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My Past Will Not Steal My Present

I was born in Syracuse, New York and was the second oldest of four children, an older brother, who unfortunately passed away when I was fourteen; (he was 22) and a younger brother and sister. As a small child I made friends easily and I loved playing and doing any activity that involved the outdoors.


At the age of one, my mother and father moved to Easton, Pennsylvania. My father owned a trucking business; he worked a lot and was rarely around. It would affect me when I saw other children interacting or spending time with their dad. He provided for us and our needs were always met and I believe he thought that providing for us was enough. The business moved a lot so we moved around the state of Pennsylvania throughout my childhood. My fondest childhood memory is that for two weeks every summer, my siblings and I would go to my grandmothers’ house. My grandmother (Nan) and I were very close and she exposed me to many activities that I enjoyed.


Because of our frequent moves, I attended several different elementary schools. I started off being a poor student and had problems focusing and paying attention. I truly believe it may have been directly related to the fact that around the age of five I began being molested by a family member. These horrific acts lasted about four years. Even when it ended, I never told anyone because I was threatened that harm would come to me or my family. It is the worst thing that ever happened to me because it affected my ability to trust people or to create and maintain healthy relationships.


I attended Tamaqua Area Middle school and Tamaqua High School where I continued to perform poorly until the last two years of high school. Prior to this I had my first drink when I was 15. I ended up becoming an exceptional student and received advanced placement to earn college credits. Upon graduation from high school, I received scholarships for college and proceeded to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. While taking college courses I took on a bartending job and was offered a management position and ended up falling in love with the job.


At the age of 24, I was given news that devastated me so badly that it sent me into almost total isolation and started me to drink heavily on a more regular basis. I was told that the man who had been in my life since age one was not my biological father. It reminded me that as a child I often wondered why I was so different. My younger brother and sister where light skinned and blue eyed. This news negatively affected me throughout life. Again, my ability to trust anyone deepened.


Even throughout my trust issues, I leaned upon my uncle, who became the biggest influence in my life. He taught me that through hard work and dedication you can establish a good foundation for self and family. I met my wife in Atlanta at a restaurant I managed and where we both worked. We are currently separated. We have two beautiful children, Ethan and Aubrey. The birth of my children are the best thing that ever happened to me.


My excessive drinking continued after nine years of my profession career in management. With my first management position the owner would invite me to drink and it became the norm. Drinking didn’t affect my work as much as my personal and home life. I worked 70 to 80 hours a week and was not readily available or participating in family affairs. Added to the drinking equation I was either at work, drinking or recovering from drinking and is how I spent most of my time.


I would be remised if I didn’t mention how grateful and appreciative I am of the exceptional job my wife did balancing her job, our home and the kids in my absence. I didn’t realize how much I took her hard work for granted until I started my recovery journey.


I have more that I would like to accomplish and plan; I know recovery has afforded me such as my decision to write a book. I am a man, who through many trials and tribulations has developed a deepened relationship with the Lord. I love my family deeply as well and find great comfort in helping others. My addiction doesn’t define who I am but it has created within me a sense of resiliency, empathy and understanding.


He taught me that through hard work and dedication you can establish a good foundation for yourself and family. I met my wife in Atlanta at a restaurant I managed and where we both worked. We are currently separated. We have two beautiful children, Ethan and Aubrey. The birth of my children are the best thing that ever happened to me.


My excessive drinking continued after nine years of my profession career in management. With my first management position the owner would invite me to drink and it became the norm. Drinking didn’t affect my work as much as my personal and home life. I worked 70 to 80 hours a week and was not readily available or participating in family affairs. Added to the drinking equation I was either at work, drinking or recovering from drinking and is how I spent most of my time.


I would be remised if I didn’t mention how grateful and appreciative I am of the exceptional job my wife did balancing her job, our home and the kids in my absence. I didn’t realize how much I took her hard work for granted until I started my recovery journey.


I have more that I would like to accomplish and plan; I know recovery has afforded me such as my decision to write a book. I am a man, who through many trials and tribulations has developed a deepened relationship with the Lord. I love my family deeply as well and find great comfort in helping others. My addiction doesn’t define who I am but it has created within me a sense of resiliency, empathy and understanding.


Interviewed by Yolanda James

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THE CRANE

The Paula Crane Life Enrichment Center

1792 Mt. Zion Road

Morrow, GA 30260

paulacranecenter@gmail.com

Main Phone: 770.960.2009

Fax: 770.960.2024

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