Today’s #SameHere Hero: Greg Love (Not just an incredible last name, but an incredible man and an incredible story. Despite some early childhood trauma, Greg was one of those folks who, as a businessman, appeared to everyone who knew him like he “had it all.” But deep down, he knew he was putting on an act and was actually finding unhealthy ways to suppress negative feelings. It took a scary set of circumstances for him to decide to make drastic changes and turn his life around for the better. Since then, he has been an open book, sharing his story in an effort to help others. He’s also regained his success as a businessman and some!)
“At the age of 4, I witnessed my dad mentally and physically abuse my mom…even making several attempts to kill her. She, fortunately, left him and I was raised by my stepfather. He was a military veteran, former pilot, and although he loved me and my siblings and we wanted for nothing, he was very strict and growing up felt like a boot camp. Outside of the home, I suffered a warehouse accident when I was 13 and lost my right thumb.
I always longed to be the kid who had ‘perfect’ parents, and I was very self-conscious about my thumb. These combined to give me low self-esteem and a feeling like I was lost inside – not accepting myself. I covered these feelings up on the outside, which lead to drug and alcohol abuse at an early age. Those substances allowed me to be whoever I wanted to be, and mask a deep pain inside. I also was able to party like a rock star under these influences.
After many years and a ‘successful’ business career, I found myself in a downward spiral of constant drug & alcohol abuse. I lost my marriage and almost lost my twin boys in the process. I would disappear for weeks at a time in different places spending money on anything that I thought would make me ‘happy’ and dampen the pain inside. One night during Christmas in 2013 I left my kids with a neighbor while I went to a party and consumed way too much. I picked my kids up at 3am and ran over everything in the neighborhood as I drove, and blacked out. When I woke up I found my sister, my cousin, and a good friend in my house. My boys had called my mom because I had thrown one of them across the room, and they were terrified of my actions. That intervention w my family/friend, saved my life.
I was so tired physically and mentally…I didn’t want to die but didn’t know how to fix myself or my addiction. I met with a counselor, got treatment, and spent the next 4 months in a deep depression and fog. Through that process, I joined Narcotics Anonymous, got a sponsor, became more faithful, and surrounded myself with people who helped me find myself. I became honest with myself and others and worked on my spiritually, mental fitness, physical fitness, and accountability. From my pain and what I’d learned, helping others became my krēd (stemming from the word credence, being one’s TRUE self.)
It’s been 4 years now since I decided to turn things around. Although I still have my struggles, my life is great. I love myself today for who I am, have great people in my life, my boys never left me, and I’m still alive. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!
#SameHere…when I became honest with myself and others, it felt like such a breath of fresh air. It also allowed others to be themselves around me. I’m so grateful I can use my experience to help those out there who may be struggling as well. Along with other friends who know addiction all too well, we started krēd Foundation for Hope, and you can read more about our journey to help others at kredlife.com.