I was now two years sober.I had been to over 300 12 step meetings, worked with a therapist twice a week, attended group mental health recovery classes for a year straight. My head was clearing and I really didn’t want to go back to sea. What did I have to offer the world? I had navigated 900 foot supertankers for 20 years. I couldn’t that ashore. I had drank and drugged for 27 years and unfortunately that was the only other thing I really knew a lot about.
I could write a book! God it would be an awesome read. All my sea stories, piracy, exotic ports and women, but most of it would be risky behavior about drugs and alcohol. I had done a lot of things that were socially unacceptable but there were dozens of lessons to be learned. I could make an impact on the world and leave a legacy of helping future generations srtuggling with addiction. I could even help an entire shipping industry, the merchant marines, that had a long reputation for drinking too much. What do you do with a drunken sailor? Well perhaps I could teach some sailors through my story not to be drunks.
I prayed to God to give me the courage, the wisdom, the strength to use my drug and alcohol crazy past to teach others about the disease of addiction and alcoholism. About how I succumbed to the temptation to drink and drug every day and how it ruined my career, my health, and nearly caused me to lose the one thing in life I loved the most, my son.
I wrote my entire life story, blow by blow, drink by drink,arest by arrest. I left nothing out nor did i embelish any of the events. It would be a no holes barred book that would stir peoples emotions, fuel their anger, and cause everyone involved how to better fight alcoholism and drug addiction, no matter what industry or population involved. I might have legal problems as a result of my writings but I would ask God for help. I couldn’t help others unless I wrote down my story and shared it with the world.
The Man Overboard
How a Merchant Marine Officer Survived the
Raging Storm of Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
Now I just had to have the courage to sign on the dotted line. As if a message from God came down from heaven I received the following two emails, One from one of my former Captains and the other from a major oil executive I had never spoken to in my entire life. I no longer believed in coincidences and after I received these emails, I moved forward and released my story to the world.
“I have had the pleasure of viewing your website,www.themanoverboard.com and wanted to let you know how proud I am having known you and what you are currently doing. As one of your prior supervisors, I apologize for not being more in-tuned with your needs at that time. Just know, as time progresses, we gain wisdom through experience. I have gained from this experience. Keep up the great work! I will continue to look for the good things in life that you have accomplished.”
-Captain Richard Holman, Overseas New York and The Kenai
“Writing The Man Overboard and sharing your life experiences with alcoholism, ships, and the lessons you’ve learned takes great courage and will be helpful to our industry. I believe men will tuck your book in the bottom of their sea bags, right next to their dirty magazines, and read it back on the ships. I think men will look at their own lives, change their behaviors, and in turn, you will have helped prevent oil pollution and accidents. I will spread the work of your recovery and sobriety.
-Annonymous, West Coast Oil Tanker Port Captain
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