How did you get started with drugs and alcohol?
Well, I think the first time I took a drink was when my dad was drinking whiskey and he asked me if I wanted some. I think I was probably 7 or 8. He let me try some and of course I didn’t like it. From there it grew into me being around 11 or 12 and was sneaking beers out of his fridge and drinking them that way. That’s how it first got started. It evolved into 6 DUI’s, 5 times in prison, then me being homeless and living here.
How did you end up at The 24?
I went to prison in Florida for my 6th DUI. I got 5 years. After serving 52 months, I was released and came to Dallas. I went to Dallas Life at first and stayed there for 1 night. I went to church the next morning and saw Russ. I came here that Monday and got in that morning.
If it weren’t for Dallas 24 Hour Club, I would be:
Sleeping outside under a bridge.
What is your greatest blessing?
My spiritual awakening as a result of the 12-Steps.
What is your greatest achievement?
Honestly, I would say being able to find happiness regardless of the situation. Learning to be content through my relationship with my higher power by realizing that everything is working towards my good. Almost like some kind of cosmic eternal purpose. I have to come to some kind of realization otherwise I’ll get discouraged and I’ll say, “this isn’t working. I hate this place. I’m just going to go sleep under a bridge and give up.”
What is one thing you want someone to know?
That the lie of alcohol and drug use for satisfaction and internal happiness, and also the lie that selling drugs is going to get you a fancy car, big rims. It’s all a lie. It will just lead you to more unhappiness. The only way to find happiness is just to choose to be happy regardless of the situation.
Do you want to add anything?
I came from a middle class family, both parents were in the home, so not your typical alcohol/drug user. For some reason, I just always wanted to do bad. I wanted to be with the cool kids who were living on the road without no daddy, no supervision, being raised by their grandma. I always had that desire to do bad, even though I made great grades and was extremely smart. I would purposely not do the work to make bad grades to try to seem cool, to try to fit in, because I didn’t feel comfortable with myself. It evolved. I started (drinking) and smoking weed, which lead into huffing gas, just anything to try to change who I was to fit in and be cool. I did that for years. Trying to people please. I started selling drugs and that lead me to another few prison bids later. It just compounded the problem. The more you try to seek that solution through alcohol and drugs, the more it ultimately compounds the problem. Those choices you make when you’re younger – this is what I try to explain to my daughter – those little choices that make it seem like no big deal - life can change in an instant. You have to be so careful about who you hang out with and what kind of decisions you’re making.
The only way my life has changed was through a spiritual experience. This is my 5th time coming through treatment. This time I’m doing it because I want to do it. This time, I actually want it.
Lloyd is an alumni of Dallas 24 Hour Club.