Sober doesn’t Suck! is a safe place for people to share their stories of being an alcoholic, addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.
I recently received the following article from Pete Giannini. I’m honored to share his story, hoping someone will find comfort, tools and hope in it.
If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.
The mind, body and spirit. They love you more when you’re drug-free.
I’m not going bore you with all the details, but it wasn’t that long ago I was a complete mess. Back in 2004 I decided to open a small business and was doing quite well for the first two years. The money was coming in and I didn’t have a worry in the world. Didn’t think much of the occasional drug use either. Until someone (my dealer) thought he would let me know he also had some crack for sale. Bad, bad, bad idea! Honestly, I knew it wasn’t a good idea considering I had done it 20 years prior and it had actually landed me in prison for a short stint. But, of course, I bought some. Great idea! NOT.
The Ride Down
I’m going to skip past the graphic details of the next two years and give you the end result: $60,000.00 roughly spent on crack. Business: Gone. House: Gone.
So now let’s turn this around. Surprisingly enough, my awesome family stuck with me throughout everything. I have the absolute best wife in the world and she knew I was better than my addiction. A dear friend, fellow musician, and current Chaser Eight band mate, Aaron, who over the years has become my best friend became an “on call” rescue centre. As it goes, it all ended with an arrest and I’m truly glad for that. It meant I had to go to counselling and develop tools to get away from and stay off drugs.
This may not be a very detailed story (which will be in my book) but I’d like to at least give some of my tools and advice on how I got, and stayed, clean.
Tips for Living Drug Free
One: (The most important!) The people who are with you when you use are not your friends.
Two: The ones that turn their back are the ones that don’t know what to do to help you.
Three: Seek immediate therapy; your head is a mess. No matter what you think, you’re not thinking straight.
Four: (This is a tough one.) If you have someone who stuck by you, and doesn’t use, give him or her your finances. Sorry, but you shouldn’t handle your money, you can’t be trusted, and you know it.
Five: You need to be productive. It can be writing, drawing, art, or my personal favourite, music.
Six: Surround yourself with positivity. Whether it people, places, or things. Positive, positive, positive!
Seven: A spiritual or religious belief is a great thing. I myself have chosen the Buddhist practice because I found it was the most peaceful path for me.
Live Excited in Sobriety
That is a little of my to-do list that you would have to make fit in your life. Through my entire list, something that really and truly pulled me through and lifted me up was my music. Letting the brain fire up and the muscles get a good work out was great to for keeping me clean and sober.
Aaron and I had played together for a long time with many musicians, but I don’t think I ever truly felt fulfilled.
It was until an amazing singer and front woman approached me about being a full time drummer for her band that things changed for the better again. Being involved in a structured band that has clear goals, great song writing, and the opportunity to be creative has been a huge part of me staying clean. My head spins with ideas for songs, beats, and is so occupied with what we’re doing the thought or desire to get high doesn’t take up space in my head anymore.
I was very lucky to be asked to join Chaser Eight and for me it is one of the biggest parts of my sobriety. The point is if you have nothing positive to take up your time, like Chaser Eight, you can easily fall. Alone and bored is not good! Get help if and when you need it. It will be the best thing you ever do. Don’t live like there is no tomorrow, live excited because of tomorrow!
Pete Giannini (@chasereight) is the drummer for original, female-fronted rock group Chaser Eight. He is a recovering drug addict and struggles everyday with staying sober and keeping his mind on positive thoughts. Living where the band is based in West Haven, CT, Pete has been sober for over 4 years and with Chaser Eight he is currently working on their second studio album to be released in late September. You can find out more about Pete and Chaser Eight at www.chasereight.com