Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:03:38 — 14.6MB)
Bradley G. Quick C.Ht
TV/Radio Host – Author – Motivational Speaker, Life Enhancement Specialist, Visionary. My passion in life is to help people. I do that through my books, CD’s, radio show, and seminars. Check it out at: www.bradleyquick.com
You may, or may not, relate to my story only you can make that decision. However, while reading my life experience keep in mind that if this process can work for me, this process will most likely work for you, if you work at it. If you don’t, it absolutely won’t work for you and you will be wasting your time.
I was born May 11, the second eldest in a family of nine, seven children and my mother and father. By the time I was eight years old, four of my brothers and my only sister had died of cystic fibrosis. The memories I have of that part of my life are not as severe as one might imagine. Then again, suppressing these memories may very well be my brain’s way of avoiding pain. However, I can only now realize how devastating that time must have been for my parents. My mother tells me how she and my father would leave the house for the hospital with one of the children and return without the child in hand, only to find me watching anxiously through the window anticipating their return with my sibling. Upon my acknowledging the obvious, the death of another, I would go stand in the corner and say nothing, listen to no one’s explanation, and show no emotion. I internalized it all, the abandonment, the guilt and the loss.
I started 1st grade at three years old in a private school. They said I was a gifted child. I could speak French and Spanish and was very good in math. My father had even taught me to play chess. Though not apparent on the outside, at that young age inside I was reeling from the pain.
On a gray November day in 1963, the school made an announcement that the president had been shot. At that moment I turned to my teacher, tears running down my face, and told her it was I who had killed the president. I assumed total responsibility, and total guilt, for JFK’s assassination. You see I had an older brother, Bryon, who because of his sickness got most of the attention from my parents, grand parents, etc. So in my little mind I wanted him out of the picture. Then he died. I assumed the responsibility for his death. It was my fault, I had killed him. The guilt was mine, and I took the guilt of the world upon my small shoulders, even the assassination of the president.
As I got ready to start 3rd grade we moved to a smaller house and I had to go to another school, a public school. My mother met with the principal, he said I was too young for 3rd grade, so at age 6 they put me back into the 1st grade, where already familiar with the work, I developed an attitude that since I knew it, why do it. That attitude would haunt me throughout my life.
Sports became part of my life at about age 7, Little League baseball and Pee Wee football for the Seaveiw Sharks. I excelled at both. I played baseball for the Reds, I was their star pitcher and best hitter, and they called me Big Bad Brad. I loved sports. I’d always give Coach Cook, my football coach, a hard time. He’d say, time for push-ups! My response would be, what’s a push-up? I guess I thought I was cool, or maybe I was just a smart-ass.
The only problem I had with football is that I hesitated to hit anybody very hard. While athletic, I resisted inflicting pain on others.
At age nine, at the beginning of the football season, the second day of fourth grade I suffered major brain trauma in a bike accident. While walking home from school with the neighbor kids I had won the opportunity to ride as a passenger with my next door neighbor on his ten speed bike down a great big hill. I hopped onto the cross bar and we were off. We soon reached a speed that was estimated to be about 60 mph, hit a bump, and my feet flew into the spokes. It was a bad accident. The doctors said I’d die by morning or be a total bedridden vegetable for the rest of my life. I underwent a tracheotomy, and was in a coma for a month. It was just about that time the doctors had given up hope and suggested I be taken off life support. My mother wouldn’t have it, and against the doctors orders she and my father took me home. Mom slept with me, walked me, talked to me and pushed me around in a wheelchair (thanks mom, thanks dad). Half of my right eye was blind. I had no coordination in my left side, and my entire right side was paralyzed. I could not communicate at all. When I would finally get something out it was usually unrelated to what I was trying to say. I was a mess. I had to learn to walk and talk all over again, and as if that wasn’t enough I also no longer had any coping mechanisms, none. No self-esteem, no self-worth, no self-confidence and a bad self image.
Coming out of this I had a real sense of lack, or need, I was no longer enough. I no longer had the ability to deal with life on life’s terms even if just from a child’s perspective. The doctors had me on an anti-convulsive drug, Dilanten. After a couple years of physical, speech and vision therapies I began to integrate back into society’s perceived normality. I definitely didn’t fit in and was always striving for you’re attention. As if that wasn’t enough my parents began a sloppy divorce. Father kidnapped my younger brother Blair and me and he took us to Miami, then London. Then upon arriving back home in San Diego, mom kidnapped us from dad. Very unsettling for a child with no emotional stability. Stare downs with psychiatrists, severe mood swings, complete defiance of boundaries became a way of life. I was a mess.
It was soon there after that Blair, my younger brother, and I relocated to northern California with mother and our soon to be stepfather. I was about 11 years old and I believe it was there at that young age I first found the relief brought forth by Substances, including food. I began to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol at that tender young age of 11 or 12, not realizing they diverted me from others, buffered me from life, helped me to fit in, and in fact may have kept me alive, at least as I then perceived life. As my hormones started raging I also found it easy to escape mentally via sex, with self, others or whatever was most handy. I had trouble all through school, even got kicked out of a couple, including high school, the second week of 11th grade. I was living with Pops at the time. My father said I either had to go to school or get a job. In fact on several occasions he took me to his office. I never knew exactly why until 20+ years later he informed me that at that time he was trying to spark my business interest. I had no idea! I was oblivious to his intent. All I knew was that I had to find that next fix and it didn’t matter in what form it presented itself, cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, food, sex. It made no difference, I was never concerned as to the consequence of my behavior, just fix me and fix me now!
Then at the age of 19, after being dumped by a couple of women and drinking all day on the beach in the hot sun, a buddy and I decided to get some more booze (Jim Beam) and go to his place and relax. Using a California ID card I had acquired at 14 or 15 years old from the DMV just for this purpose, I went in to buy some more whiskey. Coming out of the store I saw my buddy talking with a group of locals. Before too long an altercation erupted. Shots were fired. We chased them, they chased us, the cops got involved, and we were arrested.
Just after being bailed out of jail on four counts of attempted murder, just after having to take the bus home, just after spending 3 of the scariest, most brutal days of my life in captivity, I was informed, over the phone, that my last brother Blair had just been killed in an auto accident. I didn’t hesitate to go straight to the liquor cabinet, to deal with the feelings and emotions, and get drunk.
I then had to call my father in Pennsylvania and relay all this tragic information to him. The first thing out of his mouth was ‘Stay out of the liquor, what happened?’ I had to tell him how Blair had been thrown out of and rolled over by his buddy’s car, how I had been arrested on four counts of attempted murder and that my car had been impounded. I had always felt lonely, separate, different and afraid, but the intensity and emotion behind my feelings at that moment was dreadful.
Up to that point I had already been addicted to and/or reliant upon heroin, crystal methadrine, pot, mushrooms, cocaine, reds, and of course the two great American lies, cigarettes and alcohol. I’d been in and out of jail, in and out of schools, and a wild sex addict. I loved to indulge in foods of all types, especially when inflicted by a drug-induced case of the munchies. At that point I already had five DUI`s and I still wasn’t finished. I had two more yet to go.
Now my father, fully embarrassed by me, his only living son, soon booted me out of San Diego. I was only to return for court appearances and final sentencing.
My father and I knew the judge’s best friend and we made that most evident to the judge. I was convicted of four counts of assault with a deadly weapon and was looking at 4 to 10 years in the big house. But due to our indirect affiliation with the judge I got sentenced to six months, and ended up doing 72 days of local time. That was a big relief, to say the least.
The day I got out of jail I went to a massage parlor, got a car, headed for my connection’s house to score some drugs, and by mid-day was getting drunk at the beach. My existence was fueled by immediate gratification and always being dependent upon Substance Abuse for survival. My father wouldn’t tolerate me in San Diego for any time at all, and after wrecking his old Lincoln, I was soon shipped back to Moscow, Idaho, to my mother’s home. There my overeating, erratic behavior and Substance Abuse continued to be the focus of my life. At this point neither of my parents liked me, they just tolerated me. They were never at any time sure of what I would say or do. I was unpredictable at best and very scary.
I don’t know about you, but for me, it was seldom the acquaintance or casual friend I hurt or offended, it was always my closest family and friends. It was always those that meant so much to me that I would drag through the coals. Very sad, but very true.
Knowing I had to get out of mom’s house in Moscow (but not having the money to do so) I had resorted to the next best thing, going back to school. Being a student at 22 years old I could justify continued or even enhanced support from mom and dad. So I enrolled at Spokane Falls Community College in beautiful Spokane, Washington.
There, just as in Moscow, I absolutely did not fit in with my long blonde hair and bell-bottoms. I never made any real effort to adapt to my surroundings. I always had to be different and either better than, or less than others. Never an equal, always better or less than.
I had no positive self-identity. I was such a bull shitter and had been that way ever since the bicycle accident. It was never about me; it was about who I knew; or said I knew; it was about who my father was, or who I said he was; the places I’d been, or said I’d been. My ego was based on perceived association, not reality, just my perceived bull shit associations. And I totally believed all this crap, I really did. Because deep down inside I knew, I really knew, that I was an insignificant, worthless human being and if you could only see the real me you would certainly abandon me as my siblings did. You would not pay any attention to me just like my unattainable father, and you would certainly not care for me as an individual. You would discard me. Remember, in my mind I was always lonely, separate, different and afraid, isolated and alone.
So, back to school I went, false ego and pride in hand, along with my books. I stuck out like a sore thumb, a fish out of water. My father had agreed to finance this endeavor and told me to secure an apartment. Rather than feel like I was putting Pops out, I went and secured a real dump for a whopping $150 a month. Mom furnished it and I was set. I got my backpack, found the liquor store, and off to school I went. I hadn’t used my brain in a long time. It didn’t work too well, and in trying to make an impression in my classes and of course, on my classmates, I would ask questions which I perceived to be absolutely profound only to get laughs and looks of disgust. As we neared the end of the quarter I foresaw several Fs upcoming. So I dropped out and received an incomplete. Better than failing, I thought. This continued throughout my first year of higher education. Then business law became appealing, my brain began to work a little better, and I got into the music business. That gave me a license to party and instilled some false pride or mistaken importance to my life. Again it was ‘Yeah, I work with them’ or ‘Yeah, I’m putting that concert or tour together’. My relevance as a human being was entirely based upon what others thought about who I knew or what I did. In my eyes I was insignificant, worthless, so it couldn’t be about me. It had to be about someone or something else with which I claimed to be affiliated. I am guessing that you can either understand or relate to this sad state of mind.
One Thanksgiving, after not being back in San Diego or seeing my father for two years, Pops invited me to come spend the holiday with the family, all 50 or 60 of them. I accepted and talked him into letting me bring my younger half brother Bruce, all of four or five, so that he could meet the Quick family. Up to that point Pops had been hinting that he might, because of my dramatic change, allow me to work with him in one of his businesses. I was completely thrilled. I had always dreamed of working with Pops. It was my life’s ambition to work with my father and to make him proud.
I showed up that Thanksgiving, brother in hand, confronted by family and feelings and emotions that I had no idea how to contend with. So what did I do? I resorted to what I did best to cope with every emotion. Happy, sad, excited, depressed or angry, in hate in love or in fear I again relied on Substance(s) to deaden my perceived discomfort. At that Thanksgiving reunion I made a total ass of myself, embarrassing everyone, sometimes with clothes on sometimes with clothes off. I awakened the day after knowing something was wrong but not remembering, wanting a beer knowing that would fix my hangover, but looking at the disgust in the family’s eyes and realizing that not to be an option. I flew back to Spokane the next day, all hope of working with my father gone. Another opportunity drug induced into oblivion.
At this time I was hanging out in bars a lot, some seedier than others. The Fresh Air Tavern was a favorite for me (funny name for a place that always smelled like barf). The owner Bill and I had something in common. Neither of us could control our use of mind altering Substances. We shared complete powerlessness in that regard. One day while shooting pool I met a woman named Cindy and immediately invited her to my apartment for dinner. She accepted the invitation, and being as sly and debonair as I thought I was, I made sure I had a bottle of wine and a gram of cocaine.
She showed up, we began to drink and eat, and as the evening progressed I said, ‘How `bout a couple lines, would you like that?’
She responded, ‘Oh yes’.
I came out of the bedroom, gram in hand, and saw her getting something from her purse; I inquired,
‘Oh this is how I like to do my coke,’ with syringe in hand ‘Have you ever tried it?’
Now I had shot heroin, crystal methadrine, and I think coke on one occasion, but for all intents and purposes I said ‘ No, why?’
She said, ‘ It’s pretty good do you want a blast?’
I’ve got to tell you for the duration of that rush I was God, and John Holmes, at the same time. For the remainder of my intravenous drug life it was this first rush I chased after but never again experienced. I didn’t know it at the time, I had no idea, but this was to be another step towards my demise.
It became most apparent to me that with the coke I had a hard time doing just one. Just one, in fact of anything. I found it especially hard to limit anything that made me feel good, and brought me immediate gratification, to just one. That didn’t work for me anymore than just saying no! I couldn’t do it. Yes, there was occasionally an exception to my inability to say no or do just one, but that was very infrequent, and never the rule. My answer was almost always, ‘More.’
I began to write bad checks and go to any lengths to acquire more cocaine and more syringes. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to pay my monstrous debt to the cocaine dealer. Then I realized I had two days to drop out of school in order to be reimbursed the out of state tuition my father had paid then of course I could pay my debt to the coke dealer and get more cocaine fronted to me on my good credit. What a deal, a creative solution, to assure that things would continue to go better with cocaine.
If someone had explained to me the definition of insanity as, ‘doing the same thing over and over again anticipating different results’, I don’t think I would have believed them. But at that point that definition sure fit. In looking back I was truly insane.
Once again my Substance inflicted Behavioral Disorders stopped working for me. I again was getting evicted, I had burned all my bridges, dropped out of school, and lost any respect from anyone who at one time may have respected me. It was time for me again to pull a geographic solution, move and leave all my troubles behind. The truth is the only problem I had was me. I was my problem. The only troubles I had were of my own creation, my own making. Soon after that I ended up in the Nu-Tel Motel in a bad part of downtown Los Angeles. I had been invited to L.A. by a Korean gentleman named Ed Kim whom I had known all my life like a brother. He was originally my father’s houseboy in the Korean War. He was under the impression he could fix me, mold me into someone respectable. I love him and appreciate his efforts, but he had no idea of the mental state I was in. (Thanks Kim)
My stay at that motel lasted about three weeks and was a continuous drunken stupor. Visits to sex shops, calls to hookers and endless chain smoking thrown in for good measure. Yes, even then I considered myself in high esteem, grandiose to some extent, while I went about always looking for that fix, that immediate gratification.
Kim had lobbied my father, to his disfavor, to support me in this endeavor, this new beginning in Los Angeles. So Pops did, and I moved to an Ed Kim selected apartment smack dab in the middle of Korea town. I was the only Caucasian in the building, let alone the neighborhood. Nobody spoke English but me. Again I stuck out like a sore thumb, the only white boy around, but I did find a local bar three blocks away. Stumbling distance. Perfect. It was predominantly black, but as long as they served me, and I got some sense of being socially accepted, it was okay. I fit in.
After I had lived there awhile and got the lay of the land, I began to hang out in Hollywood at various bars, some seedier than others. I’d talk about the deals I was working on and who I knew and who they knew and what we were going to do. I couldn’t shut up, or slow down, for that would have allowed me the opportunity to see and feel me. At that point, the opportunity to feel was one I did not want, and I could not have handled. I was unknowingly busy running from me and all my stunted emotions, failings, and amplified sensitivities. My thoughts were moving a thousand miles per hour. My mind had become my worst enemy.
At one point, for about 10 days in a row, I didn’t remember how I’d got back to my apartment from the various dives I frequented in Hollywood. When I would come to I would find the front door of my apartment wide-open, oven left on, food strew about the place. I think I was scared by this. I stopped drinking and drugging at that instant and was suddenly filled with a burst of enthusiasm for change. I lost 40 pounds in 54 days (nothing compulsive about that). I was running five miles a day in the smog, and swimming three days a week. Again I demonstrated very compulsive and obsessive behaviors. I’ve always been that way. Way too much or way too little of everything.
I found a job as a private mail courier, taking the bus an hour and a half to and from work each way. Things began to look up, on the outside anyway. Kim talked Pops into buying me a new car and funding another move cross town. I eventually got both. I moved to what I thought was West Los Angeles, on Larrabee Street, right off the Sunset strip. The Rainbow, the Roxy, Gazarries, and of course the Whiskey a Go Go were all near by. I thought I was in heaven, only to find out I was in West Hollywood, boy’s town U.S.A. It was definitely different and took some getting used to.
At that point the only Substances I was abusing were cigarettes (the great American lie) and marble fudge ice cream by the gallon. The only questionable behavior was excessive masturbation and exercise, and an uncanny inability to deal with people on most any level other than hello, how are you, good-bye. I had no coping mechanisms, none whatsoever. I could not deal with people, places, things or situations as would a normal 25-year-old. Nor could I get intimate with anyone at any level for any purpose anytime. Talk about nowhere to go! So, for the first four months of my being drug and alcohol free, I rode the bus to work and back 5 days a week, exercised, ran & swam 7 days a week and ate large amounts of marble fudge ice cream, smoked cigarettes and watched TV. Boring, and extremely frustrating, cutting myself off from the world. I was a prisoner in my apartment and between my own ears. I couldn’t handle it any longer. I had to find a way out, but how? Alcohol had made me lose my way home 10 days straight. Ice cream and cigarettes just weren’t cutting it any more and one can only masturbate so much. What option did I have? Cocaine! That was my answer. I’ll just shoot coke on the weekends and continue to go to work and exercise. So I became a weekend warrior. That lasted for about 90 days. Until the money was gone. Until I was too messed up to go in to work Monday mornings. Until I didn’t know what to do. I was again hopeless and seemingly helpless. What does any confused boy do in that situation? Call mom, right? That’s just what I did, and she sent her new husband with some money and his insight to my aid.
After a long talk, a lot of okays and uh ha`s, we went to dinner at Simply Blues 17 stories up at Sunset & Vine in Hollywood. It was there he talked me into having a drink. I hesitantly ordered a double Bushmill on the rocks. It came and I began to drink, and all of a sudden, I had a different perception of life and myself. I was able to speak freely and articulately about the world and its inhabitants. I felt better and freer with the opposite sex. My mind once again seemed to begin to work. All this and I hadn’t even left the dinner table, let alone set the glass down. I had again found my answer, alcohol! This was my answer. I was back, but little did I know, this was the beginning of my end.
In looking back, I’ve noticed that not only was my mind and body deteriorating with each year but so were my choices of people, places and things to do. I felt better and maybe even superior hanging around others who had no purpose or ambition in life other than getting loaded. For me too, it was all about getting loaded. It was once again about releasing me from the bondage of self through outside means, whether drugs, sex, alcohol, food, cruising, money. Fix me and fix me now! In reality it was me that I COULDN’T STAND. It was only me, my issues and my inability to cope with life, people, places, things and situations that I was running from.
Two chaotic years later, while in the grips of my Substance induced Behavioral Disorders, I found myself standing on the corner of 6th & Westlake. Skid row Los Angeles. I weighed 248 lbs, wore no shirt, my sweat pants held up by a piece of rope. An Ace bandage ran up and down my left arm so the needle tracks weren’t so obvious. A towel was draped around my neck, and I held the leg of a table in my hand for protection. I had no future, just the hope of finding another fix, or that death would release me. I was helpless and hopeless. I had a nice apartment and a nice car, both paid for by my parents (If I could have got the money for either I would have). I was obviously more comfortable standing on that street corner, skid row Los Angeles, than I was in dealing with my life or society and the people in it. In looking back it was my best thinking, my best efforts, that had gotten me to that point, hanging out disheveled in skid row Los Angeles and thinking that was suitable or even acceptable. What problems or situations has your best thinking gotten you into? Think about it, and if your answer does not meet your satisfaction remember, we’ve got an easier, softer way here that works if you are willing to work it. It’s a better way to go!
After a three or four day run of shooting coke and drinking I ended up back at my apartment in West Hollywood. I was coming down the backside of that high, a drug induced emotional roller coaster. Impending doom was reaching out to me.
Then the phone rang. It was Ed Kim. And out of all the questions in all the world he could have asked, he asked me how I was doing. I broke down and began to cry, and told him of my current state. Within 45 minutes he was at my door. Within 24 hours my mother was there.
My mother, bless her heart, came to my aid desiring to take control. Within a few days she and my father where looking for a hospital to put me in. I did not want to go to a hospital, but I had no choice. I went only to appease them that I might not lose their love and financial support.
Then on May 11, my 28th birthday, 1987 they enrolled me into the Substance Abuse program at Pacific Hospital, in Long Beach, Calif. Again, I went only to appease them. I considered this a waste of my time and their money.
At the hospital I was locked up with 30 or so other people, mostly blue-collar workers, people using their workers compensation and health benefits so as not to lose their jobs. My fear of being there manifested itself as anger; in fact, it was feared I might kill somebody. I thought they were all losers, but I didn’t realize I was just like them, and probably even worse. The counseling staff showed us videos of people getting high and loading syringes with drugs. I began to get dry rushes, just as if I where shooting cocaine. They where also talking all this BS about God, and what did they know? As a child I prayed to this thing called God, to save my brothers and sister, but they died anyway. I had no concept of God. He certainly hadn’t talked to me lately.
Nine days into the Substance Abuse program I was being rather disruptive and they were getting ready to throw me out. My counselor told me I would have to either leave or hit my knees and try to touch base with a power greater than myself. I thought it was all BS, a power greater than myself. Maybe, I thought, a judge or the police are greater than me. But a ‘higher power?’ I didn’t agree with the concept, but what choice did I have? I had no place to go except the streets of Long Beach. In other words, I had no good options. So even though I was uncomfortable, maybe even scared of doing it, hitting my knees seemed to be the best option so, I hit my knees that night and said the following: ‘Hey bud, help me out, will ya? Amen.’ Then I got up and rolled into bed. Funny thing, when I got out of bed the next day everything seemed just a little bit different, my perception was different, the atmosphere didn’t seem so bad, the people, the staff, seemed to be a little different. I got through that day just a little easier. So I got on my knees again that next night and said the following, ‘Hey bud, pretty good, keep it up. Amen.’ I now know it wasn’t what I said, it was the sincerity with which I said it that made the difference. It was from the heart, a sincere request to the universe, or whatever, for some help. At that time death would have been more fun than living in this hopeless and helpless state of body and mind. I got off my knees and got into bed. I awoke the next day and my entire perception of life had changed for the better. Everything started to make sense to me, from what the staff was saying to what they were having us do. It all made sense, and the only thing I did was ask this thing I did not comprehend, understand or believe in for some help. I had then what I now know to be a profound spiritual experience.
My only part in this transformation from death to life was having the willingness to ask for help from something I neither believed in nor understood. Hey, don’t get scared now. This is not a religious issue or process.
This message is one of C.L.E.A.N. (Clearly Learning Everything Absolutely Necessary) to rid ourselves of this Substance induced discomfort, and to have the ability to P.A.C.E. (Positive Action Cures Everything) ourselves with this Quick Fix Process in hand as your guide to a better life today, tomorrow, and always. Remember, a C.L.E.A.N. P.A.C.E. will work for you every time, if you work it. This is a positive alternative lifestyle that really works.
Needless to say I’ve been on the road to recovery from Substance Abuse ever since May 1987. It certainly has not been easy. Full of adversity, pain, both physical and mental challenges, and growth of all different varieties. I just don’t give up, and just won’t give in to my Substance(s), no matter what. No matter what my head says, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what. JUST RIGHT NOW ! If we don’t give in, we cannot be taken away.
I currently speak in hospitals, corporations, prisons and institutions of all types. The message of hope is the one that I carry. The message of change and purpose, growth and expansion, is the one I instill. I’m not responsible for the abilities I’ve been so freely given to carry this message. However, I do feel responsible to carry this message. To enhance its content. To broaden its audience, and to remain humble to its purpose.
We are looking for similarities, not differences. It’s the feelings and emotions, not necessarily the circumstances that bring us together. I hope that through this brief glimpse into my experience you can see my dysfunctional evolution, and not just compare it to yours, but understand it and know that I have a solution here that works. Not only for me, but for you as well.
I have been at this process successfully for over 16 years, and I find myself still growing and changing all the time. The drag is I’ve had to grow up. I’ve had to mature and become a responsible person (adult). In so doing I have joined the human race and now have an opportunity to live this thing called life as I was born to this earth and in this universe to do. Whatever path it brings, wherever that path may lead, that is my task. I shall do my very best in this moment to try to set me aside, get out of my own way, look at the big picture and see what I can do best for you and those around me. To better your lives, so that we may all experience an easier glide through this stage of our life experience and development.