I reached my 6 months last Sunday and it's hard to imagine myself even a month ago. I look in the mirror and don’t recognize who I see and its strange, but I'm okay with that. Thats part of my growing process and I'm working day by day to rediscover who I am. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to write and help my brain put back together the pieces of me. To choose what parts of me I want to grow and what parts I need to let die. I still have a lot of work to do, and my saving grace is still one day at a time.
I don’t know what my future looks like and I don’t know where I'm going in life right now. I'm like that scene in the office when Kevin is carrying the beans and spills them. Those beans are the pieces of me I'm working on and I'm constantly dropping them all over the place. I ended my active addiction as a directionless man with dwindling morals and no set of values. I did things I swore I would never do and I became a person who enjoyed manipulating others for the hell of it. I was a complete narcissist and used my gift of storytelling for the wrong reasons. In those days I told stories to have others believe I was someone and something I wasn’t. All in order to feed my fragile ego. I told so many lies I began believing them and simultaneously forgetting them.
These past 6 months have been me unraveling the lies, peeling back the stories and the layers of me to find Me. Talk about an identity crisis, I had no idea who the hell I was sober. In some ways I still don’t, but I'm willing to do some soul searching to keep finding those lost pieces. For everyone still in the early months of recovery I'll tell you this. Things don’t magically get better because we stopped drinking. The alcoholism is only a symptom of a much larger problem and of a spiritual malady in our souls. Having God, or a higher power, in your life is just one major component of starting. We alcoholics have to do the work and do the steps to regain ourselves. We all lost ourselves in our addictions, that’s universal across all addicts and we are all on that same path together; there's hope in knowing you'll never be alone. We lived our lives out of fear, hate, resentment, bitterness, anger, loneliness and all other sorts of negative emotions. That’s a big hole to fill, and an even bigger void to replace. That’s where our higher power comes in, he has the power to fill that void inside us. Now we have to fill the void on the outside, the void that comes from no longer drinking. We find ourselves with more free time than we knew was possible because many of us spent all day drinking. I struggle with this too between the moments of existential dread, disassociation and healing. I can't heal 24/7, but I can choose to spend a little less time dreading my current situation and focus on doing something productive. This is where my writing and journaling comes in. When my anxiety gets to me, I write a story because it forces me to focus on the present, on a story in my head I have a need to write down. I don’t want to lose the story so I write till it's finished.
Recovery however will never be finished and that’s where one day at a time comes into play. Some of us may not be ready to fully commit, some of us may not be done drinking. There are so many yets left for so many people but it's your choice to choose when you’ve had enough. Rock bottom is an internal condition, not external. You choose when to stop the elevator, and to get off at that floor. No one can make that choice for you and everyone's rock bottom is different. My rock bottom was finding myself in jail for the 2nd time in my life, with a broken hand, and too many relationships lost to count. I had become violent, bitter and a far cry from the man I really was. I was in pain physically and spiritually. I drank to oblivion hoping it would kill me someday, but my truth is I wasn’t ready to die. God showed me that, God has shown me a lot of things these past few months of recovery that I'm grateful for. Above all he showed me that there was still a life worth living, that I still had hope inside me, I still had fire inside my soul. I thought I was walking alone into my death every day I drank, but God was keeping me alive to the moment of my bottom so he could finally work. I was desperate enough to change and was able to hear God again.
So, I pray for this, that we find ourselves desperate to change every day of our lives. Desperate enough to let God work in our lives. To find our own truths along the path of recovery and to see that there is hope, and there is a life worth living.
With all the love my heart can give,