I can’t believe I hold you in my hand. It took me five years of going back and forth with accepting that I had a problem. It took five years of facing the fear of the stigma they all built to shame me with. I did not understand then what was wrong with me. Why did I hate me? Why did I want people, places and things? Why did I not want to feel anything? Now I have you and everything has changed, as they told me it would have to.
Now I am here, five years later to earn two years of continued sobriety from mind-altering drugs that nearly decimated my body to no return. My primary drugs of choice came in liquid and capsule form but were not limited to them. Whatever could alter my state of mind and appease the frontal lobe of my brain was fair game to me.
February of 2013 was the last time I went out and used. That time out was the worst time out; my time almost ran out.
I never thought I would make it out but somehow I was spared. I have heard that it may not have been my time to check out from this planet. Whatever the case may be I had a lot of help from many people that I truly call Mi Familia.
I keep a special circle of people who did not give up on me. I keep a special circle of family that cared enough to educate themselves on the subject of addiction and give me the support I needed. Having mentioned that, my sobriety and recovery are not dependent on what other people do or not do for me.
Not only did I have to first admit I had a problem, I had to become willing to change and change everything for that matter. The first 12 months I did what my Sobriety Mentor and Coach told me to do. I listened because my Sobriety Coach had what I wanted, 32 years of sobriety at the time (34 as of this blog entry).
I survived detoxing and I went to support group meetings daily because that is what I needed to do. My mind was not always there those first 12 months, truth be told, my mind was often not there but I kept bringing my body back. I followed a proven system that has helped me recover from a hopeless state of mind and body.
I learned to keep my mouth shut and listen. I needed to listen to the people with long term sobriety. I needed to listen to the people not only with that kind of long term sobriety; I needed to also listen to those people that projected positive energy and had a positive attitude. For me, alcohol and pills were only a symptom of a much larger problem.
My problem tricked me into thinking for a long time I had no problem. I just wanted what I wanted, when and however I wanted it. The normal part of the brain, the mid-brain (the logical thinking part of the brain) does not have much say when it comes to my frontal lobe.
After year one I was told by someone in a support group, “Congratulations, now the real work begins.” She was absolutely right. I was very glad she told me that, the day I received my 1 year token. That has carried with me ever since.
The first 12 months I experienced a lot of ups and downs. I truly felt like I was on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I did not know how I could stay sober and just because I put down the alcohol and pill bottles did not mean the physical dependency left me the day after. Alcohol stays in the system for a long time and it was much a part of me as any limb from my body.
Now each day is a new day to stay sober and recover. People I have been close to have went back out, some of which have ended back in institutions and some have left Earth entirely. All I do is clutch you in my hand, you, my token, you remind me of the pain and suffering that still exists in this toxic world. You also remind me that recovery is a beautiful pain, well worth the time spent.
When will the pain end?
I wish I could answer that for other people as I know many people are struggling out there. If I could carry all of the burden on my shoulders and survive it, I would. Unfortunately, I can not. Fortunately I can still lend my voice to share some strength and hope. I will help as long as I am breathing and once that ceases then my written word will have to be the surviving inspiration to a person that reads it.
Whatever I am going through today, it is not as bad as what many others are going through.
I can either focus on that pain, that misery or I can gravitate towards a positive light and energy. I must change everything they pleaded to me. I am happy that I have changed and continue to change in hopes that I can continue to recover, continue to heal and continue to share.
I am not perfect but I am aware. I am not scared but I am cautious. I am not a label but I am me. I am just glad I have a token reminder of how far I have come and just how much more work I have to do.