will do anything to help anyone, a DIE HARD Dallas Cowboy’s fan, and is always the life of the party! In fact, his friends call him “HAPP”.. short for Happy. He’s one of those people that you just love to be around! He’s traveled, done some thing’s and, seen some things. In his addiction though, he can change to a completely different person. Angry and even verbally abusive at times… addiction changes him COMPLETELY!! He’s doing a lot better and I’m so happy that he’s decided to share his point of view with us all and I really hope that someone can gain something from it. Here goes…
This story is entitled “The Life Long Journey of James H. Berry”…
It begins at a very young age. Junior High was the beginning of experimenting with marijuana and alcohol… I thought this was cool but now I know that was my first mistake. I loved school but after the experimenting started my grades dropped from A’s and B’s to B’s and C’s. Of course, this didn’t sit well with my Mother. I began to rebel and disrespect my parents. Tough love started when my Mom tossed me out at 15 or 16 years old for my behavior and bad habits, but after about 6 months I went home, graduated from school, and decided to go to the Army. It was a way of getting away from home not knowing that my habits would escalate and that I would go from first to fourth gear very fast. Life was good if you call that staying full of something on a daily basis. So I started to experiment with all types of drugs. (You know the phrase “young and dumb”) I actually thought it was cool for my friends to say “You cant miss Harold…” So I’m not gonna waste time trying to name all of the drugs that I tried… What a list that would be!!
I fell in love with cocaine and my addiction to it led me down some rocky roads and when I think of the money I spent on that it makes me wonder if I would still be here now if I really had money. By this time, I was already a Dad but hadn’t really enjoyed anything in life BUT drugs. After the time in the Army I continued to use drugs so we’re gonna fast forward a little bit. I got out of the Army and went to College for 2 years but now I was living in Los Angeles and there’s A LOT of drugs. I fed my addiction, it grew, and drugs became my life. (Fast forward) 45 years old and its my first time in trouble with a felony- of course, possession of a controlled substance. I was sentenced to 5 years. I served 9 months in a state penitentiary, 9 months in a Rehab program, and was released to serve the remaining time on parole. After a dirty UA I was then sent to another Rehab program. YEARS of my life wasted! I am now 60 years old and my body tells me that I’m not young anymore. I know that all of the drug use has caught up with me. My journey is not over, I wont lie. But it’s getting or has gotten a lot better. I have some goals set for 2014. Writing this is like making a confession. I never thought that I would live to get this old. God is good!
This message is to my beloved baby girl who showed me nothing but love through out this journey: Thank You for all of the understanding and believing in me!
I know I’m an addict and I try to work on things everyday. I have a few habits still hanging around but hopefully one day I’ll be able to say something different. Thanks for allowing me to share my story… -HAPP
Daddy- Dude! I’m so proud of you!!- JNB
PLEASE EMAIL JAMIEDREAMSBIG@GMAIL.COM IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR STORY OR TESTIMONY!