Books and Authors: When Adventure Turns Into Addiction
Darryl has returned today to talk with me and give everyone a deeper look into the inspiring man that is Darryl Hagar.
1. Thank you for being here today, Darryl. Would you please tell me a little about yourself--family, pets, favorite hobbies?
I turned 46 on Thursday, April 2nd and on May 12th I will celebrate 4 yrs of sobriety. I have a 9 yr old son who made an agreement with dad on May 12th, 2005. He promised to quit sucking his thumb if I quit drinking beer and neither one of us has relapsed!!! True Story : )
We do not have any pets because I travel extensively speaking at jails, prisons, high schools, colleges, hospital drug addiction recovery centers. I recently have met with Maine Maritime Academy officials about talking to young midshipmen in training about the dangers of alcoholism and drug abuse. I intend on speaking at all of our country's maritime academies, military academies, and to the United States Military personnel at the US military bases.
I love sports and in my sobriety I've coached my son in basketball and little league baseball 5 different times. Being around the little guys has been very good for my soul. 27 yrs of drinking and drugging has taken a toll. I walked a long ways into the woods and now I'm walking out, one day at a time. My son won good citizen of the year in my sobriety and I now realize how important it is to have two loving involved sober parents. His mom and I do not live together but we get along quite well and make sacrifices for our son's best interest. I believe good parenting dictates a child's success in life.
2. What prompted you to write The Man Overboard?
I am very passionate about helping others recover from drug abuse and alcoholism and also in going to 12 step meetings, a sponsor, sponsee whom I direct and help stay sober. I'm very close to God and when I finally surrendered I made a pledge that if the good Lord helped me get sober I would help others do the same.
I worked on my sobriety every day going to 90 meetings in 90 days. Sometimes I would attend two 12 step meetings in one day. I learned to pray at the foot of my bed asking God to keep me away from a drink and a drug for that day. I got a sponsor and started to work the 12 steps and cleaning up the wreckage of the past. I began to journal every day putting down all my drinking mistakes and who I needed to make amends to.
I attended therapy for two years and at that point my head really started to clear and I began dreaming about writing my memoir that would detail my horrific life of alcoholism and drug abuse while all the time operating 900 foot supertankers. I verified in the book all my stories with police reports, United States Coast Guard letters, medical paperwork detailing broken bones, medical surgeries, 1st hand eye witness' accounts and finally a drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
After talking about my chaotic life in the first half of the book including my dads suicide and the birth of my son when I was intoxicated, I then wrote about my recovery. I detailed everything I did, how diligent I paid attention to my recovery, and all the actions I took to get and stay sober and clean. I believe this book, The Man Overboard, will be used as a guide in how to conquer severe alcoholism and drug addiction. I thought if I wrote "The Man Overboard" and showed how low I sank and still recovered, others would be inspired in their own lives to give an alcohol and drug free life a chance.
3. You cover some deep areas that must have been difficult to revisit. How did you handle the emotion involved in this?
As I wrote this book I had a lot of apprehension. Would the United States Coast Guard come after me? Would I be banned from ever sailing on the big ships again? Could I be thrown in prison for my past? Would I bring shame and embarrassment to me, my family, my son, the oil companies I worked for, and the merchant marines in general? I got close to God and asked him to guide me. I decided that if I could take my story and turn it into a learning experience for others it would be worth all the risks.
As I wrote the drunken sailor stories tramping around the world in many undesirables places and people, I would have to stop writing and walk away from my computer at times disgusted and in disbelief of my own life. I would dream of all these events as if I was re-living them again. Cocaine abuse, alcoholism and parenting, drinking and driving and car wrecks, prostitution around the world. I told it all and it took a toll on my soul. I would ask myself often "What happened to your life Darryl?".
I would share with my sponsor, pray to God to give me the courage and strength and wisdom to carry on. It took me two years and many hard moments but finally my book got completed and on Feb. 2009 The Man Overboard was released on www.amazon.com and is also available on my website with many other things at www.themanoverboard.com
4. When you lecture, have you ever come across a particularly emotional reaction from an audience member? If so, would you please share this with us?
There are two emotions that usually stand out with the audience.
The saddest is when I talk about the day my dad took a gun and killed himself. I talk about how I made the mistake of not talking about that event, not even one word, for 23 years. I kept it bottled up inside and let drugs and alcohol soothe my emotions and that had a devastating effect for many years. In hindsight, If people have major trauma in their lives, talk to somebody right away. Whether its your therapist, mom, wife, husband, priest, best friend. It doesn't matter, just don't keep it bottled up because it will eat you up in time.
The happiest is when I tell the audience my son agreed to quit sucking his thumb when I agreed to quit drinking beer. When I celebrated 3 years of sobriety and received a 3 yr. metal medallion, I in turn gave it to my son for not sucking his thumb for 3 years and the 100 people at the 12 step meeting roared in approval.
5. Addiction to anything is hard to deal with. What advice would you give to someone who finds themselves in that situation and doesn't know where to start in getting help?
First of all ask God/higher power for help. You can't do it alone. Then attend 12 step meeting for your particular addiction. There are12 step meetings for everything and they have proven to be the most effective tool out there.
I have come up with the idea of The Power of Positive Addiction. Addiction is chronic, we can't wipe it away, we can only recognize and control it. I use my addictions now in helping people. I spend my time creating positive things to battle addiction, I spend my time with my child and improving our relationship. I'm using addiction in a positive controlled way to get closer to God. When my dad committed suicide I should have turned to my faith instead of turning to the bottle.
The first thing about addiction is to take a close look at yourself and admit to the world and even more importantly to yourself, that you are addicted to something or things negative. It can be drugs and alcohol, sex, food, gambling, obsessive/compulsive behavior, your blackberry/cell phone/lap top, etc. Once you admit these things are negatively affecting your life, then you have taken the 1st and most important step in getting those addictions under control. Now take your time and energy and re-focus those addictions into positive things in your life. I am addicted to recovery, helping others, attending 12 step meetings, exercising everyday, my faith, and spending time with my son. All positive things in my life.
6. Darryl, if there is just one thing a reader takes with them from your book, what would you like that to be?
No matter what, no matter where you've been or what you have been through, you can still recover. Read my story, I'm living proof. You have to admit the problem and then take action. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
7. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers today?
1. The wise still seek him.
2. I am willing and able to help anyone that asks. Go to my website www.themanoverboard.com and just send me an email and I will respond. God Bless you all.
Powerful words, Darryl! Thanks for being so open here!
Folks, tomorrow I will be sharing my review of The Man Overboard with you. In the meantime, Each time a blog visitor comments on any or all of The Man Overboard blog tour stops, they will be entered in two random drawings.
The first is a weekly drawing. Weekly winners have the chance to win one of Darryl Hagar graphic novels http://www.themanoverboard.com/programs. Commenters who participate on the tour also will be placed in a random drawing to win a copy of Darryl Hagar's The Man Overboard http://www.themanoverboard.com/book.html. One copy will be given away midway through the eight-week tour and the second at the conclusion.
Share your thoughts and comments with author Darryl. He is passionate about his recovery and committed to helping others find the strength and support needed to reclaim their lives from the insidious affects of addiction. He will check in throughout the day to answer questions. You’ll learn more and have a chance to win a graphic novel or a copy of The Man Overboard!
For more information about Darryl Hagar and his virtual tour, check the schedule at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/03/man-overboard-by-darryl-hagar-virtual.html