I knew that I had a problem with alcohol and drugs starting in college. I was drinking almost every night and taking pain pills to feel better. I would wake up in the morning and would have to get a fix before I could even make it to school. This was not how I wanted my life to be. My life had become dominated by drugs and alcohol. My thought processes and actions were consumed with finding ways and means to use drugs and alcohol with no concern for the consequences. All my thoughts and actions were motivated by the feeling of getting high. I was living in the future, always in the next 15 minutes when I knew I would be happy. I wasn’t living life – I was simply existing.
That was just the beginning. After many years down long dark roads, I finally found the gift of recovery. Once I was free from those behaviors and thoughts, my perspective on life changed and I began to see the world in a different light. It was a life I wanted to be apart of. I no longer acted in ways to make myself better – I became of service to others.
For me this means living my best life – a life where I am in the present where I’m able to be there for my friends and family. This means that I show up and I am present for others today. My sobriety is priceless to me. I cherish it and do everything I can to maintain it because I worked hard for it. I’ve discovered spiritual, emotional, and physical solutions to overcome the mental obsession I displayed during my active addiction.
Recovery to me is like is a source of strength and encouragement during difficult days. Recovery means the world to me because of my experience in it. My mom and dad can call me anytime, day or night, and I will be there for them. My little brother can count on me for advice. My grandfather can hunt with his grandson again. My grandmother can ask me for a ride to her doctor’s appointment. I also have the privilege of making sure that two children I love very much can come to me at anytime and I will be there to help them – and that my girlfriend can lean on me for support and strength as well as love. Today, I can look myself in the mirror and be proud of the person I see looking back. These are gifts of sobriety that only come with recovery and I hold on to those gifts dearly, one day at a time.
“Being in recovery is the full expression of the mind-body-spirit connection, a connection that was once splintered and broken and which hindered me from realizing my authentic higher self. It’s about making the changes in my life which overrides the default setting to self-medicate. It’s about freedom from self.” – Paul Silva