Lost to Addiction

I had lost a whole decade to Addiction. Late nights into the early mornings, I was snorting Cocaine or Adderall alone or with others. Crushing pills or cutting cocaine was a pretty, mouth watering sight. I was looking down at a line of powder on the table. It was my second or third 8-ball of the night, at a time when I was snorting 20 or so lines in a day. With the dollar bill in my hand, I considered a couple of truths: I’d stolen the drugs from dealers; I’d eventually be caught; part of me wanted to be caught; part of me hoped I’d die before that happened.

“We really have a problem,” I said to myself. When things got really bad…when I couldn’t believe the things I was doing…I’d start referring to myself as a group.

I snorted each line. The burn felt like pain and ecstasy and shame. But no matter how high I’d get myself those days with the dripping sweat, heart jumping in my chest, and ringing in my ears, I couldn’t shake the feeling of loneliness. And later in the evenings after b work, I’d start drinking whiskey to slow down my body. Rinse, lather, repeat.

It wasn’t always that bad. Like many addicts, things were great for a while. I’d spent a good five years clubbing and doing drugs casually; I was a weekend warrior, I was in my mid twenties, and I was thrilled. I thought I’d connected with people and there was something more real about being high than there was about not being high. But my drinking/drug life was incompatible with my work life. I couldn’t go out partying on Sunday night, coasting home at 2:00AM on Monday morning, and hope to be productive at work, though I tried. I remember one of these Mondays, falling asleep while a coworker was talking to me.

I had lost a whole decade to Addiction. Every aching year it progressed more and more until my brain was on overdrive. Addiction was Charles. Charles was Addiction. I couldn’t fathom a life without a substance in my system. I combined alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex mixed them all in a pot and the outcome was harmful.

#Destruction #Addiction

Dear Self,

(An Open Letter)

Dear Self:

It’s me, You.

How have you been? You and I have been on quite a journey the past few years. We have hugged our knees praying, cried for hours till the tears dried, the throat hurt and the nose blocked, yet we continued crying. We have sat there on the shower floor, just in daze at that stormy situation that surrounded us. We have drank so much alcohol to numb that pain. That heart wrenching pain is real.

You and I, we also pushed ourselves to use different drugs and try different alcoholic beverages. I have seen you have everything you probably wanted. I have also seen you losing it all, suddenly and perhaps in a cruel way. Life is not a straight line, there are ups and downs. It is a series of twists and turns.

I am sorry for all those times where I wanted to tear you apart. I am sorry for all the times I let you hang your head down low, for all the times I let you win, and beat myself up because of those insecurities. I was not strong enough to encourage, support and appreciate you.

I know life has been tough for you the past few years but you have done quite a good job to stay alive. I have seen you plummet to the state of despair and depress. Thank you for not giving up. You know, I am extremely proud that you managed to survive through that suicide attempt. Depression and Mental illness is a struggle.

Have you noticed lately how much you have changed? I did. You have improved much more. You are now much confident to speak up on things on your mind and rise up to challenges. You are now able to sleep soundly without drugs or alcohol. You have a gorgeous daughter, who is thriving. She will benefit from all these lessons you are learning, so although it is a tremendous strain, remember she will learn from your strength to get through this.

As I am writing this letter, you have not fully figured out how your life will be yet. Let’s make a pact. Come back to re-read this letter 5 years later, and update me how you are doing. I truly hope that by that time, you have found your happiness and that you have followed a path that you are proud of. Remember, behind those dark clouds, the sun is still shining.

You have got through this far. Continue to be strong. Do not stop loving. Do not stop caring. You are always loved, by me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am the tunnel.

Above all else, be true to Yourself.

Hugs & Kisses

Love you,

Me

I’m Alive…

I’m Alive…

“Pen and pad in my hand, and I was writing a note. Didn’t get far, as soon as I wrote down “Mom” I just stopped. Couldn’t lie to her, couldn’t figure out how to say bye to her. Couldn’t explain the “Why” to her. Couldn’t picture her getting a call or somebody saying her son had died to her.” – (Joe Budden – Only Human)

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 was my set date I planned to leave this earth. I was sick of crying, tired of trying, yes I was smiling but inside I was dying.

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They say God works in mysterious ways. Well I definitely believe that. On September 19, 2017 my facebook post was subliminally a cry for help. After 1 year and 2 weeks clean and sober I questioned what else is there to life? It was the very first time in my life I contemplated living or dying. Just how I hid my addictions, I hid this too.

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I questioned what else is there to life? It was the very first time in my life I contemplated living or dying. The following week on September 26, 2017 my wife approached me and said she was Pregnant. WOW. They say God works in mysterious ways. Well I definitely believe that. I thought about death wondering how I was gonna go. I couldn’t be insane for just wanting to know but in my head I died often.

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Framing suicide as a method to get attention paints those who are sick as manipulative, when in fact, they are simply really ill. I’m ill. In addition, even if a suicide attempt is a cry for help, it means they need help–so let’s help! My depression and bi-polar overtook my mind to think lower of myself.

Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, suicide eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better.

The emotions, feelings, thoughts, addictions, and depression I had faced daily were now burdens lifted off my shoulders. I had overcome such adversities throughout my life and I wouldn’t allow the easy way out — SUICIDE. I always stress reach out to each other. No one knows what goes on in my head just like anyone else. I can text anyone back “LOL” but I wasn’t laughing at all.

#DontTurnaBlindEye #ElephantInTheRoom #SuicidePrevention #Recovery

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