Finding Love And Sobriety: The Road To Being Drug And Alcohol Free with Victor Frausto

AIH 54 | Finding Love And Sobriety

 

It is through pain and love that most of us become stronger. Victor Frausto shares his life journey of resilience – a story of how he was sexually abused for many years by his stepdad which led to his drug abuse at a young age. Telling the first-hand story of a drug addict’s life, he reveals the triggers and why he did meth and drank alcohol. Yearning to have peace, in his life, he finally faced his demons and learned to forgive those that caused it. In this episode, discover how you can get back up on your feet and turn your life 360 degrees from Victor’s story of finding love and sobriety.

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Finding Love And Sobriety: The Road To Being Drug And Alcohol Free with Victor Frausto

It’s time to get inspired. If you’re out there and you’ve been in the personal growth or health or wellness or any of that world, maybe if you’ve been alive for a while, you might notice that sometimes creating change or growth in your life isn’t about knowing something. It can be so much more than knowing something. It requires you to take action. I know that I’ve been in plenty of places in my life where I want to lay in bed for that extra hour, even though I know I should get up, hit the gym, read a book, do this and do that. Sometimes I get stuck lying in bed. When I get stuck, I start to think about how do we get out of these stuck situations? What I’ve come up with is the main way to get out of a stuck situation is to find a way to get yourself inspired, to get yourself motivated.

Oftentimes, that doesn’t come from within. Lying in bed for an extra ten minutes isn’t going to help you find that inspiration and motivation to get out of bed. You might have to get out eventually. What we do on the show is we bring on amazing guests who show us what we are all capable of as human beings by having the courage to come on and share their stories of overcoming tremendous obstacles in their own lives. Whether we relate to each specific guest in terms of life experience isn’t as important as we’re relating to them having a human experience. The notion of if this is possible, what I’m trying to do in my life, the obstacles I’m trying to overcome in life are also possible. At any point, we’re all human. We all go through these moments of knowing what to do, but not always having the fire within us to take action on that. When we bring on guests to share their stories, it’s so much about creating that fuel to take the knowledge and act upon it.

No one embodies inspiration more than our guest. His name is Victor Frausto. I’ll preview his episode with a quote he sent us, which is, “From a scared little boy, beaten and abused to a loving family man, how accountability, positivity and love saved my soul from a lifetime dancing with the devil.” If that’s not a cliffhanger, I don’t know what it is. What that’s getting at is hinting at how much this kid was put through. Essentially, he had a traumatic childhood and ended up falling into drug addiction, having tremendous challenges and ended up in some very sticky situations. He persevered and he showed us what’s possible if you’re willing to keep pushing and what’s possible if you’re willing to accept help.

The biggest lesson we can all learn from Victor is this lesson of forgiveness. Getting into forgiveness is not always about the other person. Forgiveness is much more about you giving yourself permission to leave the traumatic events of your life behind and move on for your own sake, for your own wellbeing and your own freedom. In Victor’s case, hearing his story, it sounds like this act of forgiveness that he came to set him free and allowed him to become the incredible loving family man that he is. If you find the story inspirational, please share it with someone else who might need a moment of inspiration in their life. If we spread the word, we spread the stories, more and more people are going to get inspired to keep showing up, keep taking action. Together, we can make all this happen. Thank you for reading. Let’s enjoy Victor’s story and get inspired.

Welcome to the show, Victor. How are you doing?

I’m good, thank you. How are you doing?

Seany, how are you doing?

I’m good. This is a valley boy who’s coming on the show and talking to us.

Valley boy, what’s that mean?

San Fernando Valley rules here from Burbank, California.

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for four years and I didn’t even know what the Valley was.

It’s interesting to come back and forth to it.

AIH 54 | Finding Love And Sobriety
Finding Love And Sobriety: Anything could happen with hard work.

 

Victor, let our audience know who you are, what you’re up to, then we’ll dive into your story.

My name is Victor. I’m a loving husband to three beautiful kids. I’m three years sober from alcohol, five years sober from crystal meth, six years sober from heroin and overall in a good place in my life. If there’s anything that I can do to help and share, that’s my main focus right now in life.

I’m proud of you. What you’re doing is remarkable because addiction is not an easy job. To overcome and to talk about that is a big step of the battle by you showing up and saying, “I’ve been on this stuff, I’m coming off of it,” and you want to share your story. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. For anyone reading and for you, Victor, we had a woman on named Megan Winberg. Her story was probably not similar to yours, but she was addicted to crystal meth at one point. She talks about her experience of overcoming. You’re in good company here because we’ve had people who have been through it. To me, what it’s about is bringing awareness to life is tough sometimes and sometimes we get into some bad places. As I’m sure you’re about to show us, you’ve overcome tremendous obstacles and to me, that’s inspiring. It’s never the person who’s lived the perfect life. It’s the person who fell down, got back up and kept getting back up.

You’re the Rocky story because I’ve always said it’s never about the wins. It’s about the falls.

Why don’t you start from the beginning, Victor, and tell us a little bit about how your whole journey started here?

I was raised by a strong single mother. There are two things that she gave me as a parent, unconditional love and the ability to never quit. She was able to embed that in my mind. My father was a heroin addict. Until this day, she told me the hardest decision she ever had to make was choosing between him and me. She loved my father. In doing that, she never held it over my head. It wasn’t like, “I did this for you.” On the contrary, it was more of like, “I love you so much that I gave up the love of my life for you because you’re the love of my life.” From a very young age, she always gave me this sense of worth. In that, leading by example and seeing how she worked, she worked to support me. She worked to give me the best life possible. Overall, she showed me that anything could happen with hard work.

If I could just become so undesirable, maybe these people will stop hurting me. Click To Tweet

A lot of what comes later as far as emotional like not feeling bad for myself, but the weight that I carried on my shoulders, I didn’t forgive myself for what I became. At a certain point in my life was because of that, was because my mom did a good job. When you have a troubled kid, it’s like, “What do they do? Let’s look at the house. Let’s look at home. Let’s look at the parents.” I felt bad for the longest time. I felt guilty for what I put her through because all she ever did was love me. Little did she know that at the time, that love is what truly kept me from going over the edge.

I was a good kid. I was a happy kid. My mom and I had a great relationship. She always talked to me. She always knew what it was. Ever since I was a kid, four or five, six years old, “Mom, where’s dad?” She would always explain it to me in a way that I could understand, “Your dad is sick. He’s not here right now.” “He’s addicted to heroin,” you’re not going to openly say that to a six-year-old. The way she would always word it was like, “He was sick.” As I got older, she helped me understand what was going on. There was a two-way street going at the time. I had my life at home and I had my life with the extended family. I started getting sexually abused when I was probably about nine years old. As any nine-year-old would, as any child would be intimidated, it was like, “Don’t tell your mom and you can’t tell anybody.” The worst part was it was a family member. Talk about being stuck on a rock and a hard place. That good kid started fading at that point. Around the same time, I started getting physically abused by my stepdad.

I was being torn. I was this good loving kid with my mom. When I wasn’t with my mom, I was vulnerable. It was my stepdad. It was coming at all angles. You throw in there that I was overweight and had buck teeth and I was getting picked on at school, it was a recipe for disaster. I say this to explain what comes next after years of all of that, it wasn’t until I probably turned thirteen. Four years of being sexually abused, four years of being physically abused by my stepdad. Unbeknownst to my mother, I didn’t want to burden her with my problems at the time as a ten-year-old. It wasn’t until I reached about thirteen, fourteen that I realized I wasn’t a little kid anymore and I can start to fight back.

I was always a bigger kid. It wasn’t until thirteen, fourteen that I realized like, “I got some size on me.” I became so cold. I became so angry. Now that I’m a 30-year-old father of three, I look back and it’s like I was scared. I was tired of being vulnerable. I was tired of being weak. My mentality at the time was fight first, hit first, fight back. I became this knucklehead. I came this little crap. I would snap. As you can imagine, I had the shortest temper you could think of. The part that broke my heart and the part that still breaks my heart now is my mom not understanding what was going on. She had this sweet little kid at one point and out of nowhere, I became a little devil.

I started showing out. I started breaking the rules. I started getting into trouble. I started breaking the law. My thought process at the time was, “If I could become so undesirable, maybe these people will stop hurting me.” It worked. At that point, I had become numb and cold that it turned me into a different person. That’s roughly around the time I started abusing alcohol. I must have been about fourteen at the time. You name it. Any way that I could, thinking about it now, it was grimy. I was like take all the bottom of the beer from people that would leave their beer and put it in a cup. I got creative. That sparked the downward spiral of substance abuse because it was like, “I’m this tough guy in my head, but now I could drink this or do this. Now I can escape from my feelings. I can escape from the pain.”

That started happening. It wasn’t until I was about fifteen that I started getting arrested. That opened up a whole another can of worms. Oddly enough, it wasn’t until then that I started experimenting with other things because of the people around me. I went from for juvenile hall to group homes to detention camps and stuff like that. It wasn’t until then that I started being exposed to more and more. I was this kid from Burbank. I was this kid from the Valley that was a knucklehead and broke the rules. You throw me in a group with a bunch of kids from Compton. I’m being exposed to that world. I’m being exposed to what else is out there. I’m being exposed to tougher things and harder things.

AIH 54 | Finding Love And Sobriety
Finding Love And Sobriety: Most people’s gateway drug is smoking a little weed here and there.

 

What does that do to already mentally unstable individuals? I started mirroring that. Every time I would get released or every time I would go back home, I would come back a different version of myself because in my head if I could mimic those things, I would be scary. I would be more undesirable. It wasn’t until I was probably fourteen years old that was the last time I could say that I was sexually abused. I remember if it was the fact that I was older or I was undesirable at that point or whatever the reason is that people do what they do. That’s what made it stop. I felt that’s what I needed to do. I feel like that’s what I needed to become.

Believe it or not, it blows people’s minds away. What most people’s gateway drug is smoking a little weed here and there. The first thing I would do is crystal meth aside for drinking alcohol. In my head, what could you possibly do that was worse than that? I started doing crystal meth when I was probably about fifteen years old. Anything and everything that came in between was an appetizer because it wasn’t the real thing. I learned to stop getting in as much trouble and began to live again. Those two lives where I could go to school, go to class, do what I had to do to scam whoever I had to or fool whoever I had to while being spun out of my mind half the time. I went all through high school completely high all the time.

While people were smoking weed at lunch or whatever, experimenting in that department, I was running out back and doing lines of crystal meth. It wasn’t until I got in trouble again and got sent away again that put a pause to everything because of sheer accessibility. At that point, I had worked so hard to become this hard exterior, angry all the time that I lost myself. I did. I fell into this deep hole of being angry. I remember that pit of hopelessness and pain. I did a fantastic job of covering it up. I did a fantastic job of hiding it. I did a fantastic job of front and a smile, but that’s because I was loaded all the time. That’s what it became. It was like, “No one wants to be around this jerk so let me get as loaded as possible and be this cheery version of myself asking to be a little bit more socially acceptable.” It was this constant battle of who was I because I didn’t like who I was when I was loaded. I didn’t like who I was when I was angry, but I never developed. I was a nine-year-old kid that was scared all the time.

You were never given a chance to truly discover who you are. I want to first commend you for having the courage to come on and share your story because it’s not an easy one to share. Second, following this, you became the person you thought you needed to become to protect yourself because no one else was there to protect you.

It’s funny because throughout all this time, my mom and I have the best relationship in the world. A lot of that is because when I was with her, that’s the only time I could feel safe. When I was with her, that’s the only time I didn’t need to be loaded. When I was with her, that’s the only time I didn’t need to be angry. My mom, unfortunately at the time, side blinded the hell out of her when I finally got caught with everything. The first time I overdosed was when I was fifteen years old. She goes to the hospital. She has to pick me up. They recommended that she takes me to the hospital. I don’t know if I was in a coma, but I know that I was not awake. It wasn’t until two days later that I remember waking up and I had no recollection of what happened. At that point, it was a matter of now I was exposed, now my mom knew. She could see me for who I was. That broke my heart.

At that point, I felt lost because much of what you said, what you brought up about me never being able to discover myself, then I couldn’t even be myself around my mom because I know it wasn’t constantly judgment. She left the man of her dreams of being a druggy. Here’s her son who she loves more than anything and now he’s a druggy. I held that guilt for many years. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until she and I came together finally. She asked me, “Why do you still carry this pain in your heart?” I told her. She’s always forgiving me. It wasn’t a matter of forgiving me, but I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven myself. That’s when I finally put that part of my life to rest years later.

The issue isn’t the idea; it’s the execution. Click To Tweet

You mentioned you had this overdose experience at fifteen. Immediately following that, was there a conversation with your mom? Did you get another conversation like, “What’s going on here?” Was it you didn’t have the means to like tell her?

The short answer is no. It wasn’t until, believe it or not, three years later that I remembered everything. I had blocked a lot in my mind out. I had blocked a lot of what had happened because the sexual abuse had started so young. The physical abuse for my stepdad had started happening a little bit later. That was the main obstacle. That was the main demon. I had put everything else and locked it in a box. It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I had another overdose experience that it all came back to me. Everything came rushing back to me from my younger years. I remember who did it. I remember the times that it happened. I remember how it happened.

I don’t know what that did to me. I don’t know if it was a cocktail of narcotics that I was under the influence of, but I almost went through a psychedelic experience where I relived everything from when I was nine years old. I remember waking up from that experience. I was with my girlfriend at the time and she’s the one that told me. She’s like, “Victor, you remember what you were saying yesterday? Do you remember what you told me yesterday?” I was like, “No, absolutely not. Why? What happened?” I thought I woke up again in the hospital and I was all messed up. She started telling me. In her telling me and her repeating my words, everything came rushing back. Every detailed memory came rushing back.

At that point, I was emotionally broken. That was it. I didn’t know what to do at that point because that scared nine-year-old that I had been trying to harden up and put in a shell, he came back. I remember after that day, I left. I ended up moving to San Diego within like a day, two days, to escape, to get rid of everything. At that point, I had graduated high school. I had no plans. I had no future at that time. I was dependent at that time on anything and everything under the sun to get me away and to help me escape that. In my head I was like, “Screw it. Let me move. Let me get out of here.” I ended up packing up that weekend. I ended up moving to San Diego. I stayed at a Motel Six for two days, got a job and found an apartment all within the week.

What was the job you’ve ended up getting?

I started working at Starbucks, whatever I could get. I ended up working at Starbucks out in San Diego, get some income while I was apartment searching. I ended up bumping into a nice guy there who I thought was a nice guy at the time. He’s like, “I’m looking for a roommate.” I’m like, “I’m looking for a roommate.” We ended up moving in together.

AIH 54 | Finding Love And Sobriety
Finding Love And Sobriety: Every addicts’ mistake is thinking that they have it under control.

 

For you, was this a good step to get away from everything or was it still perpetuating?

It’s funny because I’ve fallen many times. A good friend of mine later in life told me, “You’re scared of success.” I’m like, “What do you mean?” He goes, “Every time you have something good going for you, you sabotage it in some way.” I didn’t get it at the time. I got clean. This was the first of many moments in my life where I thought I was getting ahead of it. As you can imagine, my mom had put me into dozens of counselors. By this age, the one that I was seeing the most at the time had a meeting with my mom after she found out that I was moving. She asked my mom that question. She says, “Is this a better move for Victor or is this like geo move for Victor? Is Victor getting out of LA Burbank, the Valley, to better Victor or is Victor going to be Victor in San Diego now?”

I remember resenting her for saying that. I’m like, “What do you mean I’m trying to get better? I’m trying to do what’s best for me.” Inevitably, I ended up down that hole. The thing with addicts is we want to get better. We don’t like how we feel. We don’t like how weak we are. We don’t like how dependent we are. Any movement, any plan that you have at the time is the best idea for yourself. The issue isn’t the idea. The issue is the execution because as soon as something doesn’t go our way or as soon as something messes up or as soon as there’s some hiccup, we revert to what we know. I was still resentful because at the time, I wanted to get better. I have the full intention to get better. I have full intention to get away from the nonsense but I attract the craziness.

My perspective is you are never given the tools to deal with what happened in your life. Because of that, we don’t teach how to deal with emotions in general, but especially everything that you went through. If you don’t have the tools yet, you can have the best intention in the world. Without that understanding, without that capacity to create that shift and create that change, it’s not going to stick.

It wasn’t until I became a father that I realized how important a father is in your life, along with not having the tools to execute, to communicate how you feel, what’s going on. The worst part is that every addict’s mistake is to think that they have it under control. That’s what inevitably ends up happening. I’m 30 years old. I’m three-plus years sober from anything and everything. I wake up knowing, recognizing the fact that I’m an addict. I wake up every morning and I tell myself, “Vic, it is what it is. Let’s do this. You got this.” If you ever try to get ahead of yourself and think that you got it, that’s when it comes biting you in the ass because that mentality leads you to, “We’re out right now, I could have one glass. We’re out right now, I could have one beer. We’re in Vegas, I could do this one time.” The next thing you know, you go spiraling that hole again. It took me ten years and the love of my life in that little redhead to realize that.

When did you first meet the love of your life?

Everything is truly for a reason. Click To Tweet

I first met my wife in high school. We went to high school together. As you can imagine, I was a bit of a jerk. I was obnoxious, the class clown. I was loud. That couldn’t be the more polar opposite of my wife. We always joke and she’s like, “I didn’t know you in high school.” I’m like, “I knew who you were.” She avoided me like the plague. That’s when I noticed her. The standing joke is I asked her out 73 times over the course of two years before she said yes.

It kept you going 73 times.

I knew what I wanted. There was something special about her. It was funny because I remember being in San Diego and I hit her up on Facebook. The first time I tried to hunt her was on Myspace. Taking it back like, “How are you doing? That’s a good song you have on your profile.” I don’t know what I said, something dumb. It’s funny because we were destined to be together. Our lives kept crossing in some way or another. The day that I was moving to San Diego, I packed up my laptop last. I noticed that she was online, so I hit her up. I’m like, “How are you doing?” She was moving to Fresno because she was going to start school up there. I remember as being like, “We’re going to be on completely opposite ends of the state. Good luck in your travels,” and that was that.

Fast forward a year later, I had gotten dumped by a fiancé who I thought I was in love with and she had just had her baby. She just had my oldest son. Here we are a year later and completely opposite points of our lives. We came up again. It happened again. That’s when I started, “How are you doing? Let’s go out. Let’s hang out.” The thing about her was that my wife is hands down the best mother ever. At that point in my life, it’s so funny because my mom was always telling me like, “Look for a good mom, look for a wife.” She hated my ex-fiancé. Look for someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Here I am 22, 23 and that’s the last thing that’s on my mind. If there’s one thing that I had always appreciated about my wife at the time because I was always stalking her on Instagram or on Facebook or something, is she put her son before anybody.

She put her son before everything. She was a dedicated 100% mother. It’s something about that. I respected that and I honored that. In every single time I asked her out, it was the same thing, “I’m a mother first. I don’t do that. I don’t date. I’m not going to waste my time. My son comes first.” It’s funny because you asked me what kept me going? It was that. It was that answer. It wasn’t like, “I want it more because I can’t have it.” On the contrary, it was more like, “I want to be a part of that. I want to be a part of that love that you’ve got going on in there.” I don’t know what happened that she said yes. We went out and I made her laugh.

As soon as I made her laugh, I’m like, “I got you.” It’s funny, I’m coming to this realization now that I’m talking to you. The thing about my wife is much like that little boy that felt safe around his mom, that didn’t need to be loaded around his mom and didn’t need to be this tough guy around his mom. That’s the same feeling my wife gave me at the time. That’s the same comfort. At this point in my life, I was waking up in the morning to two Oxycontin to get through the day. I would go to the liquor store and get those little bottles of SKYY vodkas. I would get a big Monster can and I drink the Monster can. I put the SKYY vodka in there and I go on with my day. That was my 8:30 AM. That’s what got me through the day.

AIH 54 | Finding Love And Sobriety
Finding Love And Sobriety: Empathize for other people, even if they are the ones that hurt you.

 

It wasn’t until I started seeing my wife more and more that she told me one day, “Victor, I like you but again, I’m a mom first. This is what I expect. I’m not asking you to change. I’m not asking you to give up who you are. I’m not asking you to quit anything that you love in life, but this is who I am. If you want to be with me, you need to man up.” That was the last time that I did crystal meth or I did Oxycontin. That was the last time. Bless her heart, she was there through the detox. She was there helping me through the cold sweats, the vomiting. It got ugly but she was there. The way I saw it was that if she was willing to give me a shot with everything that she could possibly have to lose, I can’t do her wrong.

On top of that, I love my son from the moment I met him. When I met that little kid, let me tell you, he became the joy of my life. I was abused much as a kid from people that were supposed to protect me. That’s the way that I saw it. I needed to go through what I had to go through to be the best dad for him. It wasn’t until then that I called my stepdad. Obviously, he and my mom split after everything came to light. I called my stepdad and I was like, “I forgive you.” I caught him off guard to say the least. Here we are years later and he realized what he did. He realized the mistakes he made. What that gave me was the opportunity to empathize for other people, even if they’re the ones that hurt you. Even though poor guy, he’s straight-up Mexican man that’s used to hard work and grew up on the ranch that all they knew was violence.

Here you have this kid who’s not yours. He’s not doing what you’re asking him to do so he would resort to violence. It wasn’t until that I became older and it wasn’t until that now I’m in a position where I’m raising another man’s kid. It’s like the patience that you need to be a parent, let alone again to raise someone else’s kid is it has to know no bounds. It gave me that. When we started this conversation, the reason why I wanted to do this podcast is that I’m happy with who I am and I’m happy in the spot and the position in life that I am.

It’s because I understand that everything is for a reason. I look back in my life and every time Nick says, “Your story is inspirational,” I don’t see it that way. I’m like, “No, it happened,” because what happened made me who I am now. If I have to go through that abuse, if I have to go through that pain as a kid, that loss of vulnerable little kid, if that is the reason why I’m the dad I am now, I’d do it a thousand times in a heartbeat. My only role and my only goal now is to raise these kids, to love them, to give them the best version of myself because it wasn’t easy getting to where I’m at. Now that I’m here, all I want to do is share this version with them.

I don’t want to have any experience with what you’ve experienced, but I know it’s not easy to come to that realization or that conclusion. It’s not easy to call someone forgiving them. It’s not easy to say, “I wouldn’t take it back because it made me who I am.” That’s hard crap. That’s not an easy place to get to in life. Props to you for getting there.

The hardest part was being honest with myself. I feel like that’s something that we all struggle with in one form or another. I always say like, “Why is it that the promises we make ourselves are the easiest to break?” As small as, “I’m going to start my diet on Monday,” we’ve all been there or, “I’m not going to use anymore.” It isn’t until something happens where it’s like, “I need this to feel better.” It could be anything. It could be anything from a shopping spree to burger to meth. It’s the same thing. It’s a different outlet. It wasn’t until I had to be honest with myself that I realized that I’m not good for anybody unless I’m happy.

Live an honest life and cherish your partner and she will give you the world. Click To Tweet

It’s so hard to be selfish in that way because someone like myself that had all this turmoil and put everyone around me through the worst pain, if you’ve known me for the last several years, you are a safe man. We have a joke and it’s like, “Unless Victor has pulled a knife out on you, you’re not his friend.” Obviously we’re kidding. I was hot and cold, bipolar. You didn’t know what Victor you’re going to get depending on the day of the week. After I came from that, forgiving my stepfather was one thing. When I forgave my sexual abusers, that is when I knew I had hit a level of peace. I remember telling my mom. I remember telling her after everything came to light. I told her, “I want to kill him. I know where they’re at. I know who they are.”

My mom’s always been a religious person. She’s like, “That’s something you can’t come back from.” Forget the actual thought of doing it. The mentality of being there, being in that spot and being in that place in your head where you can think that you could possibly do something like that, that’s losing a part of yourself. Forget the actual action of doing it. The mental space that you have to be and to want to do it. I remember when it happened and I caught them off guard. Everyone was drinking. I hadn’t quit drinking at the time, but I wanted to be on my p’s and q’s. I wanted to be clearheaded just in case. They pulled me to the side. In a complete moment of weakness, they broke down in front of me and apologized for everything. They knew what happened. They remembered. Fill in the blank of an excuse that you could possibly tell a nine-year-old that you sexually abused.

I looked at them and I remembered being in such a good place in my life at the time that I felt nothing but sorry for them. I remember cutting them off and I was like, “I forgive you.” At that moment, this weight, this burden of anger and guilt was lifted off my shoulders. I remember that’s when I started understanding that you can’t feel sorry for yourself. Stuff happens. You need a roll with the punches. You can’t feel sorry for yourself because if you dig that hole of guilt and self-loathing and pain, you’re never going to get out. No one’s going to get you out.

People might love you. People might feel sorry for you, but no one’s going to get you out. You need to get yourself out. That’s the moment where I started self-reflecting and taking ownership. Believe it or not, at that moment, I took ownership of what had happened to me as a nine-year-old kid. Not for being a nine-year-old kid, but for what I let happen after the fact in the sense of not communicating, not talking, keeping it to myself. All the things that I’m looking at it and I’m like, “What are the things that I could have done differently or what are the things that I could have done to help myself?” Traumatic experiences suck, but you have two choices. You can feel sorry for yourself or you could keep it moving. That’s the thing. If you keep grinding, moving, working on yourself, the pain is not going to go away, but you’re going to learn how to deal with it. You’re going to learn how to make it better in some way or another.

All of it, we can all think back at the worst possible time of our life and thinking back at that moment, thinking to yourself, “This is the worst possible time of my life. How am I going to get through this?” You laugh. Now you’re like, “Remember when that happened?” You’re stronger for it. It was the ability to not feel guilty, to be that selfish that got to get better. You have to spend the time on you because if you’re not good, how are you going to be good for anybody else? If you’re not 100%, how are you going to give 100% to anybody else? That’s anybody. That’s parents, spouses, loved ones, children becoming a father, it gave me that. It showed me that. You’re no good to your kids, to your spouse if you’re not happy and miserable, whether it’s work or whether that’s something you’ve got hanging over your head. If you’re not 100%, how are you going to be 100% for them?

How did you get yourself out of this?

AIH 54 | Finding Love And Sobriety
Finding Love And Sobriety: Take accountability for anything and everything that you do.

 

Back to the, “I’ll do good and I’ll sabotage myself.” The last day that I drank, November 16th of 2015 was the worst version of myself. I always told myself I didn’t have a drinking problem because I didn’t need to drink every day. It’s like when I drink, it went over the edge. I had my last alcoholic fueled episode on November 16th. That was the day where everyone had finally had it. That was the day that everyone turned their back on me. That was the day that I woke up to a broken hand, no memory and an empty apartment. My wife, we were dating at the time, she didn’t call me. She wasn’t picking up the phone. My sister was picking up the phone.

I remember finally getting ahold of my mom and her exact words were like, “I’m sorry but not this time. I can’t.” That was the moment where I said, “I need to start taking accountability for anything and everything that I do.” That’s when I quit drinking alcohol. That’s when this degree of self-reflect began because at that point, I had already given up the meth. At that point, I had already given up the oxy. At that point, I had already given up on hard drugs. I was like, “I’m doing good. I can let loose a little bit.” Back to the whole thing when you think you have it in control. It wasn’t until that final self-sabotage that I realized I’m about to lose everything that I cherished in my life. My apartment was empty. Aside from the bed that I was laying in, everything else was out of that apartment. My wife wasn’t having it and the thought of not seeing my son at the time, that’s what it was.

I empathize, but I haven’t been through what you’ve been through this heavy of addiction. I’ve had my own fights with being a forced addict with drugs from my surgery and everything else. You rebirthed here. I’m trying to get you woke up one day and said, “I’m done with alcohol.” Was anybody there? Was there any connection? Did you get into breath work or yoga? Was there a guru? Was there a life coach, a therapist? How did you all of a sudden wake-up and say, “I’m done with all of that and I want my life back?”

I woke up and I went to one AA meeting. I thought I had it bad. I went to one AA meeting and I’ve only ever gone to one AA meeting. I was 26 at the time. I saw people in their late 30s, mid-40s, 50s that had completely lost everything. At that moment is when I swore to myself that I would never be weak. I would never be vulnerable. I had spent all of my life trying to be this person that wasn’t weak or vulnerable to end up being weak and vulnerable at the hand of addiction. It was at that point where I made the conscious decision to be selfish in the sense that I was going to unapologetically work on me. David Goggins, Jocko Willink, if you don’t follow him on Facebook and you want to kick in the ass in the morning, go on Instagram and follow them. I got into working out again. I’m doing everything that made me happy. I had gotten into being physically fit again. I had got into powerlifting again. That’s what helped me center myself and better myself for my family.

It’s almost like you replace the addiction with alcohol with love, your passion and your purpose here. David Goggins is a beast. He is the SEAL among SEALs. We know him. You took me down, I’ll be honest with you, on a dark road but you recovered. Now you’re on top of the world again and that’s beautiful. That’s what this show is all about.

You articulate so well, one, coming on and sharing your story. Two, sharing how you were able to get out of it. To me, the core thread that I picked up on where you found the love in your life and you are going to do what you needed to do to keep that.

You’re lucky to be alive. You’re lucky not to be behind bars right now and six feet under. Thank God for guys like Nick Brian. They’re angels out there. He’s been by my side for many years now. He’s watched me go through my ups and downs and my blackout and no purpose to me. It’s not my fault. It’s not your fault. It’s what we’ve been given with these cards, but you’re making the best of them. I’m proud of you for all that.

Thank you.

You were able to find this love in your life and this love of self. Thank you for sharing everything. I got one more question for you, and this is one we ask everyone who comes on the show. I know your answer, but we’ll ask it anyway. What’s your inspiration?

It’s my wife, hands down. It all started with her. It all started with, “You need to man up.” In doing that, it gave me the life that I have now. Live an honest life and cherish your spouse, cherish your partner and she will give you the world.

Victor, I hope you’re taking everything you’re doing and you’re sponsoring other people like yourself or you’re giving back, you’re going back to AA meetings helping someone like you who is stuck because your knowledge, your wealth and your degree of power is beautiful. Are you sponsoring somebody right now?

I’m not.

Would you give me a favor and do that for me because it’s going to help you out by touching someone else who is in a real deep, dark space?

Will do definitely.

Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story, Victor. It has definitely got me inspired. Anyone out there who’s been through what you’ve been through or something similar will find a lot of inspiration. If you’re reading this and you know someone who’s having a tough time in life, share this story with them because Victor’s words and Victor’s presence will dramatically shift your whole life.

Thank you, Victor.

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About Victor Frausto

AIH 54 | Finding Love And SobrietyFrom a scared little boy beaten and abused to a loving family man. How accountability, positivity, and love saved my soul from a lifetime dancing with the devil.

 

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