Three Years: Recovery in Three Parts...

By Justin England 09/11/19
Three Years Sober in three parts...

Three Years Sober

Part one:

I’m going to write about my Recovery, what I’ve learnt, what I’ve yet to learn, the people I’ve met… Hope you enjoy. If not, the ‘back’ button is in the top left-hand side of your tab.

I started my journey 3 years, 18 days, 11 hours & 28 minutes ago. Yet… It still feels like it was just yesterday. I don’t mean that to sound negative it is just… I am learning. Everyday, something new. I used to hate when people said that ‘You learn something new every day…’ If my eyes rolled any harder, they’d be popping out of my head and rolling down the street, but I now embrace that saying and look forward to life’s lessons. I had my head buried so deep in the sand that I am still shaking the sand from my hair.

When I started this journey, Sobriety, I was so Angry, Resentful, Sick, Twisted, Bitter, Broken but I also felt vert much alone which I’d later learn or, come to realise that I was not alone. Not in the slightest. Now 3 years and change in I am slowly picking up the pieces. James Frey wrote that BS Memoir ‘A Million Little Pieces’ and that is what I am doing, picking up those Million Little Pieces and fixing them back together and back in place. I am finding myself; I have taken the Stabilisers off this bike and slowly navigating forward into Recovery always learning. Yearning for more life lessons, eager and excited! There is so much to learn, always, I am still scared, angry and resentful also a little bitter but with myself. I don’t think I fully forgave myself and honestly don’t think I ever really will. Everything I did, the people I hurt, the things I missed out on? I cannot take that back but of course, made amends and will forever be making it up x10! I am soaking everything up like a sponge, keeping my brain on at all times on a constant cycle. To me, boredom is the killer in sobriety… Once you switch your brain off, or mind, that is when you start to wander into uncharted territory… The ‘Memories’ of what you did the ‘Great Times’ which, were not great but that is where your mind takes you if you let it. I like to keep the brain going, those memories in the back burner as a reminder, a bitter memory of that time I royally fucked up, a little reminder of ‘Remember when you nearly lost everything!?’ That is why I keep on going, keep rambling, stay manic and always GO, GO, GO! So that I don’t let the bored mind run amok. I have become very Obsessive Compulsive in routine, knowing the day before me, knowing what and where I will be and at what times again, to keep the cycle going.

In my 3 years I have had many Gifts of Sobriety, I have made some very close friends, great friends. People I would have never met so when I get that odd person asking me ‘Would you go back and not do what you did?’ the answer is an obvious ‘Of course!’ but, also… NO. Because I am an addict, it is the way I was wired, the way my brain works is different to Tom, Dick & Harry at work and I love that! I have days where I’ll be manic, the office clown who can also do three times the amount of work, write and go home to play with little one and spend time with my ever-patient better half. I can see why a lot of people in recovery meditate because when the girls go to bed and I am unwinding on the sofa and I start to think… that is when sheer fucking panic sets in and I will throw myself into a notepad, journal, notes on the phone, anything to just VENT! If I don’t unload, I’ll start to think about back then and I will dwell. It has gotten easier over time of course; I have learnt to not let that *pokes head* take me places want to revisit. When I do start to overthink, I remember that time, the reign of error as ‘The Reign of Era’, that makes no sense as I type it out but it is how I see it so, put up with it. I do. I use that as a highlight to thrive in the here and now! I try not to dwell, we all get low I get that, but I try my hardest to not get too low. As I mentioned, those distant memories of hurt and pain and anger I put those in the rear-view mirror a long time ago and I am driving forward and I keep on looking straight ahead, never looing back.

Along my Road of Recovery I found a Podcast, Dopey, which has helped in so many ways I cannot go in to detail because I’ll be here writing/rambling forever and a day which I would happily do, but I need at least one person to read this piece and not get pissed off that I have yet again gone off on a tangent… But this is also where I came to realise that even though I am in a different country, I am not alone. So, with Dopey came ‘Dopey Nation’ a band of lovable misfits with amazing stories. I now hold these people very close to my heart and look to them when I am pissed off, upset, happy, excited or just want to shoot the shit. These guys are truly amazing people and I’ve become close with quite a few. On the day of my 3 year ‘Soberversary’ I woke up, had my morning coffee and there was a group chat with so many messages I rolled my eyes at first thinking “Shit, some fucker has added me into one of those bloody (not the word I used) group chat for ‘prizes’…” but, C, a fellow Nation member had, as I slept the couple hours sleep I manage to catch, managed to gather as many of the troops as she could to leave me messages of ‘Congratulations’ and just generally sending love and I cannot be more grateful for what she did there; I spent most the morning scrolling through listening to all the guys sending love, doing amazing and appalling British impressions and Dave himself had sent a VM, AMY FUCKING DRESNER!! Amy also did a British Accent which, well fuck, I’m laughing now just thinking about it. That day I knew that the Dopey Nation are my people. That is where I belong, these people I have never met, I feel closer to than the assholes around me (they aren’t assholes at all, they just don’t get it!) These things I call ‘Gifts of Sobriety’ and I welcome them, all the time. I also had a great message sent over the weekend, a photo of a signed ‘To Justin…’ from Brandon Novak! Again, Colleen had gone to see him and when she met him, she had him sign up a few for us in the Nation and it is so selfless and kind that I don’t know how, but I will make all of this up to her. I genuinely have no idea how I can make it up so, Dopey Nation help me out when the time comes…

So, there are days where you are on top of your game. There are days where you are low and just want to be left alone. Your feelings come back in a raging storm, imagine that 'Sunday Feeling' roll it up super tight until you've got about 9000 'Sunday Feelings' then mix it up with the Holiday Blues... You aren't even close! Now this is because you’ve controlled them, your feelings, chemically, for so long that you are not in control of those feelings. Happiness. Sadness. Empathy. Sympathy… Again, 3 years in and I still feel that those emotions are only slowly getting back to ‘normal’ although I do consider myself socially inept and incapable of feeling ‘feelings’ but that is bullshit, obviously! Because the day I received all that love from the Nation I was on cloud 9 and then some! No drug can beat the way I felt that day with those messages, nothing!

No matter where you are on your journey, we are all the same. We are all learning and will always be learning. It’s what you do with those lessons and how you make them count.

I’ll end this here and will continue another time. So, for now;

Stay Strong & Toodles!

J.

 

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