What someone said
After 28 years of painful and devastating addiction to alcohol and other substances; after three marriages, two sons and scores of lost opprtunities that presented themselves to me in the form of renewal, I lay dying or as close to death as a person could ever be and all I could think of is what someone said that I overheard: "Its not the dying that bothers me, it's living for another thirty or forty years, day after day, in an addicted state of mind." ?For me, when I heard that, I was terrified. My life was one of twilight- that in between time of light and dark; I didn't know if the sun was coming up or going down. ?But the truth of those words haunted me.
I was as lost as a human being could be and I was afraid of everything. I had tried therapy and shock treatments, medications and desperation pleas to God and nothing was changing. I couldn't get clean and sober because I didn't want to work for it. I wanted the instant gratification that comes with drug use to work for my selfish demands for recovery.
Without benefit of running water or food or heat I lived in a camper in the woods like some wild man. I was at the very botom of the well. Depression was my constant companion. Sucide was not an option because I had failed so many times before to end this existence and could not go through with that final act. I rembered the men I had been in combat with in Viet Nam who had never had a chance to live and love and be happy; men whose dreams would never be realized and I felt terribly guilty that I had lived as I was living. The light of reason and honor and hope was wrapped around my belief that I had to live and get sober to make amends to these fine guys who never had the chances I had squandered. Shame came be a great motivator- perhaps even more so than pain.
I got sober. I got clean. One difficult day at a time. I listened, while in the rooms of recovery, to the stories that reasonated with me and I found out I was not alone. I was not unique. I was simply a part of a vast popuation of people who had gone astray but were now headed in a driection that would give them a sense of purpose. The road to recovery is limitless and wonderful. God gave me my life back because I offered it up to God. He did not abandon me. I abandoned me. So in getting out of myself ?the Grace of addiction ( and that's what it is, Grace), allowed me the freedom to remove from myself all of the ego barriers that kept me stuck, that held me in bondage to a view of the world that was wrong. I am humbled by this process, this awakening, this revelation that is recovery.
CAC 1 GACA
This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.