Every second matters
What would you tell yourself at 20 to convince yourself that everything matters. The people you meet the people, the people you talk to, share your time with, open your heart to matters. What about 30 years old how would you convince yourself. 40? How old do we have to get to realize that we should of done something, worked harder, didn’t give up so easily. What was I missing this whole time? I’ve been up and down, have had many highs and lows, but none of them matter if I don’t wake up. Almost sober 6 years now and I want to say I’ve figured some things out, but do I put all my effort in? Do I consistently put in half? No. I’ve always said some of the most important things to keep you sober is to be grateful, never forget how bad it was and find something you care more about in life more than drugs or booze.
I’ve failed many times trying to get sober. Forced into rehabs and coming out with no true intention of sticking with it. One day I woke up and couldn’t move. Literally. I started screaming from what I remember that I couldn’t move. I ended up in the hospital and there were no answers. Not drug related nor was it drinking related. Long story short I’ve been to multiple hospitals, speaking to numerous doctors including spending time at NY Presbyterian. I’ve been tested for everything imaginable, shock therapy, CAT scans for hours and spinal taps that lead to insane headaches. Next was being told I would never walk again and possibly I had a 50/50 shot. Living in physical rehabs and hospitals for 6 months I was sent home still could barely walk. I had my wheelchair being ordered to be sent home that I was told to get comfortable in.
I have still not been diagnosed to this day but I’m proud to say I’m walking just fine. With all the unanswered questions and the great mystery only one thing makes sense. God clearly saw I needed help and I would die if my legs were not taken from under me. My addiction was killing me and everyday I would get up and ignore the beauty in the world, ignore my friends, and most importantly my family. You would think I would of paused and realized at the time the bigger picture. The picture that was so obvious that I needed to get sober. I hobbled right back to my drug full force.
Over a year later I’m in and out of treatment and end up in Maryland for a 28 day stint. I have no desire to be there, but I have no choice. I can remember sitting with a priest in his office sharing my story and hearing myself say everything out loud. I left with few second thoughts about the situation except it felt good to share what happened to me and how I’ve felt. I usually don’t share because I don’t want pity from my medical miracle. I realized later on I did not want to scheme or my first thought when I woke up was not about booze. I truly believe that my obsession was lifted that day and my values of staying sober outweighed my desire to use.
There’s a lot more effort into getting sober. I actually followed through with aftercare for the first time because my desire to use was not greater than the my openness to get sober. I went through the steps thoroughly and finished my 90 and 90. This led to great things, going back to school and becoming a drug counselor.
Anyone reading this can say good for him or I hope he stays sober. None of this fucking matters if I don’t wake up and realize what has been gifted to me. I want to crave gratitude and helping others. I want to die one day and say I tried so hard, I truly gave it my best shot. There are going to be moments in sobriety especially early sobriety where the decisions you make with shift everything, not only for you, but the people around you. I promise if you hang in there and don’t give up something amazing will happen. It takes one second to change everything. I’ve heard the same things over and over but that one day I was having a conversation something clicked in my mind. That priest didn’t say magic words. He didn’t say words I’ve never heard before. I was just ready to hear the message, and that’s the whole point. You have to stick it out and be patient, a miracle is on the way.
Gratitude is the secret alone with helping others. People always want answers of how to stay sober and how to live life, maybe not from me, but they are searching for something. It’s been here the whole time. Appreciate everything. Help everyone around you. Stop thinking that this life is about you and only you. It’s not. Look around and realize this is Heaven. Life sober is literally unlike anything else in this world.
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