Man, what it meant for me in the early days of my getting clean and sober has definitely changed…evolved, if you will. At first, it was just not drinking or using. That was it. Then it came to have more direct meaning regarding my life outside of trying to not drink and use. It came to mean learning to live and function in a world that cared not about my disease, as it is now known to be by myself and professionals the world over. I had to grow up, as I started using substances to mask what was going on inside of me emotionally and spiritually, at a very young age. 11 years old is when I discovered drugs and alcohol, and it is when I started to actively use, regardless of consequence. While recovery to me today is directed more towards my ability to give back to the world from which I was nothing but a taker from for so many years. I am set on sharing my story. I am convicted to lead by example, those that are coming after me and take direction from those that have braved this trail prior to my joining the community. It is the passing of the torch, as it were, to pass on what was freely passed on to me. To add to the overall story of the recovery community. I am driven to add my footnote to the movement of life in recovery.
Recovery has given me a life I had only ever dreamed of. Such a fragile and unreachable thing it once was to be a father…a husband…an employee (longer then my first one or two paychecks)…a son…a real life, honest to goodness HUMAN BEING!!! I am worthy today. Worthy of the struggles and work and rewards of living in recovery. Today, having a sober mind and spirit, my life has endless possibilities. I can do whatever I want to do, give back however I want, evolve into a person of substance and a giving member of the human race. It is only in recovery that a person like me can truly apply myself to living. And in so doing, I get to share my joys, unburden myself through relationship building and knit tighter my sober community.
Where once it was a bottle and a bag to get me through the day, I seek true companionship and interaction with others. Where hiding in the dark and living behind a mask were mandatory for the lifestyle found myself in, there is healing and truth and honesty to keep my demons at bay. Where once a man stood all alone in a world full of people, I seek to stand shoulder to shoulder with and remind them they are never alone those searching for this path to a better us. My only wish is that those in and out of recovery that may need or want it, can experience not just a life without using substances, but a life where their past issues with using drugs and alcohol have a positive impact on them, their community and all those around them today. I hope that my life in recovery can be the beginning of something more than it once was. Where I can add to a world worth participating in and engage with like-minded individuals to better ourselves and our community. I wish recovery upon everyone. Because truly, recovery, for me, looking back at my life, is largely based upon my not picking up or using. But this thing we call recovery, is not so much defined today for me by substance use issues or a reason for being, rather it is a way of doing things and a manner in which I show up in the world. Recovery is multi-faceted, and though I know but this little, I am overjoyed to be a part of it and to learn more each time I choose to engage in the lifestyle of sobriety.