The Odessa Record -

A personal history - Battling against addictions

Local resident Pat Gamache wanted to share his story with others who might be in similar situations. His submission will run as a series of articles for the next few weeks.


October 17, 2019

Addiction comes to us in many different ways, some of which we have very little control over!

I’ve been addicted to a few different things in my day, while living with some cognitive deficiencies from a severe head injury from a baseball at age 5. Being around animals was addictive and soothing! The first of many addictions. So I got a job working at a pet shop.

My addictions were then work and money. I had a paper route and sold greeting cards door to door. I bought my first bike at age 7. At age 8, I got the job at the pet shop and worked seven days a week, both after school and on weekends. That was 40 hours or more a week for eight years.

The shop owner’s husband sold cars for a living. That introduced me to my next addiction, cars and working on them. I bought a 1962 Corvair from him at age 14. It needed work, but it was my first car. On the test drive after repairs, my neighbor totaled the car.

At 16, I got my driver’s license. My newest addiction was a 1965 Chevelle. I was racing around town, driving FAST, so much so that a judge took my license away from me. That I had 18 moving violations in two years was his excuse. The cure was to sell my car and take the bus.

My next addiction was my wife. We would talk into the wee hours of the morning, and I’m still addicted!

In 1984, I got into demo derby and street-stock auto racing. It was oh so fun and addicting. In 1988, my head was crushed by a car, when the jack failed while I was pulling out the safety stands, leaving me with 17 broken bones and a two-inch hole through my face.

Those morphine injections felt so good! So pain relief was my newest addition. After the morphine, it was hard to get that kind of pain relief ever again. At that time, I was taking every over-the-counter medication there was to control the pain, the massive headaches. Tylenol 3s helped some.

Then in 1992, I had a very bad fall at work, landing on cement on my right side, breaking my neck and losing seven teeth. It was an L&I case. I got pumped full of all kinds of meds needed to deal with my pain. My doctor was amazed at the amount of drugs it took to control my pain. My new addiction was to pain meds, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories, washed down with a half pint of whiskey daily. That went on for way too long! I started spending as much time in the woods as I could.


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