When I was 8 years old, I started rocking back and forth on the floor as I watched TV with my parents. I don’t remember why I started, except possibly to daydream more and feel free.
My dad was strict and I think I wanted to escape my reality as much as possible. I was a creative and imaginative boy and created games and shows to keep myself entertained.
My parents never questioned my rocking, and I don’t think they knew about Autism or Asperger’s (this was back in the 70’s).
When I was 12, I discovered hard rock music and was blown away by the power and energy of the music. It added nicely to my rocking and I could escape more into a fantasy world, where I would “get the bullies back” in school by my dark imagination fueled by rock music.
I rocked and listened to music after dinner up until bedtime and I wanted to be a rock drummer. My grades suffered which enraged my dad. My sister, who was four years older, was a grade A student. I just wanted to play music.
When I was 17, I discovered a magic potion called Alcohol. It was a love-at-first-drink scenario and it affected me like a powerful speed. I later would stay up all night in alcohol-induced manic episodes, and wanted to talk to everyone. I guess alcohol lifted my anxiety and suppression of my father to the point where I felt truly alive and free.
In the same year, I dropped out of high school and my dad was furious but really couldn’t make me do homework. He threatened to kick me out right when I turned 18.
From 18 to 20 I slept on friend’s floors and bought a Volkswagen van and lived around the streets of my hometown. I parked between houses so no one would know what house I was visiting and wouldn’t kick me out.
So, by now I was drinking coffee and alcohol, smoking cigarettes, listening to Metal, and rocking. It was a perfect concoction to escape reality and numb out.
Alcohol basically took away my dreams of becoming a rock n roll drummer, and I settled working in the kitchens of restaurants. Most of the cooks drank heavily and it was a wild time.
I was now drinking every night and I was either hungover at a job or getting wasted after work. I started to drink in the morning to escape the hangover. I had a heart-attack when I was 32 that left doctors mystified why I had one so young. I knew it was alcohol-related.
When I was 35 I got into the caregiving profession and I was able to drink with the man I cared for. It nearly got me fired several times, and by now I was skipping meals to avoid “ruining my alcohol buzz” which led me on a downward spiral quickly.
By now, I was rocking 10 to 14 hours a day and drinking the entire time. Friends warned me I would die within the year. Music and alcohol were my only friends. The only people I enjoyed being around were people who were basically drunks and could drink like me.
When I was 36, I finally had enough, after 100’s of relapses, and said good-bye to alcohol. I was physically and mentally broken and almost died from withdrawals.
After two weeks, I had enough strength to work two jobs and get my life back on track, but I still hadn’t done any spiritual work to figure out why I was running from myself through coping mechanisms, aka addictions.
The last few years, I have been quitting all the addictions and coping mechanisms to unravel the true Erik that I haven’t connected to truly since I was 8 years old.
The last 40 year addictions have been rocking and music. This blog is to share my journey with others and hopefully inspire you to change your life as well.
Here’s my last day rocking:
This blog is to help you quit addictions and any stimming you might do as well. Welcome to the journey where we break free and feel truly alive!
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