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Lt. James Cater

Final Offensive

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Looks like this is it.


After serious contemplation and factoring of various odds and angles, it comes down to the fact that my life has been, and is currently, an unending series of futile actions, shortcomings, failures, and unrealized dreams, hopes,and desires. In short, a complete waste of a life.

So it's time to roll the dice one last time and see if victory can be snatched from the jaws of defeat. This is the final offensive. I've figure on giving it one last effort, an attack with everything i've got on one narrow front. If by perhaps early May of 2014 there is no noticible breakthrough, I'll cease this useless endeavor. There is no place in the world for a middle aged alcoholic loser. Forget about being a has been, i'm a never was. Through proper planning and execution, that'll change. If not, so be it. Face the firing squad and die.


From nothing to something, let's see if it can be done.


At the moment i'm back on the streets again. Nothing unusual in that. In the last 16 years i think i've spent perhaps 5 homeless. It's a undesirable but familiar situation. The recovery factor on the streets now though are very difficult. It was much easier to work yourself off of skid row in the past. Now it is rather difficult because if you are a single male worker, you are on your own as the shelters and such couldn't care less about you. Junkies, bums and other such trash are what gets the attention. f*** them all.

As was discussed some time ago in another thread, i'm an alcoholic. Officially i'm a middle stage alcoholic. A rather fancy name for a well advanced addict. At first i thought i had things under control since i didn't base my days around drinking anymore but it fooled me. When i said enough is enough and decided to quit cold turkey, the withdrawal was vicious enough that after a few days i got a cheap motel room and knocked off a case of beer to get back to a semblance of normality. Now i have a couple of beers every morning to be able to function. What options are there? AA is a holy rolling pious joke. Imagine them celebrating sobriety when some places report relapse rates as high as 70%. Screw that. The best thing i've found is called the Sinclair Method, which is incredible but i can't afford it. Guess i'll stay with the daily fix until i make some money.


Speaking of money, if i don't have a job (a real one) by May 15th life is going to be hell. The timing is on my side though as the hiring season is right around the corner and i have my union dues paid up. The trick is trying to last past Labor day so as to be able to maintain the lease on some place. And if by chance you are permanent? Welcome to an essentially s**t job for the rest of your life. Nothing like going home smelling of rancid grease and rotting food to let you know just how far you have made it. At age 45 it's too late to find something else and retrain, no one will hire you. Easier to get someone younger. Also, physically i'm in trouble. My knees are completely shot to the point that i can't run. Seriously, i can do something like a cross between a jog and fast shuffle but that's it. I'm in frequent pain also. It really hurts and there nothing to be done about it. Just grit and bear it.


So where is this all going? I'll tell you.


I found a picture of myself recently that i hadn't seen in countless years. It was taken at Ft Dix, NJ in summer 1985 while i was at basic training. I was 17 years old.

I want to go back to that stage. The point in life when the future is a blank slate end everthing is ahead of you. To be able to dream, think, plan and act with an assurance that things will go well would be a blessing. Of course i f***ed up and by 19 i was in quite a s**t state personally and my fate was sealed by the time i was 21 and started drinking regularly. By 25 i was one of the heaviest drinkers of my peers and by 30 i was drinking even harder. To add to the train wreck was the collection of phobias and anxieties that were fine tuned over the years until learned helplessness was the norm. The more important or critical the task, the greater the failure. Loss upon loss reinforces until one is virtually still lest life drops another cinder block upon your head. You desperately want to DO or BE something but you've learned not to stick your neck out. In the meantime you watch the world pass you by until one day you realize that you are looking up out of a deep grave and the climb out will be a formidable task.

I've dug myself pretty deep.

About two years ago i cut myself off from friends and associates. After all these years i couldn't take being the loser of the bunch. We're getting old and everyone had a life that blossomed except me. I didn't even get off the starting line as i never went anywhere. Whenever i aspired to something of worth it was always out of reach or seemingly over my head, even if i did find out, years later, that if i only had my head straight, i might have had a hell of a living at the very least. The coulda, woulda, shouldas kill me on a daily basis. "If only" scenarios are constantly in my head, i can't get rid of them no matter what i do.

On a bit of an upside, in the past some months i was studying quite a bit of selfhelp type materials and it worked to an extent. I was actually feeling rather upbeat and positive even though i knew i was in a bad way all things considered. Things were going to turnout all right. I felt like "Okay i have to do this and it will lead to that" "Get this and you'll be able to do this" "Be like this and you can go here". Things like that. There are some condos i see every day and i would think "All right, That's where i'll be living soon. Right there on that floor facing this way, two cars in the garage". I'd think about what clothes i'd wear, what kind of shoes, stuff like that. I'd visualize what kind of social life i wanted. Until the alcohol withdrawal hit, then it was all over. The depression was the worst i've had in years and no doubt if i had a pistol i surely would have shot myself. Ever since the withdrawal episode i haven't felt the same. I try to think those thoughts above but it just doesn't work anymore. It's a just a stupid pipedream fantasy it seems. A couple of the books i've read in recent days are darkening the gloom instead of lighting life despite their beneficial subject matter.


So what am i going to do?


There is no other course of action available.

It's going to take the most radical and to be honest, masochistic kind of self denial action to have any chance of success.


I'm making list of petty pleasures and distractions in order so i can eliminate them from my daily existence. Only if and when something truly noteworthy occurs should they be doled out. Diet should be cut back to the minimum, as spartan as possible. Why treat yourself to such joys if you have done nothing to deserve it? Let the pain and discomfort be a lesson.

Then there's better living through chemistry.

For some time in jobs past i've been quite the caffine pill popper to cut through the effects from the previous nights drinking. Now i figure on upping the ante. Ive been scouting out some workout supplements to get an edge in as i prefer to work wired anyway. Now i will be up longer so i can keep working on my faults. I've also been plotting out on where i can ahold of Xanax and Klonopin as well as that drug used in the Sinclair method. I'm not sure of that one but the other two i can get from junkies at the methadone clinic. Why? I need them and even if there is a "free" clinic that would prescribe them, i positively refuse to lower myself to have to rely on anything that reeks of welfare. I refuse to be treated with contempt and denied assistance being a single male while some project dwelling parasite with a stroller bound welfare magnet gets fawned over like royalty.


Okay, there is something i am working on that i won't tell anyone. Silly as it sounds, everytime i've told someone of my plans in detail things have utterly failed. It's a hell of a long shot but it's all i have left. I've spent years studying and gathering knowledge about it but until recently never had the nerve to actually go out and DO it. Had two times out last month and one went very well even if i was having quite a panic attack and the second i got distracted and messed everything up. I've admittingly overthought and overanalyzed the second time out and it prevented me from a third attempt. After i get a regular job and have a place of my own i'll get back out there. Until then 5 hours a day computer runs with 7 hours on the weekends. I absolutely have to be methodical and maniacal about this as it's my last hope.


I've had two prior deadlines in the past where i figured if nothing got better i would just stop. It's amazing the mind's ability to fool one's self as to the actual quality of life. Past those dates, everything has been steadily worsening. I'm determined not to be fooled a third time. Come next year there it will be only one of two scenarios occuring.

The first will a new plane of existence. No, not existence. LIFE! Actually living, enjoying a life and what the future holds. Well at least be able to look at things and say "I've got this sorted and am getting this worked on so i can live live as i want and desire"

The second will be in a cheap motel. The empties of a twelve pack of beer and a quart of whiskey littering the room the last thing i see as i raise a pistol and put a bullet in my head.


Now that i think about it... If by some chance i should find out i have something like cancer or such condition, i'll refuse all medical care and happily go away.


Conquer or Perish.

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it's a sad story what you're going through.. hopefully this time things will work out for the best

stay strong and don't give up!!

good luck!

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Stay strong and you must win this battle at all cost,repeat these words in your head,I MUST WIN!


Good luck!

Ice Man


Edited by Ice Man
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Its been my experience that it is NEVER too late to turn things around. I went into the Marines when I was 18. After 2 1/2 years there, I switched over to the Navy. By then, I was drinking hard myself, smoking a LOT of pot, and getting into speed and LSD. When I got out back in 84, I hooked up with my second wife who was alcoholic which didn't help my own drinking issue. Later on when things went south with her I started a 5 year meth habit that wound up costing me my wife, home, and career in land surveying. Going thru a vicious cycle of 3 and 4 day tweeks and one or two day crashes doesn't do a thing for your relationships or your sanity. Finally, coming home from a 4 day bender exhausted, I began to hear voices that sounded a lot like the voices of my friends. Trying to escape them, I fled the house in tears. At one point, after dark, I walked slowly across Friars Rd. after dark, looking straight across the road at a sign, not looking left or right, not caring if I was hit by a car or not. I found myself under a highway bridge talking to the voices as the sun come up. I finally made my way home and fell asleep...for a full day. I realized when I woke that I was in serious trouble and needed to do something NOW. So I quit the meth cold turkey but found myself a few weeks later on a dark beach tweeking again. I looked out to sea and at the sky and all I saw was a dark world, no stars, no moon, and no hope. As I watched, a single star became visible. I began to pray...Jesus, you are like that star to me. You are the only light in a world surrounding me in darkness and despair. Please save my life before I die. I humbled myself before the God of this universe and told him he was my only hope. That I knew there was no one else who could help. I asked him to forgive me for all the foolish things I had done and to help me to get free of all my chains. A few days later I was visited by the preacher of my mothers' church. I did not ask him, Jesus arranged it all! The rest is history. I have been free of my drugs, with the exception of tobacco, since 1993. March 1st, 1998 I will have been completly tobacco free! Now the Lord is working on my character, teaching me how to give of myself to others, to be patient, and to give up idols like sex, money, and anything else that comes first before God. He will prevail because his power knows no limits, and my eyes are ever on him. He ask only that I repent of my evil ways, to obey his few commandments, and to seek him. Ive never asked to be rich, but I have a home now, a third wife who actually loves and adores me, a job as a detention officer where I can tell others what God has done for me. We are selling the house soon now and I am quitting the jail. We will probably wind back up in California or maybe move somewhere else in Montana. But Im not afraid. God has been with me now all these years. He will be with you too if you give him the chance. Jesus died to give us a way back to God, he is the way, the truth, and the light. You haven't committed a sin he cant forgive unless you reject him. If he can create this world, he can re-create you too. I encourage you to look up a Seventh Day Adventist minister in your town. There is also the link in my sig for a start. When you have tried everything you can think of to get your life straight, then give God a try. That will be a witness that will leave you breathless. You are in my prayers James.


Down the Dark Road

Drugs and sex and rock n' roll

with a lot of alcohol thrown in.

Lying,cussin' and fighting,

thats the way my lifes'been...

walkin down the dark road.

A good wife home alone

sobbing in our bed.

Her husbands' out on the street

and not with her instead...

we're slippin'down the dark road.

A little bag of crystal meth

and some reefer in my hand,

lonely times on a beach

crying in the sand...

I'm speeding down the dark road.

I'm sad,lonely,and shedding tears,

my mind now is not so quick.

Caused by satans'fog in my head

so dead cold & evil & thick...

Nothin'but fear and death Bro',

racing down the dark road.

I've lost a job & lost a house

& lost my beautiful wife too.

I was even fixin'to lose my soul

till "HALLELUEAH!!!"Jesus'love came thru...

There's a lite shinin'down the dark road.

He held down his hand to me

this man from calvary.

He picked me up and cleaned me off

then said,"Jeff follow me..."

No more goin'down the dark road.

There was such a huge burden

and guilt more than I could bare.

But Jesus took it all away

just because he cares...

He's done an awful lot for me,

I ride now for a different brand.

an I'm mighty proud to say it out loud


A victorys'been won...down the dark road.

(written to honor my friend...and to say thank you...jbg)


Edited by pcpilot

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Thanks all,


The one thing that really ticks me off to no end is that for a long time back in in the old neighborhood i had quite a knack for dealing with the various problems of a lot of the guys i knew. Yet, not a single one was able to help me with mine. Family was equally worthless.


Here's a nice page that i found with some damn good info. I've done a ton of study about alcoholism but this was a page i've never seen before.




I'm going to try this as well as going to some of the alcohol treatment centers around here this week to come. Let's see what they have to say.

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Hey man, get to the nearest VA hospital and talk to the VA job coordinator. Where are you at currently? Send me a PM and we can talk about getting this going. You're down but by no means out.

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You've been given some good advice so far, so I will keep it simple: Do not give up hope!


I will include you in prayers tonight.

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The most powerful thing in the world is the power of human will. Most people are not aware of that enormous potential strenght that resides in them. Now that you need it, I'm sure you'll find it.

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Best of luck to you... just keep plugging away and something will turn up always does just stay strong in yourself.

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There's gotta be a way out of everything... I was a heavy drinker myself when I was in the "system", although never been an addict. Sometimes problems overload us.... Especially dreams... about family, war, killing. memories of dead people, friend or foe. and damned PTSD.... but must get up again an again. The world does not give f* about us, whether we are alive or dead. We must not give 'em a favor to get rid of us so easily.

Be stronger than chems, drugs and etil... you are invincible

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Well Dave,


i can't go to the VA because i have nothing coming. As a matter of fact my military "career" is the foundation for everything that has happened since.


Joined Army Reserve April 1985 as a 76 Yankee (Unit Supply Specialist). Go to Basic training June 85, deal with various crap including being injured while on a detail and being unable to do PT for about a week. Fell short by 1 pushup on PT test. Made two more tries can't get past that last pushup. Funny as hell isn't it? Anyways, unit graduates and i hang around the barracks doing details for another week or so. Finally got orders to go home since unit was primarily made up of high school students on split training option. Last day on base i was givin my 201 file and lo and behold, i figure they made an error. I have a certificate of graduation inside.


Well, back home, moved and hooked up with local Reserve unit while a senior in high school. First onset of depression begins as i consider myself a failure at being a soldier as i was rather a perfectionist at the time. Didn't realize the Army couldn't care less about falling short a mere pushup or so. After a few months stop reporting to unit and got thrown out of school for too many tardies/absences.


Went to work in a hotel kitchen and screwed that all up after 4 months or so. Really depressed now.


Move again and try to get attached to a local unit. Instead, Re-enlist as Regular Army 19 Echo (M48-M60 MBT crewman) go to FT Knox KY, Fall 1986-This is where the grave digging begins.


At OSUT-Being the only Private that has been through training i get frustrated one day by my platoons' screwups and punch a wall locker, really breaking the hell out of a knuckle. On the x ray it looks like a blooming flower as the bone splits along multiple lines. Now have hand and forearm in cast for about two months. Go through all kinds of training in that damn cast, even qualified well on grenades and pistol. Shot damn good with M3 submachine gun and M16 rifle as.


By the time the cast and follow up splint were removed my arm muscles had seriously atrophied and i was in deep s**t. Training continues and it's time for the PT tests. Excellent in situps and running but you guessed it, pushups shot all to hell. Multiple attempts all No/Gos.



So the Army makes a decision. I'm not good enough to be RA, but i'm too good a tanker (In retrospect, i was one hell of a trainee who was miles ahead of anyone as far as armor is concerned) to let go so they reassign me to IRR. Go back home, back to various jobs and an even worse depression than before. March 1987


Multiple times a week i pray to God for a war. Something that'll let me show my worth and let everyone know that a truly dedicated warrior is amongst them. Finally we have the Gulf war. I anxiously call the Records center in St Louis and they report that i have orders! Stay home and keep by the phone because according to a female SGT-"Your'e going to see things up close and personal". Am crushed when nothing pans out. Move again and get attached to an ACAV unit. Things should look up now. The NCOs can't wait to get me to BNOCS and the Officers are plotting out study courses so i can go to OCS as by now personal research has made me rather formidably knowledgeable about armored operations. On certain field exercises i can point out Platoon and Troop deployment and engagement errors during debriefs with ease enough that i'm the only jr enlisted man who can seriously discuss tactics with the unit Leaders and XOs.


The bananna peel awaits...


Ready to go back to Armor school, wait i'm 5 pounds overweight? No/Go come back in twelve weeks IIRC and try again. At home go through the most torturus workout i've ever done in my life. Remember playing non stop basketball games in the dead of summer until i virtually have to be carried home. Go back to physical and they literally have their jaws wide open at my weight loss, i actually have a whole battery of seperate tests to see how much damage i did to my health. Took off 27 pounds!


Finally i'm off to school? Nope. Sgt at my unit forgot he had to pick me up and take me to MEPS! So finally i get new orders...Bulls**t! I'm going to have to go back to FT Knox in the dead of winter? F**k that s**t and F**K everything and everyone!


Life's been downhill since.



Bit of advice for the youngsters here...No matter how desperatly you want to be something, always have alternate plans in case the first doesn't work out. Also, don't wrap your whole identity and sense of being into something that can kill you if things don't turn out as hoped.

Edited by Lt. James Cater

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To what Armored Cavalry unit did you display your Guderianesque knowledge of the art of maneuver warfare to?


Check your inbox.





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Ok so things are getting settled now. i'm back at my old camp site and it's pretty much good to go.


Funny how you can get a better rest outside than in a shelter. Don't have filthy bastards coughing or hacking all around you and no lice or bedbugs to worry about. Was cold as hell a few nights ago but things calmed down yesterday and all we have to be concerned with now is rain. Maybe idiot teenagers in the near future but we all are armed to one extent or another so let them come. Only hassle is some idots screwed up where we stash our sleeping gear and so we have to figure out a new spot.Also keeping clean enough to be presentable at the union hall.


Got some union work on Saturday and i should be getting W2s soon from where i had them sent so some future cash is guaranteed. However, i anticipate being in a hotel kitchen before mid May. Before that, i should be doing my new thing though. It's going to be touch and go as i'm running on a pretty thin margin but if things go as planned i should be able to get a cheap motel. Just have to stay rock hard and disciplined.


I got curious as to all the different jobs and roles i've had since age 17 and it's a bit of a list. There's one or two i don't even know what to call so i didn't bother.


Kitchen Utility

Pot Washer

Kitchen Steward

Restaurant Runner

Chef's Runner

Casino Porter

Utility Porter

Utility Houseman


Guest Room Attendant

Convention Porter

Construction Cleanup


Carpenter's Assistant


Wharehouse Porter

Security Guard

Business Manager

Bass Tech

Drum Tech

Advertisment Distributer

Phone Salesman

Cart Attendant

Tire Mechanic (Foreman)

Maintainence Man

Vehicle Paint Prepper

Landscaper (Foreman)

Mechanic's Assistant

Auto Shuttler

Roadside Customer Assistance

Newspaper Delivery

Factory Cook


Auction Traffic Director

Fast Food Worker

Pattern Cutter

Spot Welder


What idiot me should have done was gone to college, study finance, and got paid. Also missed the dotcom wave, poker boom, daytrading, the 1980s crack boom, as well as other opportunities.


Might as well go for broke now, don't have anything else to lose. Failure is a not an option.

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Hat's off to PCPilot. Here's a man who has been in your shoes and his advice is the best I have seen. If the good Lord comes into your heart there will be peace. Maybe not all of the things of this world that you seek, but there will be peace. This is the peace that passeth all human understanding and, once there, never leaves. Give God a chance.

Edited by Jug
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