How did you get started with drugs and alcohol?
My first introduction to alcohol started when I was in diapers. Not in a bad way, but when my mom was pregnant with me she was a bartender. She didn’t have money for a babysitter, so I went to work with her. I literally crawled across the bar in diapers. I was raised in a very loving alcoholic family. I was driving my grandfather home from the American Legion when I was 13 years old.
I started tampering with alcohol when I was 13 or 14 years old, but I got into other things before that. I started doing drugs by sniffing paint and gas. After that I started marijuana and when marijuana wasn’t enough I started getting high with speed.
I had a lot of things happen to me when I was a kid. Family friends of ours were coming from Washington to Texas for a visit when their plane crashed. All of them passed away. I was also molested when I was 6 years old by a family member. For a long time, I was afraid of sharing that piece of my story with people. Now I want people, especially men, to be able to come forward and get that off their chest because it kept me high for a long time.
How did you end up at Dallas 24 Hour Club?
I started sleeping on a bench outside the Cleburne Alcoholic Anonymous. I was going to the noon meetings which was kind of embarrassing because I was homeless. I would see my Dad at the meetings but we wouldn’t speak to each other because we had a hard falling out. One day I was out sleeping on the bench and this guy pulled up. He got out of his truck, sat down next to me and said, ‘Man, what is your story?’. I told him my story and when I was done he said that he knew of a place that could help. He let me work with him for a couple of days, and one night he took me to his house, so I could shower and wash my clothes. The next day he drove me up to Dallas 24 Hour Club.
How did you get the name Scratch?
Have you ever seen Angel Eyes? In the movie there is a guy that loses his wife and child to a car wreck. I didn’t lose my wife and child to a car accident, but I lost them to divorce and CPS, so I could relate. In the movie, the man introduces himself as Scratch because that’s what he started from. I’m Scratch. I started using the nick name a couple of years ago when I went to rehab. I just didn’t want to be Johnny and I got to thinking about who I wanted to be and I thought, I might as well start from Scratch.
What is your greatest blessing?
My greatest blessing is my mom. She was a true lady. I could talk to her about anything. We’d stay up a lot of time until 4 or 5 in the morning just talking. Me and my mom went through a lot together. My dad too. He tried to help me out as much as he could while I was out in my addiction.
What is your greatest achievement?
Sobriety. I’m Scratch. I came up from the bottom.
If it wasn’t for Dallas 24 Hour Club:
If it wasn’t for The 24, I don’t know where I would be. Still on the street?