I have found it to be beneficial to provide some
history about myself so that people will relate to who I am. I am John G. Banks, and I was
born in December of 1950 (which makes me 58 years of age). I was raised in Sacramento
attending Ethel I. Baker elementary, Fern Bacon Junior High, and Luther Burbank High
School. I graduated from there in 1968. I went to work for Lucky Stores in 1967 and
remained there until I was drafted into the Army in 1970. I was discharged in 1972 and went
back to work with Luckys. The military made a man out of me and by doing so, taught me to
drink like a man.
It is important to
note that someone in recovery needing spiritual values did not find them through religion.
It was very clear to me that religion and
I did not mix very well.
I became a Christian in 1994 even though Alcoholics
Anonymous had given me some positive insight into a God of my understanding. I still
struggled with a 21 year history of drug and alcohol abuse. I had come to the point in my
life that reality and my way of life collided with one another. Here I was a survivor of
childhood sexual abuse, a recovering addict/alcoholic, codependent to the bone and not a
clue where I was heading. Joining the church did provide the guidance that I needed and it
was there that I found a loving God who would forgive me.
I am the oldest of three sons. My mother and father
are still alive and preparing to celebrate 50 years of marriage on March 3, 2000. I went
from one relationship to another, displaying dysfunctional behavior every where I went and
didn't realize that while I thought I was enjoying my life. I was actually ruining it.
Living in a car that did not run in a parking lot in Tulare, California, was about as good
as it was going to get. I had lost everything. I did not have an idea what recovery was
much less that I needed it. I knew something was wrong, but I thought I was being paid
back for the lifestyle I had led.
In the past 22 years, life has never been better. I
would like for you to think that was easy, but quite the contrary. Life hit me straight in
the face. I married after 6 months of sobriety and found that when I was warned that we
should not have a relationship in the first year, I now have first hand knowledge of why
they told me that.
My back went out in December of 1992, and I was
married for 30 days. I lost my new home we had bought, and
found myself unemployed for the first time in my life. I went to school to obtain my
L.C.S.W. license and found this to be a journey that was going to change my life forever.
Two years ago I suffered a heart attack and today I am a faithful man who helps anyone and
everyone with their problems. What I have learned through all of this is not to quit.
Jesus did not die on the cross so that I could sit back and take it easy. In fact, after
all of the things that have happened to me, I am even more determined today to help other
people. This is God's will for me today.