Addiction is a tough thing, isn’t it? When we detach ourselves from our connection to God and those we love, it’s easy to convince ourselves that material things will fill the void in our lives. I was completely inspired last week when I looked further into the story of Mr. Justin Perrine, a recovering alcoholic who is not afraid to share his story and spread a very important message –> Pouring energy into positive, motivating thoughts and taking ownership for your actions is EVERYTHING when it comes to pulling yourself out of the black hole of addiction.
I asked Justin to answer a few questions for me that I thought would be useful for all of us struggling with some kind of addiction or another. I hope his thoughtful, deep answers and incredibly positive perspective will astound you as much as they did me. Check it out:
What was the lowest point you ever hit as an alcoholic? What thoughts were going through your mind?
My low point as an alcoholic was getting a 3rd DUI three months prior to my fathers passing — calling my parents at 3:00am from jail “knowing” my father is home undergoing chemotherapy with a short time period left. “Can I really just make things worse or what?!” He passed away the same week as 9/11, his funeral 9/10/01 and the following day with 9/11/01 opened the flood gates for the following 13 years of self inflicted pain and denial — I could not stop making bad decisions and creating more trouble for myself.
What saved you from your absolute lowest point?
On January 1, 2014 I realized: “When a mirror refuses to make eye contact, it’s time to change immediately!” New Years Eve 2013 was truly my send off of a life that needed to end — and I needed to close a chapter before I killed myself. I knew my lowest point was a ticking like a bomb.
What one thing would tell people facing alcoholism today?
I know what it’s like to feel alone and scared — I understand how helpless and impossible it may seem to turn your life around. I also know, this [thing] you’ve got yourself wrapped up in, excessive drinking, is not solving a single problem. If it’s not adding to your quality of life — it is taking away. You need to do this: Make “One Decision, One Commitment AND One Self Contract.”
• One Decision [The hardest part of making a decision IS deciding — after that it’s up to you how difficult you wish to make IT]
• One Commitment [You don’t need to make a list of 100 things to do — your ONLY focus is standing behind this premise]
• Self Contract [Don’t allow for ANYTHING to disrupt your agreement with yourself. Put it in writing, a tattoo, a journal, in the sky it’s your watermark and obligation of commitment]
How important do you think a person’s environment is for their ability to overcome alcoholism?
Your environment is inclusive: Your friends, the places you go / visit and motives behind where you are — need to change. When you put yourself into bad situations; you knew before you ‘got there’ what the situation is going to end up like. Don’t act surprised when you’re in jail and/or having a serious falling out from a relationship. Isn’t that WHY you went against your better judgement? You wanted this to happen — I did.
Where does your strength come from?
My strength comes from indulging [unlike alcohol] in positive and motivational materials. I’m in sales: I need to regain my confidence and start over in life — get back the life I once enjoyed. Humor and the ability to laugh at yourself — is part of the program. “If you can’t laugh at yourself, it’s going to be a long ride in the backseat of your life.” I don’t care how bad everything seems / appears [rule] you need to find laughter in all its absurdity.
Where did you get the name ‘Sober and Tonic’ from?
My drink of choice was [love saying past tense] Vodka & Tonic. I want to make sure there’s no confusion what to expect in any of my content focus. My other handle name @JunkerEleven isn’t where I wanted to draw attention on something “more personal” where I love the freedom of humor and sales related information.
What was the catalyst for you to change and become sober?
My catalyst was the matter of fact: I haven’t had my drivers license and car for 7 years — what the heck am I doing?! I can’t even DRIVE a family member to the hospital in case of an emergency! I’m limited to job choices and selection; driving required sure puts a damper. My demons are becoming my best friends — it’s like nothing is phasing me anymore. How can I possibly move forward in my life drinking 6/7 nights a week (9-15) Vodka & Tonics having blackouts?? I am embarrassed to be in public, my life is losing its value and I’m not this selfish in my heart.
What do you think is the most important thing when it comes to changing as a human being?
The most important thing to change: Your Confidence. It doesn’t matter how worthless you might feel at any given time; being resold on your value and self esteem is refuel for the soul. I am grateful for a few people who’ve impacted my life the last two years. Your mindset needs to change — without question. “Flip The Script.”
Where can people find more information about what you do?
Follow me at @SoberANDTonic and email
My Twitter handle started early February 2016 I am currently looking at starting a website under my domain JunkerEleven.Com “Coming Soon!” As a result of my past and legal disruption(s) my pseudo name Junker Eleven [Justin Perrine] real name is on hold until clearing up the effects of my alcohol addiction. I love the entertainment industry and comedy [stand up] is a hobby and therapy to “get it all out.” Someday, I’d love to see my name Junker Eleven [the name is a story inside itself] in lights: Stage, TV & Movies! What?! I’m making up for lost time AND and helping to fix an epidemic!
Addiction is no joke and I’m proud of the brave, honest route Justin is taking to get his story out there. He’s an excellent example of how owning your story completely not only allows you to heal, but helps others’ heal in the process. Thanks to Justin for sharing his story.
– Marji J. Sherman