Today is a very special and significant day for me as it is my 2nd anniversary of sobriety. April 9, 2013 became the first day of the rest of my life.
For the past week I’ve reflected on what i would write here. Everybody has a story, a period in their life of desperation or struggle. These struggles can make or break us. My desperation and struggle with alcohol abuse and addiction nearly broke me. I couldn’t possibly begin to start writing it all down in intricate detail but I know that any person that has been addicted to anything can relate to this feeling of hopelessness. In active addiction we have delved into our tortured minds and for a while lived with our demons up close and personal. We have endured a type of mental and physical pain no words could describe. During our destructive ways some of us found ourselves at the crossroads of life and imminent death. I know that I certainly did. I was drinking a minimum 1 litre bottle of straight spirits a day, 24 hours a day. I was medicating myself to stop the chills, sweats, tremors and withdrawals. I never had a hangover because I was never sober. Everything I had worked hard for – house, car, bank savings I drank away and because of my drinking habits I lost numerous jobs, faced legal issues and my health was seriously flailing.
I went to detox/rehab and honestly felt at that point in time that I was a broken man. It was only here that I chose to face up to myself. I chose to confront my demons, to try and rebuild myself and slowly start to get my life back on track. When I got out I went straight into Alcoholics Anonymous, Relapse Prevention, Living with Addiction and Counselling sessions. I started working the 12 steps of AA where they started talking about the steps you take, mistakes you make, hearts you break and the price you pay in active addiction. It was through these steps that things started to become clearer and I was able to truly accept my life had become unmanageable. I acknowledged I needed restoration, and called on a higher power to mend the brokenness. I accepted full responsibility for my actions and worked on mending the relationships and friendships I had neglected, fractured or destroyed through my addiction.
I was full of regret and it was eating me on the inside, and if I didn’t get a handle on it, it would end up leaving me in a volatile situation where relapse was just around the corner. Of course I am not proud of the person I was, but I am certainly proud of the person I have become and now I regret nothing. Through all this I have learnt that sometimes we become so focused on what we wish for that we tend to forget about everything we already have. I know that when I start dwelling on yesterday or looking too far into tomorrow, I am pissing all over today. I needed to learn to appreciate and have gratitude for what I had in this moment of my life. I had to have hope and faith that from my struggles would come my greatest strength. Now I feel there are greater things in store for me and after learning about myself and dealing with my poor lifestyle choices; I am ready to carry the message to others who find themselves in a similar situation.
Thank you to everyone in my family, my friends and colleagues at Life Education. The support, understanding and compassion you have provided me has been invaluable to my recovery. To my recovery family and followers on here, I take strength and comfort knowing I have thousands of people going through the same struggles and walking the same walk as me.