Every day we receive hundreds of e-mails, messages and comments from players all over the world sharing their thoughts and letting us know how much they enjoy our games. Once and awhile a message sticks out as something special. Recently we heard from a player who shared his story of how playing Drag Racing helped him through his recovery from substance abuse. He was kind enough to allow us to do an interview with him and share his story. (We’ve changed his name an obscured some details to protect his privacy)
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, can you tell us a little about your background and how you got involved with drugs?
My name is Tim, I live in a small town in Western Canada, I have been married since the late 80’s and have 3 kids (now young adults.) My hobbies include Hi-fi audio, Drag Racing Bike Edition, Drag Racing, Tae Kwon do and plants. I grew up very rough and poor, so self-medicating was a way of life. I started smoking marijuana about 11 years old, the first time I did any hard drugs was about 14 – I tried LSD and loved it! I continued to drop acid every weekend to about 19 years old. I tried cocaine once when I was about 18 but it did not appeal to me. I continued to smoke pot all the way up to and including rehab.
My actual abuse started when working in a tough East Vancouver neighbourhood selling cars. When I felt I was slowing down and needed a ‘bump’, I tried cocaine. I quickly found I could work longer hours and my sales went through the roof. Within a few months I was hooked. I found myself with it all the time and when I didn’t have any, I was feeling dead.
How did drug abuse impact your life?
I snorted so much cocaine that I burnt a large hole in my septum and thought that smoking it would be a better way. It turns out smoking it is what truly nailed me to the wall (with respect to abuse.) More became much more and I became more sinister, the way I had to behave in order to make $500 a day to support my habit.
At first I supported my habit by selling cars from the US at very high margins, I would bring home about 5k and keep 5k for myself for cocaine. I had developed such a habit that 5k didn’t seem to stretch as far as I needed. I won’t mention the things I did in detail, because I am ashamed of myself for treating others with such horrible hatred. But in short, I delivered drugs, guns and dealt with debts from people. As a result of my addiction I lost my house, my cars, my toys, my wife, my kids and my self respect and even willingness to live.
At what point did you decide to seek help?
The decision to enter rehab was pretty simple, some members of my family are connected with the more unsavoury side of life and didn’t like how I had treated my family. They gave me a choice between going to rehab, beating my addiction and getting my wife and kids back or being shot in the head and dumped in the river.
What part of playing Drag Racing helped you through your recovery?
After my third and finally successful stint in rehab, I was searching for something to spend my time on. While I never any professional or drag strip experience, I did a tonne of street racing back in the day. I found DR on Google Play and thought wow, something that at first just pulled my attention for a day or so… then the gearing got to me. I was tired of starting out the Koenigsegg and SLS in third gear. In trying to figure out the tuning, I turned to the internet and found a forum with other players. You could say my true appreciation came when realizing others (my age) were completely into this.
My favourite part of the game is fine tuning the gearing for the cars or bikes and then racing in pro league as a team. What keeps me playing is just that, the friends I have made from all over the world, competing and furthering a tune.
What advice do you have for others who are struggling with narcotics or drug abuse?
I don’t have much advice, the old adage from NA (narcotics anonymous) “One is too many and a thousand is never enough.”
Don’t start and you won’t face a nagging devil in your head for your entire life. While it’s true I am over 5 years out of the fire so to speak, it haunts me every day. Focus on the moment and get the most out of it. If you start drifting into old habits, change what you’re doing and the feeling will go away.