David leaves drinking behind, starts fresh at the mission
David’s dad left his family when he was just 5, and David didn’t see him again until he was 18. They got drunk together and David never saw him again. He spent his childhood in Fresno with his mom and two sisters, eventually adding four stepsiblings to the family. “My grandparents took care of me a lot. My mom is really good with kids, up until they become teenagers and then she doesn’t know what to do with them. I moved over to grandparents, my sister stayed with my aunt and uncle. It was nice because we always had three families to bounce around to if we needed.”
David started smoking pot and drinking when he was 13, but said it was “just a casual thing.” At 19, he expanded on his drug use. “I was running around town with some local bands and we were putting on concerts everywhere,” David said. “I started doing speed then. … That’s where I met my wife, at one of those concerts. We were partying and it was fine until you considered a family situation, taking care of a kid, or going to work.”
David and his wife quit using when they got pregnant. They had a son, now 16, and were sober for five years. “And then I got injured,” David said. “I wasn’t able to get out of bed. My wife was like, ‘Why don’t you try some of these?’ The drugs did get me up out of bed, but then they take you far away.”
The couple divorced five years ago after 12 years of marriage. “We were doing a lot of speed and taking a lot of pills,” David said. “She wanted to keep doing speed, and I was losing my mind. I wanted to stop. She did not. We were living a few towns over from where we had lived for years. I think she was planning on getting rid of me or moving me out. She got weird. There were people around and I didn’t feel safe.”
David called his uncle. “I told him we needed to get out of there,” he said. “I didn’t take anything—I’m not sure if I even had any clothes. I just grabbed my son and my dog and went back to Fresno.”
David and his son moved in with his grandparents. He never resumed with drugs. “I was done doing speed,” he said. “I was really going nuts. I didn’t like the way I smelled, I didn’t like the way my skin looked. I like to sleep, I like to eat. I was done with it.”
David, a finish carpenter, tried to collect his tools a week later but was told by his wife that they had been stolen. “I didn’t have the resources I normally had to work,” he said. “I got depressed and I started drinking.”
David said his drinking got out of control. He also started hearing voices and studying dimensions. One day, he was “incredibly drunk,” David said, and his mom was tired of it. “I was belligerent and my mom wanted me out. I wanted to watch TV, which is weird because I hate TV. I got up to leave and she put her hands on me and I pushed them off of me. She called the police.”
David spent time at a county hospital and then another facility for weeks before coming to the mission. “I’m staying sober, and I’m learning to be around other people,” said David, a self-professed introvert. “It’s helping with that.
“Wherever the Lord leads me is where I’ll go. That’s the way my life has been forever. I don’t have a lot of say in anything,” David said, laughing, “and that’s OK. I just kind of go where he wants me.”
David’s son is with his grandparents and doing great, said David. He’s a junior in high school and gets straight As.