My CRA testimony.

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Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
lawton ok
This is far from being my complete Christian testimony. It is instead focused on some of the causes, effects, recovery and victory over my addictions and/or mental illnesses such as clinical depression and life after rededicating my life to Jesus. It is intended for people who are dealing with or trying to understand the problems listed above. And assure folks ongoing recovery and a happy responsible life is attainable through diligent work and Jesus in the lead.

It follows the standard 12 step 'My story' format of what it was like, what happened and what it's like now. I hope that it serves and helps others have hope, encouragement and faith. I pray that is a blessing to all who read it. I'm Calibob and here's the real deal. Be blessed.

My name for sake of Anonymity, my name is Calibob.​

This is part of my story. It's not for kids. Rather, adults recovering or trying to recover from a co-mingling of an addictive disorder and an emotional disorder and or a mental illness, (which describes me). I hope some of it helps you. It is well documented that the power of testimony works both ways. It gives the witness hope and hope leads to faith and faith goes along with miracles. It helps the testifiers conscience trust and self-worth by practicing sometimes shameless honesty. Which is one of the keys to successful recovery. Here goes;

What it was like.

Hi, you may call me Calibob, I was born in 1954 to a runaway teenage alcoholic/addict. She was unprepared for motherhood and I was born in withdrawals. She ran away, without me. I remained in the charity nursery for 7 months and was taken into foster care by the only parents I ever knew or loved, and they got me through withdrawals, dialysis and very severe anemia. My body got healthy and I grew up strong of muscle and limb.

The first true addiction that I can recall was adrenaline. Loved riding my bike down a particular hill so fast, I had to turn my head sideways and use one eye to see or the wind in both eyes was blinding. There was a stop sign at the bottom of the hill but that didn't stop me. My Schwinn 5 speed hand brakes took about a 1/2 of a block to bring me to a stop. This type of behavior lasted about 40 years.

My Dad used to say, Mom “ has spells.” Talking about my mom. The truth turned out to be bi-polar episodes. Sometimes I lied and made excuses for her. She also believed and that; "All boys just need the meanness beaten out of them sometimes." Occasionally, I lied about the marks on my back to teachers and counselors. After her Mother died, she started hearing voices. I used to stay in my room alone, with no siblings. I guess I needed an escape. I noticed at parties the men always seemed much happier after a few high balls. I came to believe drinking was fun and eagerly awaited the day I could "drink like a man." It was a Bad Idea.

Dad was a good provider and worked as much as he, was allowed to. I made my Mom show me that he was at home and ok a couple of times. I was flattered he took 1/2 day off to watch me graduate High School. He was proud. I wanted some whiskey. I was about 18 when I got my first 1/2 pint. Oh, I had beer and cheap apple wine, but whiskey is what real men drank.

I knew on Military Bases the men were allowed, to drink and from being around Ft. Mac Arthur and Long Beach Naval men in uniform didn't get carded. I suppose that was extra incentive to join the Air Force at 18 during the Viet Nam war. Of course, there were drugs everywhere too.

I promise. NO war stories. I continued drinking, every payday, every sporting event. Every holiday, wedding and funeral (except an uncle who died of liver disease) while I had been sober a short time. (I picked up a bottle on the way home instead of drinking at the wake.) I found it too ironic to drink at a wake of a guy whose death was caused by drinking too much. I eventually I drank every day. But wait. Thats only part 1 of 3. The rules are, tell what it was like, what happened and what it's like now. end of part 1

What happened By Calibob.
I'm still Calibob and I'm still in recovery for being a person with Co- Occurring disorders. I must thank Jesus first; the twelve-step program second; and the many Doctors, Nurses, Pastors Christians, recovery workers, 12 steppers, instructors and Professors I met along the way. I am truly grateful. (I'd rather spell it great full but that's improper English.)

I hit my bottom in 2007 and by winter I was sleeping on bus stops and in lifeguard towers in freezing weather. I considered jumping off a bridge or throwing myself in front of L.A. Metro rail some cold dark foggy night. I was cold, hungry, lonely, angry at myself and depressed but not so much over my situation. Depression is part of what gotten me there. I only felt worse for being there. I didn't see myself as being depressed. I thought I was being realistic, and all the happy people were stoned or crazy. Another homeless person came to me after a lot of humble prayer and told me where I could take a shower, wash my , and get an address for social services, free. He drew me a map on the inside of a torn fast food bag and told me of a trail from a freeway overpass to an outreach center in an industrial where house area. The map he drew was of the area and gave me verbal and hand gestures to get there. I only followed directions.

When I got there the place had more than he described like a place and address to receive mail. Directions to food banks. 12 step meetings. Counselors on staff. referrals or medical Inc., mental health even free HIV and Hep C testing. I had an old GI duffel bag filled with dirty clothes. I needed to wash clothes before taking a shower. I was sitting, waiting for a machine when a counselor saw my bag and asked if I was a Vet? Of course, I said. Welcome home, thank you for your service... Would you like to see a counselor today?
Ka-boom it hit me. I had been praying. Another "bum," (so I thought) came up to me on the street and gave me easy to follow directions. All I did was realized I was to beaten not to follow Good, , Orderly, Directions. I saw a counselor, washed my clothes and took a shower. She asked a few questions. I told a few lies. I didn't know she was a recovering addict, yet. She kindly overlooked my denial. Made an appointment at the V.A. and told me if I got there clean and sober, they could reserve me a bed at the mission. She warned me the two intake counselors have been doing it about 20 years each. "They'll see right you bull (poop?) in a heartbeat. If you tell them the truth and they’ll love you." She didn't tell me one was nicknamed "the Dragon lady." (LOL.) They were both very experienced counselors. But heard enough lies and word salad from schizophrenics. They were very quick to pick out disorganized thinking. They were both mental health nurses who switched to substance abuse. I learned a lot from them, but that comes later.
Dragon Lady reserved me a bed at the mission with dinner and alter call. Coffee and donuts in the morning. Back to the V.A: Groups, meetings. counseling, sober friends, Cheap food, uh Doctors? After 7 days of that they got me placing at a full-on, V.A. treatment center for 30 days, it took me 61. I had blackouts on and off about 30 days. My Doctor put me on mild anti- depressants NOT BENZOS and gave me Folic Acid and B3 because of vitamin deficiency’s caused by addictions. Huh?



Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
lawton ok
I'm not blaming anybody, it’s just a fact that Baby's raised in nurseries without a Mother die very young. Well I certainly glad my Biological Mother didn't get an abortion. So are my grandchildren, etc. Ok, I'll move on.
Kids raised by a manic depressive or a schizophrenic parent are about the same as children raised by alcoholics. We learn to lie and make excuses for them as well as to them. Lying becomes Completely natural, like eating. only with overeating comes remorse. I had believed my own lies for so long I had forgotten the truth.
After a short while of 3, 12 step meetings per day plus some basic alcohol education, nutrition. I began sleeping in normal patterns rather than passing out into comas and a lot of fellowship. I started feeling something I hadn't felt in years without chemical assistance... Happy!

I wanted more and I was far from ready to return to life on life’s terms. Sought more help and signed on for a 60-day hitch at a non-medical residential recovery center. More meetings classes food and rest. I was right on the bus line that ran every 10 min. To the V.A. Medical center where my recovery began. As the clouds in my mind began to clear. I began to study in the medical library there several times a week in between Dual Diagnosis meetings and counseling visits. My gratitude grew with my sobriety and comprehension.
My counselors, psychologist and psychiatrist noticed an exponential improvement in my ability to reason and desire to help others. I was hooked on helping others. I had overcome a near death, struggle with addiction and mental breakdown and had risen beyond expectations. So one day they scheduled me for a normal session with Dragon Lady but sent me to a different room than the usual cubicle for the counseling session. I sat down and waited as they filed in. I was only expecting Dragon Lady, but she was last, (Dragon Lady had become a term of endearment by then and she didn't mind it.) It felt like a set up intervention or something, but I didn't quiver or falter. It was the four of them and me.

They knew my insurance coverage for that kind of treatment was running out. They asked what my plans were and what I'd like to do. I paused while they stared at me. Then I said, "I'd like to become a counselor."
My psychiatrist who had been trying to get me to relapse so he could measure my decline shook his head no. It was a team decision. My psychologist suggested I go wait in a lounge and relax, watch some TV while they had a meeting on my behalf. D.L. nodded and winked. I knew she was on my side.
The lounge/day room was filled with people in the same shape I was in, four months before. Some were just looking for some meals and a bed. Some were what we call programmers that went from program to program. They had given up but found programming an easier softer way than the streets. Some were bitter and resented getting clean and sober. At some point of my life I had been like most of theirs. But not at the same time. I sat and listened to them. I felt sorry for most of them but kept my mouth shut. They were waiting for a group therapy meeting.

After the room cleared while I was left alone, my psychologist and DL returned, smiling. They said people like me make the best recovery workers because we've been near the end of the road and returned, stronger. They said that there's no amount of education that can match what we've been through. However, that isn't enough. They asked if I'd be willing to sit in on meetings, learn evaluations from pros. Discuss clients. listen and learn. For free. No college credits or money? Go to school, get certified and keep my mouth shut regarding other’s problems outside of the confidential nature of treatment?
I was so happy I nearly fainted. After I caught my breath We stood and shook each other’s hands, before he left. Then Dragon lady came to me, hugged me and whispered, "Welcome Aboard." into my ear.
P.S. I later found out Dragon Lady was masquerading as a counselor but was really a nurse practitioner. She came from the in house, mental ward. She'd gotten tired of treating people after they were beyond redemption, medically, Aka "Wet Brain." She decided to help stop the insidiousness of the combination of addictions plus other mental illnesses. She got her nickname by being honest with tough love. She was a sweetheart to those who were honest and could see through her drill sergeant like outward persona.
All addicts are con artists. We learn the skills so well we even believe our own lies. She knew it!
This began a new chapter of my life.


Sinner saved by grace
May 29, 2018
lawton ok
What it’s like now.​
In the fourth step I realized that part of my problem was that I was secretly angry at God. My subconscious kept it hidden from my acceptance of reality. I had to make amends with him and did. He was there through it all. He never left me or forsook me not even in my anger and rebellion. Praise the Lord, thank you Jesus!

The rules where I had been recovering was if we wanted to stay on as a volunteer or intern, we had to get a sponsor and complete the fifth step. I had a sponsor from Dual Recovery Anonymous who agreed to be of service on my behalf if I would help him do 12th step work. He worked for the Dept. of Mental Health’s outreach department I wasn't concerned about money much, so I volunteered.

Every morning after our meeting we would go collect foods, like sack lunches plus bus tokens and cruise the alleys and walk along the L.A. riverbed to the homeless camps. Cherokee, my sponsor had been homeless and was Dual Diagnosis too. He carried a referral book and sometimes he would make referrals for them and or give out tokens so they could go see a doctor. Sometimes we would take someone to a treatment center, hospital or halfway house if they seemed willing to surrender, accept help and co-operate. I joined the Hospitals and institutions panel as well as the internship I was serving at the residential recovery center where I lived.

Recovery had become a fulltime avocation. I went to the V.A. 2x per week for group therapy also. And would discuss afterwards our observations about the meetings. We had the group members permission to do so, as I was a member of the group. I went back to college, interned and got certified in Cal State in the substance abuse field and got hired where I lived. 6 DRA meetings a week, 7 AA meetings, 1 celebrate recovery meeting at a local church. School on a various days. The place where I worked allowed me to work up to 40 hours a week for $10 an hour. And they had work around the clock with over 200 residents. That was the first year of my recovery.

Two years later, my finances and health changed. My Arthritis had gotten so bad I could barely walk or stand. I came to Oklahoma and my family soon followed. We I reunited within a couple months after. I arrived. The cost of living here is 40% lower because the average rent is under 60 % lower for a house, not an apartment. There are six of us here and my son lives near enough that we baby sit his stepdaughter and sometimes she drops in for an after-school snack, now and then. I got a knee operation in 2011 and declined opioids for pain. It was quite a struggle, but I'm still drug free 11 years later. I joined CC May 29 last year and started CRA 2 months ago today. I've got a lot to be thankful for today. I just wanted to share. PTL.


Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019


Senior Member
Jul 27, 2016
Awesome, I am so glad you are able to share this, that you are alive and well, recovered and redeemed by the blood, thank you for your very honest testimony! God Bless and keep you!!