I have battled addiction from my early 20’s. It doesn’t matter what our drugs of choice are (alcohol is mine), what matters is that we no longer have to have our addiction control our life. Alcohol in the beginning made me feel invincible, made me outgoing, forget about stress and my overwhelming anxiety; it told me I could run the world and face anything. As the years went on it slowly turned on me. It led me down a path that I never would have imagined. It ripped apart my life, destroyed my career, and stole my happiness and eventually my soul. My disease took everything from me and then some.
I will be completely honest with you. My drinking which made me the life of the party, or so I thought, eventually made me the person no one wanted to be around. I lost friends, jobs, relationships, and one of the most important relationships in my life; my brother and I. To think I was a college graduate, from an amazing family and no reason to not be successful to being in jail for my second DUI for 73 days, unemployed and living in a homeless shelter is still hard to think about. However, I had to go through all of that to completely surrender and realize that the solution was in front of me all along, ME. I was the only thing standing in my way, call it pride or ego, but I wanted to pretend that everything was fine and all I had to do was not drink. Easier said than done. Addiction is not an issue with the body but the mind and spirit. I could not recover until I turned my life and care over to the hands of God as I understood Him. My best thinking and doing my will made my life unmanageable. So who better to run my life than the one who created me? Such an easy solution yet millions of people aren’t willing to take that first step. The first step is the hardest, but it is the only step you must do a 100% right.
Coming back to treatment for the 7th time, yes 7, was the hardest thing I had to do but also the easiest. Strange but true. I was falling apart long before that decision was made and knew I needed help. My health was going downhill, my anxiety was through the roof, I was not sleeping, and I was barely eating. I didn’t go one day without a drink or anxiety pills. The breaking point came after my grandmother’s funeral. I remember when I got the call she had passed; I drank, cried on my mom’s porch and said a silent prayer to her. I can see it like it was yesterday. I sat in the dark and prayed: “Please Grandma help me. I don’t know how you did it (she got sober at the age of 55) or why it worked but please save me because I’m not going to make it.” Let’s just say my grandmother got to work for sure even though I didn’t realize it then. I continued to drink and blacked out at work, lost my job and the final run ended with me passed out in my mother’s driveway. The next morning I had two choices: treatment or be homeless. I was scared to death, felt like a failure, and why the heck would it work this time? I went outside and prayed again. I asked for a sign. Right then a red cardinal landed on a tree and I thought, this bird doesn’t worry about anything, it’s free and I doubt he worries about what others may think. Can’t I be like that? I had nothing to lose and everything to gain…so for once I let my faith be bigger than my fear and jumped!
I walked with my head held high into detox. I wasn’t scared and knew my Grandmother had worked this out for me. She was my guardian angel then and always will be with my Aunt Nancy. I prayed my first night there to have God do his will with me. I prayed with all my heart and God heard and answered. The next morning I prayed with others and began to share my experiences, my strength, and my hope. My story is messy and painful, but most of all: it’s BEAUTIFUL. It’s beautiful because it’s mine and it’s written just the way God intended. He never gave up on me; He was there all along waiting for me to just ask for His help.
So to anyone new reading this, you are about to embark on the biggest adventure of your life. It may be scary, it may be the fear of the unknown but don’t worry; God’s got this. All you have to do is suit up and show up. Treatment is 90% attitude and 10% work. I challenge you to stay in the positive and surround yourself with people who are doing the right thing. Negativity fuels negativity. Stay in the truth and keep your eye on the prize. The prize is your life free from addiction. Addiction is something that never goes away but we can live in the solution and not let it control your life. Stay in GRATITUDE, a grateful addict never picks back up.
You will face challenges, obstacles, and have moments you want to quit or think you got this. That’s normal, but remember our disease like to play tricks on us. Never forget why you came here. You came to live, you came to succeed, and you came to be the best you that anyone could ever ask for. I believe in you and know you can succeed. So fight the good fight, and give it all you got. There is no dress rehearsal in life, just one dance we get while we are here on earth. So dance, love, and live for the day! I am living proof of what God can do in people’s life…He makes miracles happen and the people in recovery are truly miracles.
I love you more than you will ever know. I love you not just because of the person you are, but because we share something special. Yes special, because we know the problem and we have the solution. The program will teach you a way of living that I wish more people had, a way of living that rights our wrongs, makes us caring, and more importantly: genuine, real and authentic. So welcome to the rest of your story…I cannot wait to see all that God will unfold in your life.
Love you always and forever,
Clean since 2/15/2017