Hi my name is Ozzy Mac. This is my story of Substance Abuse and finding new hobbies for healthy coping.
So a little about me: I grew up in American Fork. I am the oldest of three, I have two younger sisters. My family life was a little different. My mom worked a lot at the Utah State Prison and my dad was in and out of the State Mental Hospital a lot growing up. I ended up at a young age helping the family out wherever I could. Life was pretty rough sometimes, but we managed.
After graduating in 2002, my grandpa who was one of my closest friends passed away. At that time, I was asked by my family to move in with my grandma and take care of her. I turned 21 a short time later and began drinking. For me, I drank to get rid of the pain of my grandpa’s passing. But it wasn’t working, and was just turning into an unhealthy hobby.
At the age of 21, I struggled with alcohol abuse. I tended to drink a little bit too much and I thought it was fun not to feel anything. After a year of this, I was able to quit cold turkey and didn’t have another drink until the fall of 2018. However, I was doing well and I was finding other things to do with my time. I got married, got a new home, and had three little boys.
Life was going good. I had what I wanted, but as life goes, I hit a speed bump early on with my three boys. My wife and I were informed that all three of my boys were Autistic and diagnosed as such. This was a trial that was a little overwhelming. I tried many ways to cope with this for awhile, but in the fall of 2018, I slipped and I began to drink again. Yeah it was a beer here and there or maybe a shot of something stronger. It started to turn into an unhealthy hobby of not feeling again. I did notice I had a problem and I needed to fix it for my family.
In December of 2018 I had my last drink. I discovered a hobby that makes me forget about my problems the same way as drinking, but something that made me feel happy and it was a healthy hobby.
Finding Hobbies for Healthy Coping
In the past, I watched Bob Ross on TV as a kid. As an adult I continued to view Bob’s shows on YouTube. Everytime I watched his shows I thought to myself, “If I can learn his techniques, I could paint like him one day.”
So the later part of January of 2019, I bought all the supplies at my local craft store. The next day I painted my first painting using Bob’s techniques. The first painting didn’t come out that bad.
After the first painting I fell in love with painting landscapes. Over time I increased my knowledge with techniques by watching more Bob Ross, Bill Alexander (Bob’s Teacher), Kevin Hill and Sutrat Davies on YouTube. Four professional oil painters, who all have very different and unique techniques of oil painting.
I have been painting ever since and I’m up to 23 completed paintings. For me, when I paint I go into my own little world and it’s a very happy place.
In my eyes I’ve finally found a healthy hobby. I haven’t even thought once about going back to drinking.
Sometimes finding something that makes you happy is a way to fight away substance abuse and live a healthier life. I know I definitely did. 🙂
Guest post by: Ozzy Mac