“I grew up in a small, upper middle class town, Middlebury, CT. I grew up on the side of town that didn’t really have the means or finances that a lot of my other friends had. Combine that with a household where there was a lot of dysfunction, that was a recipe for a young child like myself to feel very out of place, comfortable, less than, and really just different. And I rode that feeling out for a long time, and looked to blame someone or something for how I was feeling inside.”

 

“Sports were a great outlet for me early on. I got really involved in baseball. I played both baseball and basketball, but baseball I really strived in. That was one of the only places I really felt in control. From an early age alcoholism played a role in my life and I saw the dysfunctional and regular fights between my parents. So any chance I could get to be away from that I would take. On the baseball field and being on the mound specifically, I felt in control. I felt powerful. I felt like I was “the man”. That was the original high for me. It gave me a feeling I couldn’t find anywhere else.”

 

“I had a person who was very monumental in my life, my grandfather, who is my best friend. His house and being with him was a sanctuary to me. I would go retreat there on the weekends. He taught my how to play golf, spoiled me, and just talked to me about life. It was a place I felt safe, and there was always the feeling of knowing what was going to happen next. He was always very involved in my athletics growing up, he and my father would show up to every game and practice to show their support for me. I remember in 8th grade playing in a basketball game against our rival and we won in double overtime after I scored 31 points. The crowd was cheering and going crazy, it really was an amazing moment and probably the highlight of my life at that time. Quickly I went from the happiest I’d ever been in my life to my grandfather having a heart attack and dying right there on the floor. And thats when a light switch went off for me.”

 

“That summer before my freshman year of high school I started drinking. I remember the first time drinking at a friends house whose parents were away. Right from the beginning I can remember drinking to complete oblivion. It was about how it tasted, it was about how it made me feel, or how it didn’t make me have to feel. That night I ended up sleeping in a closest, half dressed. I woke up the next day thinking, “that was the greatest night of my life, I want to do that everyday”. And thats what I sought out to do for the next 20 years.”