Episode 45: Terrence
In Episode 45 of Far From Finished Terrence talks about how working in addiction recovery helping other addicts with their issues keeps him sober. He knows he can’t make anybody do anything but if he can share his story and they can take something out of that then it helps him go to sleep at night knowing that he’s doing the right thing.
Growing up Terrence always wanted to be the best at everything. One thing that he excelled in was sports, especially baseball. Wanting to be the best put a heavy weight on him. That weight was relieved by drinking – his first drink occurring around the age of 12 years old. From that point, he was sneaking alcohol and drugs. If you looked at Terrence from the outside it looked like he was doing pretty well. He’d pitch seven innings of baseball or throw a no-hitter but after the game he would use cocaine. Terrence was struggling at home, with himself and he was never able to ask for help.
After his senior year in high school, Terrence was drafted in the 20th round by the Montreal Expos, accomplishing a life goal. Within a few months of this achievement he was arrested for assault and theft. He also totaled his father’s car — all three incidents occurring while he was high. Even though he had done so much to self-sabotage his career there were no major consequences to his actions. Nobody wanted him to get into trouble.
Signed with the Expos (now the Washington Nationals) Terrence fell into a cycle where he was drinking constantly. Prescribed Vicodin and Xanax for his back, Terrence began his physical addiction. Taking pills every day, he became a full blown addict when he decided to quit playing baseball. During this period he knew he was making a mistake giving away the opportunity he wanted for as long as he could remember. Returning back to the game, Terrence pitched the best month of baseball in his life but the pressure to be the best lingered. His solution led him back down the cycle.
A year and a half after being in spring training with the Seattle Mariners and in the same room with Ken Griffey Jr. (one of his heroes), Terrence was out of baseball (due to his back) and homeless. Down on his luck and past the point of no return, Terrence knew he had to get help. His journey towards recovery began up north in an Upstate New York shelter for men, then eventually down south at a sober home in Palm Beach, Florida. Terrence didn’t set any expectations for his recovery. He just did it. Now in Virginia he works in the field of addiction recovery where he still goes to meetings and sponsors people.
Today Terrence can reflect about the path that led to his recovery. He thought that he was done once he lost baseball. He believes that if he didn’t go through what he had gone through (overdosing, being homeless) he wouldn’t have the opportunities he has now to help people.
Podcast may contain mature language and situations.
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