Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Jason & Rachael Bickal
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00079B
00:14 Welcome back! Now I am going to introduce Jason,
00:18 but I want to know did you guys meet during that time?
00:21 When you get kicked out, you trying to do the whole AA thing
00:25 your trying to do recovery, did you meet then?
00:28 I would straight into sober living home.
00:30 - what is that? Sober living home is for people who
00:35 need a safe environment to stay sober.
00:37 You have rules, you have chores - that's the first thing
00:40 I was going to say, is how did you do that?
00:42 Because you have rules, you have chores, you have to get up
00:45 at a certain time. - it's called minimum.
00:49 I did the minimum of everything I had to do.
00:51 Then I met him in AA meeting.
00:54 - so you were in recovery then when you met her?
00:57 Um Hum! - So talk about, a little bit who you are so we
01:00 can figure out who you are as a couple now.
01:02 Because I love the fact, we all have our stuff and we
01:06 come into a relationship and think okay,
01:08 it should work out, right?
01:14 nobody told me that you've got baggage to bring with
01:17 you too, so I started about the same age as her.
01:23 11 or 12, I had alcoholic behavior before I was an
01:29 alcoholic, my family was fine.
01:33 My mom had a couple marriages, my step dad during my
01:38 teenage years tried to teach me how to be a man.
01:41 I was rebelling, I rebelled against his authority and
01:46 I didn't want to have nothing to do with that, I would
01:48 rather go to my thing, and I did that.
01:50 A lot of drinking, more drugs and drinking at first.
01:55 - where was your biological dad?
01:58 He left my mom when she was six months pregnant with me.
02:02 The only picture I had of him with his high school year
02:05 book, his swim team picture.
02:08 - to this day? Finally at age 30, I was a couple years
02:12 sober four years sober, somewhere in there.
02:15 My mom gave me an e-mail address and I e-mailed him a
02:18 couple times, he told me he was too young to have
02:22 grandkids, I told him he had grandkids, he cut it right there
02:23 - he was like I don't want to see you or meet them?
02:28 He really had no interest and I try to spark it up a
02:31 couple years ago, and I was already over it,
02:35 like okay whatever man.
02:36 So when you were a teen you had stepfathers?
02:38 My step dad, there with him I had worked for him and he
02:42 had his own business, I would steal from him to get
02:45 loaded and stuff.
02:47 I was doing meth when it was still speed during the 80s.
02:53 I could see two meth addicts watching, it was what?
02:58 I didn't know that.
03:00 We look different I guess but I don't know what,
03:02 I'm not that old but that is how it was.
03:07 I didn't graduate high school, I finished but was 15 and
03:10 credits short, I was shaken everyone's hand as they went
03:13 into the Stadium to graduate and I'll see you at the party.
03:17 It was my party I was by myself in the backyard,
03:21 or hidden in my car somewhere in a parking lot.
03:23 That is just how it was.
03:25 A lot of hallucinogenics, - so you jumped out of reality
03:30 into I just want to be out of reality?
03:32 Oh a lot, a lot and I don't know,
03:36 art was my thing, it was what I did
03:38 I drew, I would get high and I would draw.
03:41 I had some co-dependent teachers that would let me
03:47 hide out in the corner of their class during the day so
03:50 I would stay out of trouble, but for the most part
03:52 I didn't really care about anything that was going on.
03:56 So when I first heard about you, I heard you had a tattoo
04:01 shop, did you start that right after high school?
04:03 No, I didn't get into tattooing until about 6 and 1/2,
04:11 7 years ago, it was one of those,
04:13 I always wanted to things you know, but as I got older
04:18 I became a barroom dreamer.
04:20 You know you sit on the barstools and I was going to do
04:22 everything, - I love it, when you talk about that,
04:26 somebody smoking weed, sitting on the couch or in the bar
04:29 and you are just thinking, I'm going to, let's invent this.
04:32 I'm going to do this and have this kind of business.
04:34 I was going to play baseball, and I was going to soup up
04:41 cars, I was going to be a tattoo artist, and I was going
04:44 to do all these things you know.
04:45 Some days I was going to be an Air Force pilot.
04:48 - it depended on what the drug was.
04:51 What ever I needed to be that day, I could be that.
04:56 At about 19 or 20 the drugs stopped working.
04:59 What's interesting about that dreamer, it does beat down
05:04 the depression and the reality of what is happening
05:07 around you, the fact that you are in a bar again and have
05:09 been here every day for the last three months,
05:11 it's like it beats down that depression or reality.
05:16 The best idea I got was to finally get a job in a bar.
05:20 If I'm going to be there, I might as well get paid to be
05:23 there and the problem was my alcoholism took me to
05:27 a point where instead of me kicking people out,
05:29 I'm getting kicked out.
05:31 The dollar night and people are buying me drinks so now
05:34 the bouncer is totally sloshed, so away you have to go.
05:38 The guys I work with are you have to go home.
05:40 It wasn't pleasant, I don't really have any woo hoo
05:47 moments to talk about when I was drinking and stuff.
05:51 I have a couple good kids out of that whole deal.
05:55 I was married in my early 20s.
06:00 There is a couple, you know I have moments where there
06:08 was a moment of clarity in my drinking and when
06:14 I met my first wife.
06:18 She had a four-month-old and we had the party house
06:24 and everybody came to our house and everybody drank at
06:26 our house and she would come over with this kid.
06:28 It was like there is a kid in the house, this is our
06:32 house and something in the back my head was like
06:35 you can't drink tonight.
06:37 - You have to make sure that this kid is alright.
06:39 Right, so she ends up drinking and passed out,
06:41 everybody in the house is passed out and I'm with
06:42 a little four-month-old kid and I have no idea how
06:46 to take care of it.
06:48 I'm trying to mix formula and change diapers all night.
06:50 It's funny because I can even see that, it's adorable.
06:56 What is incredible is that your heart is coming
07:00 out for this kid, saying someone has to make
07:02 sure this kid is safe.
07:04 I mean you are a protector at heart.
07:07 I, yeah - unlike my father. - thanks honey.
07:14 What I think were a lot of folks is that we tend to judge
07:18 addicts not realizing that every addict has a story,
07:23 every addict has a heart, and every addict has those
07:26 gifting that would have been developed had somebody had
07:30 been normal around them growing up.
07:31 They pop through even at the drug houses when you said
07:35 you had a drug house.
07:37 I have lived in those houses and you always had different
07:40 people and their gifting this would show through,
07:42 even through all the craziness, all the addicts,
07:43 they could be slamming drugs and cutting on themselves
07:46 and yet their hearts shows through.
07:50 There has been more times like that, there has been those
07:53 intervals where I would clean up, even as a teenager.
07:55 I would get involved in church and whatever and do things
07:59 there and when that was gone I was just back to what I know.
08:04 That's how it's been my whole life.
08:09 - so this person had passed out and you were holding on
08:12 the baby at what point did you say I think I should marry
08:15 her? I love that to, it's like we, what were we thinking?
08:20 And sad part is I don't even know if I loved her enough to
08:25 marry her, but I loved the baby, I fell in love with that
08:28 little girl and she is 16 now.
08:29 Is a phenomenal student and on occasion I get e-mails
08:33 and that is cool.
08:35 We ended up getting married in Vegas and she went
08:40 upstairs to smoke some heroin, I went downstairs
08:43 to drink and Gamble and that was that.
08:46 She is pregnant with our son and she ends up leaving
08:53 after a month, we got home and in a month it was over.
08:56 Basically we were still married but we weren't together.
08:59 - and your son stayed with you?
09:01 No she was still pregnant with him and running the
09:07 streets doing her thing, I'm drinking more and homeless.
09:11 Because my mom, I love my mother, she decided what I was
09:16 doing was destroying her as well and she said you
09:19 have two weeks in the house and I'm moving.
09:20 So she packed all her stuff and left me some food and left.
09:24 She went off to live her life without dying in my tornado
09:28 basically. - when you say that, I'm glad you
09:33 said that because you are giving mothers and fathers
09:36 permission to say that sometimes you have to do that.
09:38 As much as that is hurting your child, is literally going
09:44 to stand them up in the long run.
09:46 It did, she would continue to let me come back,
09:50 and never let me hit bottom, the term they used was
09:55 she was loving me to death.
09:57 She would be like I have to go, I'm leaving you.
10:00 So was like nobody's there.
10:02 I moved into an industrial complex that turned into
10:06 a rehearsal studio, so I thought I was cool.
10:08 I'm definitely cool now because I was working with
10:11 a local band in California and they paid me $35 a night
10:16 and half the drink tickets, because when I was drunk
10:19 I could lift heavy stuff and that was basically my job,
10:22 moving the equipment and protect the girlfriends.
10:24 A time or two I come out of a blackouts with a mic stand
10:28 in my hand chasing somebody down the alley.
10:30 They just laughed and thought it was great, you're doing
10:33 a great job, the way to go.
10:34 Here have a beer.
10:37 Picked up a DUI and 97, it was no big deal really because
10:41 my drinking, when I'm supposed to blow. 08 the legal limit,
10:46 that's normal, I'm waking up and putting that stuff in my
10:52 body to be normal, not to get drunk, not to have fun
10:59 anymore, I'm drinking at this point, after 13 years,
11:01 I'm drinking for normal, I just want to be normal.
11:06 My father would drink just so he wouldn't tremor so much
11:07 while he brushed his teeth, He couldn't hold a glass
11:10 of liquid because he would shake it right out.
11:13 I understand that is when this is not fun anymore.
11:17 And it wasn't, I had small moments with Ha, Ha, Ha,
11:21 but for the most part it wasn't fun.
11:26 My drinking it ruined a lot of things,
11:30 it wrecked my life. - it robbed you.
11:34 It really did and I got that DUI and am locked up in the
11:37 jailhouse in orange county and they let me out.
11:40 I put my car over a fire hydrant and I was trying to get
11:45 off a fire hydrant with the guys in my car and the water
11:48 is coming up, so I'm soaked from toe to chest.
11:51 They got me in the car and take me over to the house,
11:55 they didn't have any jumpsuits so I spent the night in
11:58 wet clothes and that was fine until they let me out in six in
12:00 the morning and I have to walk 2 and 1/2 miles back to
12:03 my studio, my kingdom.
12:07 Of course I have to call mommy, I've got a DUI and as
12:11 I'm talking to her at 6:30 in the morning I'm cracking
12:14 a beer, and then I'm opening another one.
12:16 But that's not the problem, the road was wet and that's
12:19 what happened, that was the insanity that was going on
12:22 in my life for that period of time.
12:25 And for any alcoholic or anybody that is in the lifestyle
12:27 that are watching, we do say it was the road, or it is
12:32 this or it is that, or a had three and I should have
12:35 had two, I mean we just rationalized the whole thing.
12:40 A lot of times, it was a lot of that.
12:44 Right after that my son was born, he was born addicted
12:48 to heroin. - were you there when he was born?
12:53 Yeah I was half hour into a pass out after a night
12:57 of drinking, and I had no license so I had to call my
13:00 neighbor who I was drinking with and he took me 50 miles
13:04 down the road to the hospital.
13:07 What is hard about seeing a baby addicted to heroin is
13:10 everything hurts them, I mean their skin hurts.
13:14 They are already going through withdrawals and where you
13:17 should see this incredible baby laying against do you see
13:20 this addict going through withdrawals.
13:22 It was that night, I can't really tell you, I don't
13:25 remember much, I just remember there were a lot of
13:28 problems and my mom was on her way down.
13:30 It was just rough, it was rough, I lived a horrid
13:40 lifestyle in my opinion.
13:42 I was separated from everybody and everything.
13:44 We were in there for a couple of days and I got to go
13:48 back to Andrews mom, his grandmother's house and I got
13:58 to spend about an hour with him and then I left.
14:00 She went her way with him, I don't remember seeing him
14:05 much for the first couple months and I got a knock on my
14:08 door and there she was and she says here's your kid,
14:11 I can't take care of him anymore because of her disease.
14:16 So one more time at picked up the phone, like mommy
14:18 I need to come home.
14:20 She is like, I don't know, I've got a baby and
14:22 she was like come home.
14:27 Was that a turning point for you? Did you know at that
14:30 point you were not going to, no!
14:32 I wasn't done. - isn't that crazy, we are so crazy in
14:34 our addictions and to me that breaks my heart because
14:38 I know the addiction is so huge that nothing overrides
14:41 it until we are done.
14:43 Like with your letter, were done and I'm having to say
14:45 goodbye, but you weren't done yet?
14:47 No, I was getting there, but what it did is it gave me
14:51 permission to keep going now, because my mom would take
14:54 care of him, he was really sick.
14:56 She to her credit did so much for him.
15:03 She basically nursed him back to physical contact,
15:06 because he wasn't a touchy baby, he would cry.
15:10 She would just hold him until he stopped crying.
15:12 I have taken kids to do volunteer work with drug babies,
15:15 and it hurts them so bad that they cannot be held,
15:18 you cannot nurture them, you can't sing to them,
15:21 you can't coo to them, the thing she would do to normal
15:23 babies because they are in so much pain.
15:26 He wasn't touched, so he didn't know what the physical
15:30 contact was, and I continued drinking and I had
15:33 a job at a bagel shop.
15:34 My boss would keep me employed because I would take him
15:37 out on pay night. - you gave him permission to drink?
15:43 He kept me employed because I would buy, I'm buying,
15:47 we would go.
15:51 I ended up in that school ten and they tell me don't drink
15:54 and we are going to teach you about alcoholism and stuff and
15:57 I didn't want anything to do that, so I continued to drink
16:01 and I decided I wasn't going to.
16:05 At Columbus Day in 97 was the last time in jail.
16:08 It wasn't for really anything but I didn't have a light
16:12 on my bike, I didn't get arrested for cool things I got
16:15 arrested for dumb stuff like I got a ticket because I
16:18 didn't have my dog's license and it went to warrant.
16:20 It was like look at me, and you couldn't totally brag on.
16:24 Everybody was don't worry you'll be out in no time.
16:27 Even the first I went to jail I told them I was insane.
16:31 I was like suicidal and they sent me to the state
16:34 hospital because I was so scared.
16:35 I spent my whole life in fear and I drank to mask that.
16:39 So I'm trying to stay sober, it's January of 97 and
16:43 we go to this bar with my boss.
16:45 The gal behind the bar is a friend of ours and I'm like
16:48 I'm not drinking tonight.
16:50 She said if you're in this bar you drink and I say give
16:53 me half a beer, and that is the last thing I remember
16:56 until the beginning of March.
16:58 Basically came to at an AA meeting, sitting with a person
17:03 who was elbowing me, did you hear that, did you hear
17:05 that, it sounds like you, I was caught.
17:07 I was caught, like oh man they got me.
17:10 Because I wasn't done, to this day I think we call it
17:16 a brass knuckle bottom, I think God had to knock me out
17:18 to get me here, that's my feeling on the matter.
17:22 It was the only way I was going to get here.
17:25 We use that a lot, God putting you on the fast track
17:30 or knocking you out, but you don't mean that,
17:33 but looking back it felt like that.
17:34 It feels like that was the only thing, - that in His
17:39 mercy, - yeah, thank you for grace because here I am
17:43 where it is going to save my life.
17:45 I was trying to back up into the corner, I'm like I'm
17:48 caught but I can still get out of here, what got it my
17:51 way was another man at Alcoholics Anonymous.
17:53 He was twice my size and 10 times louder than I am
17:56 and he got my attention.
17:58 There was a lot of profanity and he was bigger than my
18:03 head, so what the drinking did for me he was doing
18:07 verbally and basically put me in his car.
18:10 He said we are going to meetings and that is what I did.
18:14 He became your lifeline for awhile.
18:16 Yeah, he was my sponsor, my first sponsor and basically
18:20 he was the person that to I looked.
18:22 I could physically see, feel and know that God is
18:27 operating in your life, I know
18:29 He can do something in life.
18:31 That man taught me how to help other alcoholics.
18:36 We'd go to detoxes and I would be seven-day sober
18:40 and they would be six-say sober
18:42 and tell me to talk about getting them another day.
18:48 Usually we break for questions, but I don't want to do
18:50 that today because I want to stay with this and we don't
18:53 have a lot of time.
18:54 So I wanted to say that you're not only in a 12 step
18:58 program, you have decided I'm going to do it.
19:01 Maybe the guy in front of you is deciding that you're going
19:04 to get into the car and keep doing this and all that stuff.
19:07 I wish people could find that in a church setting but a lot
19:10 of times they cannot, but in AA somebody will stay right
19:12 with you until you are safe.
19:15 Or whatever that means to them, and that is where you
19:18 guys met, is in the meetings.
19:21 I just see this craziness across the room.
19:25 I see someone and say you know.
19:28 Well it's funny, seriously how we met it was this meeting in
19:32 California, a huge meeting, you had to show up an hour
19:35 earlier or you weren't getting a seat.
19:37 It was huge and there was one seat open and
19:42 it was right next to me.
19:44 This man happened to sit in that seat, and me being the
19:48 awesome person that I am I made fun of him.
19:52 - what did she say to you?
19:53 I had a work phone that was all beat up,
19:55 and she says that the pretty ghetto phone.
19:59 I said, I have a job you know, - He was rude to me.
20:04 He was rude to me, so I was instantly in love,
20:06 because I was still very sick. Love at first insult.
20:10 That is funny - but I has swore off woman, I was done.
20:13 I was going to be a single dad, because I had my kids by
20:17 this time, and if I was to be a single dad for the rest
20:21 of my life, then that's how it would be.
20:23 Then we get to this meeting and my friend is sitting in
20:26 the other seat and actually I was going to sit next to
20:29 him, little did I know that my wife was going
20:32 to be sitting next to me.
20:35 It was amazing. - you know what really is tough?
20:39 Your testimony of what happens from this point on is so
20:44 Rich and we only have like six minutes.
20:49 I hate that, so you guys get married.
20:54 Whoever can say this the fastest, is that it was not
20:59 easy, you guys were still crazy, acting out, and all that
21:03 stuff before God finally got a hold of you and taught you
21:07 to love, that has only been within the last how long?
21:11 Three months maybe, yeah it wasn't easy,
21:16 marriage was not easy, I only had six months
21:18 of sobriety, and I was 19, he had two kids full-time
21:26 our home was not a good home.
21:29 It was not a healthy home.
21:30 - everybody had their garbage still?
21:32 Yes, very much so. He always felt like he was useless.
21:36 He felt not good enough. I constantly felt unwanted
21:40 an unloved, our home was a bad home.
21:45 God was nowhere in it, we talked about God,
21:48 and we thought we had this relationship with Him,
21:50 and we accepted Him, but there was no God in our home.
21:56 I know that not long ago, you met my Pastor.
21:59 He is an awesome guy, and he convinced you, first of all
22:04 I want to know how you got to his place and that he
22:07 convinced you to allow God into those deeper hurts.
22:10 I want you to talk a little bit about that because that
22:13 is where the real healing comes from.
22:14 It is like when you say God, about that shame I have,
22:18 all that rejection I have come so talk about that.
22:22 Well he left something on the computer and I thought it
22:29 was mine and I went to go check it and he was having an
22:36 emotional affair with another woman.
22:39 - you had these huge rejection issues.
22:43 Oh yeah, huge, and to me I told him because it was the
22:47 emotional that I needed so much, I told him he could
22:51 sleep with a thousand women and it would not hurt me
22:55 as much as the emotional affair did.
22:57 Because he said things to her that he hadn't said to me
23:01 in years and I wanted a divorce and I told him that.
23:06 He convinced me to go see Joe.
23:11 Joe, how did you? - a friend of mine had worked with
23:17 him before and he said I didn't finish but maybe you can,
23:21 here is his number and I called him.
23:22 He was grumpy on the phone, whatever, and I was like I
23:26 don't know if this guy can help but we ended up going.
23:30 It was amazing to be in a place where this guy is looking
23:34 at us and we are telling him stuff that we have never
23:37 told anybody because our hearts were so locked up,
23:41 even in our marriage, and I had pulled out so far in the
23:45 marriage and she was more of a poker.
23:49 We just locked up our hearts from each other.
23:53 What's interesting, and I wish we had more time.
23:57 What's interesting is for Joe, he will never look at the
24:00 event, what happened and what the hurt was, or what was
24:03 on the computer screen, he wants to know what did your
24:07 heart feel. - oh yes. - go ahead.
24:10 That is where I found out, through my very first
24:14 childhood memory, I felt unwanted and unloved.
24:18 All through my life every single thing that ever happened to
24:21 me, was unwanted an unloved.
24:23 Uh huh, never good enough for me, less than.
24:27 Again what's interesting is when you allow God to come in
24:31 and be the healer, be the counselor.
24:34 A lot of people say we don't need to go to those places,
24:38 but if I constantly go to the unloved and unwanted,
24:41 if I constantly go to the never good enough I'm going to
24:45 put everybody in my life to validate that until somebody
24:48 says that's not true.
24:50 In God's eyes you are wanted, you are wanted more than
24:53 you know, more than you can receive right now.
24:56 So what you had to do sitting there with this Pastor,
25:00 is to allow God to convince you that I want you.
25:04 I love you. - well I got to see his pain.
25:07 Here all this time I thought he was just a shell of a human
25:12 being that I finally got to see his pain.
25:16 I mean I said some mean things to him, I was not a nice
25:19 person and new in my sobriety, especially when this
25:22 happened I said some, I told him our five-years
25:25 marriage meant nothing to me.
25:27 So you were feeling never good enough?
25:30 - so I pulled back more. - the more he pulled back
25:34 the more I yelled, the more I got angry,
25:36 the more insults. - when you finally saw his pain,
25:39 what did you feel for him?
25:43 Love, compassion, I just felt compassion and about the
25:52 healing, when I was going through my bitterness,
25:54 my bitterness that I had to feel free from, I actually
26:00 felt compassion for my first stepfather that molested me
26:05 and beaten me, I felt compassion for that man.
26:08 - and forgiveness? - and forgiveness, yes.
26:10 So what the devil meant destroy you with, you are
26:13 reclaiming and actually going in and allowing
26:17 God to bring healing.
26:18 We are going to go ahead and take a break and then we are
26:20 going to come back and I would like you to stay with me
26:23 during the close because I think a lot of people are
26:25 afraid of going to those places to heal.
26:28 I know, I watched you one day when you walked out of
26:32 there clean with no shame and the joy that you had when
26:36 you walked into my house I was like, I wish that
26:40 everybody could get that.
26:41 If you are brave enough, if you trusted God enough,
26:45 or even just someone enough to say I want to heal.
26:49 I want to go through this, I don't want to carry this my
26:51 whole life, then recovery makes sense.
26:56 You can't get that in 12 step group, you can't get that
27:00 anywhere but from God.
27:02 And I don't want to knock any 12 step groups,
27:04 but you really can't get that anywhere but from God.
27:07 We are going to be right back and you have to stay with
27:10 us because this is the good part.