Today we have Omar Pinto, host and founder of the wildly popular SHAIR Podcast. SHAIR stands for Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery. He’s part of our Dad Edge Alliance and he’s also a friend.
“O” shares the heart-wrenching story of the son he had to give up. He also takes us through his insane addiction to cocaine and alcohol, and how he not only survived, but transformed into one of the most well-known voices in recovery today. This is a special episode you will not forget!
The SHAIR Podcast
Drugs and alcohol are one of the most popular topics on the GDP. Many of us drink alcohol – some of us are social drinkers, some of us might drink a lot – we’re all over the spectrum, but we’re all curious if we’re depending on it too much. There also might be some recreational drug users in the community who may wonder if their life could be better without drugs, but are too afraid to ask for help.
Omar Pinto has a huge fan base and he’s changing lives. Every week The SHAIR Podcast broadcasts amazing life-changing success stories from addicts and alcoholics all over the world and shares their inspiring journey into recovery. He also manages a 100% private Facebook accountability group for active and recovering alcoholics and addicts. His passion and life’s purpose is to inspire people struggling with addiction to take that first step towards recovery, to show them that their life could be so much better and that there is a better way to live.
Came from a dysfunctional home. His mom was Jehovah’s Witness, but his dad left the religion and it became a constant source of tension in the home. His dad was explosive and he grew watching parents fight all the time. At one point, Omar remembers that they each had their own bedroom, and he thought that when he got older he would do the same. This was normal to him.
His dad’s side of the family were heavy drinkers, but no one ever said the word “alcoholic.” They were social drinkers, weekend warriors. There was never a wedding, birthday, or funeral where alcohol was not involved.
Omar had low self-esteem as a kid. He worried about how he looked, whether he was smart, and if he would ever be a good athlete. He was a C student who had no special talents. Worst of all, he had a difficult time trying to fit in because his mom was Jehovah’s Witness. He couldn’t go to parties or participate in holiday activates. He was isolated and lost. It’s no wonder that drinking appealed to him.
At the age of seventeen, he got a job at a steakhouse. He left with a fat stack of cash every night and it was party time. He had no goals or aspirations. He was attending college, but not getting anywhere. He was already living the dream – a career waiter. The fun he was having was irresistible. But he started to drink on the job and one day passes out and gets fired.
He spent five years in college and didn’t get a degree. He decided to move to LA and get into the mortgage business. This was before the recession hit, and he was making the bucks. He met a girl and started a volatile relationship. Dysfunction seeks dysfunction. Omar was always wanted to be the hero, so he attracted victims. Once he rescued them, he took them hostage. Omar says he was an angry person; anger protected him and kept him sharp. His girlfriend moved in, and they had serious fights. He would go to work with scratch marks on his face.
After multiple break ups and reunions, he finally said he’s done with her for good. He was free and finally ready to move on with his life. A week later, his ex-girlfriend called.
Omar was distraught. He called his dad and cried to him, but instead getting a sympathetic ear, his father told him, “Stop crying and man up. You’re twenty-five. You have nothing going for you. You couldn’t finish college. You can’t hold a steady job. This is the best thing that could happen to you. This will teach you how to be a man.”
The tears just stopped. Omar put his head back, and said, “Alright, Dad.”
His pregnant girlfriend moved back in, and the nightmare continues. It was rough, but Omar pushed through. As soon as his son was born, she left him to stay with her parents.
A constant battle to see his son ensued. Each time he tried to make arrangements, she avoided him or put him off. He spent the next year trying to see him. Finally, he told her, “If you want, you take full custody and relinquish me of any financial responsibility.” That was the offer she had been waiting for. She never answered him, just sent the papers. He was done.
The Descent into Addiction
Omar was broken and in a serious depression, he never stopped thinking about his son. Then someone offered him an online casino job in Costa Rica. This is where he met his present wife and the drug that would lead him into destruction.
Omar was told that above all, he had to fit in. His contacts and partners were valuable to the business. When he met all his coworkers, he couldn’t believe what insane partiers they were. They had bars in their offices. They even smoked weed right there at work. Omar drank and got high at work every day, having the best time ever.
One night, Omar was falling asleep on the desk. All his coworkers were on the way to the casino, but he told him he was too tired to go. How did they have the energy to stay out all night? Then one of the guys offered Omar some cocaine. The clouds parted. The angels sang. Omar felt like it was the secret elixir of success.
But it doesn’t take long to degrade into a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde situation. Omar’s problem skyrocketed. He regularly fell into coke-induced psychosis and paranoia, disappearing on binges and acting on insane delusions.
During the same time, he married his new wife and she was pregnant. But he couldn’t stop. One night, with his heart racing so fast he had to down booze and sedatives to prevent a heart attack, he hit an all time low. He got on his knees and prayed for God to take him out of this world or get him clean.
He woke up the next day, got in his car, and drove to his therapist. “I need help,” he finally said. The therapist new of a Narcotics Anonymous meeting that was starting in an hour. Omar made it. He shared his story. The people surrounded him. That was the beginning his journey into recovery.
A Life of Purpose in Recovery
The 12 Steps radically changed Omar’s life. They allowed him to work through his father’s death and the unresolved situation with his son. Omar knew his story might inspire people to make the first step toward recovery. He created The SHAIR Podcast for those who are suffering from this disease who are hiding behind a veil of shame, those who are isolated behind a computer who just need one ray of hope and support to get started.
Thanks to the program that saved his life, Omar is still with his beautiful wife and his daughter who is now fourteen-years-old. He surrounds himself with people with the same values and principles. Fidelity, loyalty, and responsibility are non-negotiable. As painful as the situation with his son was, Omar says he wouldn’t be the man he is today or appreciate his family like he does today if he hadn’t gone through it. Now, it’s his goal to be the best dad he can be for his daughter.
Omar’s Dad Wisdom
If you are lost and haven’t quite found out how to communicate with your kids and be a good father, you have to view your circle of influence.
If you have sucky friends who are shitty dads, get rid of them. Find guys who are solid who care about their children.
If you’re struggling with drugs and alcohol and you’re afraid to ask for help, if you’re afraid to be found out, go to SHAIR Private Facebook group. You will be welcomed and surrounded with absolute love and support.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN.
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