Spice Up Your Writing

Sobriety gave me my writing. It lifted the damper that alcohol and drugs placed on my creative energy. It gave me the motivation and, initially, the material. I started blogging as a way to process my recovery experiences and connect with others. It turned out to be the perfect way to take my first baby steps into writing. Anonymity has been necessary for obvious reasons. It also allowed me to get my feet wet as a blogger without too much ego involvement and vulnerability.

I was a nervous wreck when I hit “post” on that first post with my name on it. The good kind of nervous wreck, though. The kind of stomach butterflies that tell you you’re doing something brave that will grow you as a person. 100 or so post later, I am much more accustomed to “putting myself out there,” but I still get those butterflies once in awhile. That’s when I know I’m taking risks with my writing and really giving something of myself. Being more present and emotionally balanced for my family has been the greatest gift of sobriety for me. My writing is a close second.

Today I’m 3 years clean and sober. It’s been interesting, adjusting to sober living. I knew it was necessary but thought it would suck. It doesn’t suck. It did for awhile, sometimes. I am happy to say very simply that this is a better way to live and I’m happier. It does not feel like a life of “doing without” like I thought it would. I have gained so much more than I’ve lost (and to most of what I’ve lost, good riddance anyway).

Am I grateful to be an Alcoholic and Addict like some people in meetings say? Yes! If I had a choice, I would prefer to be a person who could take it or leave it and have no issues with alcohol/drugs/gambling. But I’m at peace with what is, and the way my life has unfolded. And certainly many blessings have come from my recovery process.

#GratefulRecoveringAlcoholicAddict

My Recovery

This is to anyone whose hearts I shattered in active addictions:

Before I identified myself as an Alcoholic or a drug Addict, my view of any addiction consisted of dirty needles and DUIs and jails and drinking out of brown paper bags under bridges (Sure that wasn’t me). I pictured bruises on children’s’ faces after fathers would stumble in drunk and screaming at 3 AM, and families begging their loved ones just to “stop.” I didn’t understand how someone could “let themselves” get to that point. They didn’t care about their wives? Their husbands? Their children?

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Then I got drunk and high for the very first time. I felt peace like I had never known. The tornado in my head had finally ceased tossing words and time and emotions around, and I didn’t have to feel. I didn’t have to think about anything else, and I didn’t have to worry. I was no longer afraid.

Looking back, I know now I was an alcoholic and addict long before I picked up any drink or drug. My disease came from a hole inside of me, which I stuffed with thing after thing after thing and nothing was ever enough. Faster than I could have imagined, that wonderful feeling of being drunk and high became a necessity. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t eat, couldn’t LIVE without booze or drugs.

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The very things that were destroying me, that were eating my soul, were the things that seemed to be keeping me alive. I lied, I cheated, I stole, I doubted myself and my friends and lost trust in everyone and everything around me. I was underwater with a ball and chain around my foot, and my disease was at the bottom celebrating its’ new victory. I didn’t feel guilt about the things I was doing. I didn’t allow myself to because all I knew was chasing that next thrill and high. I hurt so many people, and most of all I hurt myself.

My addictions dragged me down faster than I ever thought something could. I didn’t catch it in time, or maybe I just didn’t care. I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop. My disease convinced me that the hell I was living was better than even thinking about getting clean. And I believed my insidious disease. It became the only thing in my life that I trusted.

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When I went to rehab treatment I heard stories. I heard stories about people who had it so much harder than I did, and that they managed to stay clean for unfathomable amounts of time. I couldn’t hold together my first 22 hours, and this man/woman just celebrated 22 years of continuous sobriety ?! I couldn’t believe it. My path of becoming alive again, actually living, began right then and there. I didn’t know it yet, but the seed of hope had been planted.

#TheFactsOfLife #MyRecovery 🙏❤️

Deadbeat Dad

All I can think of to say to my father is…

Hey “Dad” I did it without you.

To the man who abandoned me 25+ years ago, Thank You. You showed me that not only can I survive without you, but that I can build my own life that doesn’t involve you or any memories of you. Yes, there are things that I inherited from you (your facial features and your humor) but when I look at myself, I no longer see you. I see a confident young man who has overcome his past demons and is creating a brighter future for himself and his family.

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Yes, there are still times where I want to ask him why wasn’t/isn’t he a great father to begin with? But knowing the second he open his mouth a spew of lies will outwardly follow. Being a coward, why speak ill words about my mother? The second half of my creation yet you play the blame game to her parenting skills. But most importantly why you left me to grow up without you. But I’ve realized that doing that will destroy any blockade I have in my mind of you, because my times with you weren’t pleasant at all. How many more lives can you affect — from my sister, to your sisters, to my wife, to your granddaughter, and so on and so on. The term Cancer is the first thing that comes to mind. You manipulate and play the poor victim to others around you.

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Recently I’ve been told by numerous family members and friends to “forgive and forget” or “be the bigger man”. Yet the funny part of that all is: I HAVE ALREADY. AA has taught me not to hold onto past resentments, to let go of anger, and to forgive. There’s two sides to every story: I’m living a righteous life of years of being clean and sober. The other side hasn’t cleaned their side of the street yet they speak ignorance. So thank you, thank you for leaving my life without a proper goodbye. Thank you for giving me a better life. I’ve done so well without you “Dad”.

#BiggerMan #Maturity #Honesty #Recovery

Open Letter 2 my Sister

(An Open Letter)

Dear Sister:

From childhood to adulthood we teased and irritated each other but at the end of the day we can’t live without each other. I’ve made you cry, you’ve made me cry. Those tears were love, joy, pain and sympathy. We know each other’s hearts. We know what makes us tick. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets.

You are my only sibling, the one that I look up to for advice, support and vent to. You didn’t get the addiction gene from our parents and I don’t fault you for that. I try to shed light to the matter and not make it a private family matter. We all die one day so there’s no need to go to our graves with skeletons in our closet. You don’t understand my alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness. But that’s ok. You never judge and willing to learn about me with your 21 questions.

We are cut from the same cloth but chose different paths in life. You never saw my destruction coming because I hid it so well. You laughed and thought that’s Charles being Charles. In reality I was to scared to reach out to you. I’m an alcoholic who hated himself when he didn’t drink. Not only did I lose my sister but I lost a friend that really knows me. We don’t say I love you to one another but our actions speak the love not spoken. I love you Big Sis.

Sincerely,

Your Brother

Charles

Open Letter 2 Mom & Dad

(An Open Letter)

Dear Mom & Dad:

MOM: In my mid twenties, when my drinking was not yet out of control, we started bonding over a few drinks. A few drinks lead to different roads but the same outcome…Alcoholism.

DAD: I know my daddy sitting in that daze going crazy. Thinking about his little boy Charlie, like his life amazing. But he doesn’t even owe me. That’s my daddy but he doesn’t really even know me. They say Charles you grew up, you grew up without a father.

But I see now that shit really just made me grind harder. The Lies will be forever in your…Addiction

My mama use to pray for me every night I was thinking maybe I’m going straight to hell. The devil got a hold of me but I gotta let him go. I just kept praying for escape and serenity.

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As a former young alcoholic/addict and now a slightly older recovering alcoholic/addict, I don’t have anything original to contribute other than my own experience. My story is inspiring and remarkable except for the fact that an absolute miracle happened 3 years ago, and I continue to be blessed everyday with a life that I never could have imagined.

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My personal experience with addiction and recovery hopefully will resonate with some readers and provide some insight, comfort, and hope. They say you’re a product of your environment. Growing up watching you two parents destroy your bodies from addictions I sure was following your path but you didn’t make me an alcoholic/addict. Long before I took my first drink or used my first drug, I started on a path that led me into my addictions.

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At least in my experience, no amount of intervention could have prevented me from making the choices I made. I was a deadly combination of naïve, stubborn, foolish, and scared, and I got there on my own.

Sincerely,

Charles Louis King

I am.

I was an addict. I was a drug addict.

It took me a long time to utter those words in my own head, let alone speak them out loud or pen them down.

Looking back on my past as a drug user, I can tell you that we, us “addicts,” never intentionally set out to become that way; I never intended to hurt myself, but most of all, I never intended to hurt you all.

I am Sorry!

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Here is how it works: something strikes our lives that is not emotionally or physically bearable, and we seek help. Oftentimes that “help” results in drugs and/or alcohol. At first, the drugs are a welcome reprieve from the pain and torment my body and mind endured each day. The drugs took me back to the place that I so desperately longed for, the place of “normal”. I just wanted to feel the way everyone else seemed to “feel”. I wanted happiness; I wanted a morning that didn’t start with pain and agony or mental anguish.

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Being a Drug Addict I was a lonely creature. Mainly because I was jealous of the happiness everyone around me seemed to have, yet I couldn’t seem to find mine. So, I retracted from life. I started taking more. And more. And more. This was my fault, and I knew it. However, I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop.

Addicts, myself included, can tell you that asking for help, admitting I was fucked up and didn’t know how to escape was the hardest part. It was embarrassing as I was headstrong seeing I had rebutted all of the arguments over the years claiming I was NOT a drug addict.

But I was. I am.

#SeeTheLight #Addict #Recovery

I’m an Addict

You don’t know me. Honestly, I can’t say that I blame you. I don’t even really know myself. But, you probably shouldn’t know me. I had built such a habit out of drinking and drugging that for me to physically bring myself to participate in life, I felt like I had to be on something. My addictions were telling me I needed to do it just so I could eat, enhance things, or solve my problems.

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Eventually every Drug Addict has their last high, every Alcoholic has their last drunk. Those of us that got clean and sober get to talk about ours. Recovery is possible, start your journey and share your story. What’s Holding you back is the thought that something is Holding you back.

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A pretty good judge of character, maybe I mistaked a few. Cut some people off, but had no choice, it’s what they made me do. Why would you take advantage when it’s something I’d have gave to you? And in the long run, it doesn’t take from me, it takes from you. Speak your heart. If they don’t understand, the message was never meant for them anyway.

#SpeakTheTruth #KnowWhoYouAre #Recovery