For a good ten years I was a drug addict. I was a “recreational user” for longer than that but by addict I mean I was daily user — for ten years.
I stopped seven years, nine months and 27 days ago.
New Year’s Day, 2005 ranks, along with the day Samantha and I snuck off and eloped and the days my three daughters were born, as one of the most important days of my life. It was the day I decided I was bigger than my problems and that I didn’t need an external salve to make it through the day.
Samantha can tell you, the ensuing 30 days were rough. Detox can be hard and I was not the most pleasant person to be around, but I made it through.
Having stayed stoned for ten years, clarity was a bit of a shock. As an addict you get really good at talking to yourself and even more at lying to yourself. I was the king of justifications and I thought while stoned I functioned just fine.
Thirty days of sobriety were enough to show me just how wrong I was.
When I finally did get a clear head I tried to distance myself from my past. I was embarrassed and ashamed. Those ten years are a long list of stupid risks and near misses that jeopardized everything I had in those days, most importantly, my wife and kids.
Recently I’ve begun to look back and reflect on those years. The pain and the embarrassment is not so sharp, I can look at the things I did and, more importantly, why I did them.
The “why” stemmed entirely from my sense of self. I was so convinced that I was unworthy I couldn’t even stand to be around myself. I lived in a fog of depression and staying high made me feel better.
What I didn’t realize was there was a part of me that knew better. There was a part of me that knew I was WORTHY, that I had VALUE, and that I was meant to SHINE but, in the cloud of drugs I lived in, it never got a chance to breathe.
When I finally did step out of that cloud, that part of me took off. Within a year of quitting drugs I had a new career, a new car, a new house and a new life. I reclaimed my wife and children who were slowly starting to slip away.
That part, that voice, that lives in me lives in you. It’s the voice that tells you not what you should be, but what you ARE, even if you haven’t realized it yet.
Give that voice a chance. You’ll be amazed at what happens.
To your perfect imperfection,