I started using booze and drugs wen I was 15 to escape my childhood. It was horrible in our house. It got so bad I ran away, hitched a ride from the CO mountains to Southern California.
I lived in a flop house in Anaheim. I couldn't get a job because I was afraid to tell anyone my name. So I sold myself on Hollywood Boulevard. Kids I hung out with got into cars and never came back. I survived two murder attempts. Jackson Browne wrote Boulevard about us.
From there I started taking LSD to get to a place in my mind that was happy. Lots of trips, booze, and drugs.
It got so bad I lost control. Frankenstein got off the table, he had me by the neck. The low point lasted a couple years. I recall skiing steep pitches so blitzed I couldn't see straight.
Renee was and is everything to me. She was my best drinking buddy. That woman could out drink anyone, dance the night away in heels. She made sure I had booze on Sunday, that I was never out of weed. She's given me so much. Truth be told, she's the smart one in the family. She makes me want to be a better man.
Renee got clean when she learned she was pregnant with our son Justin. I was pissed about it, because I'd lost my best drinking buddy. She'd leave my half empties and roaches on my keyboard, as a gentle nudge to say "Paulie, you need to quit".
In the interview Gerry talked about how he stopped drinking because of Betty. He said something to the affect of "With all she's done for me, I wanted to show her I was behind her. Besides. Drinking never meant that much to me".
Then it hit me. I needed to quit - for Renee. Because I knew that if I kept on, one day she was gonna join me for a drink. I could take fucking up my life. But not hers.
16 years ago today on 4.16.07, I stopped using booze and drugs.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm gonna spin the past 16 years backwards, think about how I made it to this day. Celebrate, au natural.
Oh. And btw. Now I stay clean for me.