Friday, July 19, 2013

Feeling Grateful Once Again

As I sit here listening to Magnolia Electric Company, I am reflecting on my day and thinking about how much pain Jason Molina (the lead singer of MEC) had to have been in to follow through with the act of drinking himself to death.  This is relevant to me today in ways other than the obvious.  I met a buddy of mine for coffee before my meeting tonight.  Earlier today he buried a close friend of his that died from an overdose.  We shared with each other how we were both grateful that it was not our mothers having to go through that pain.  That we were not the ones that had caused such preventable destruction.  
From there I found myself in my usual Thursday night meeting talking about emotional sobriety and reaching out for help.  I thought about how hard I have worked to change my evil ways and how grateful I am for all the help and support I have received over the last 20 months.  When I think about how much I have changed, sometimes, it is almost inconceivable.  I shared about how I use to make my problems everyone else’s problems, how I looked for others to solve my problems and fight my battles for me.  Neither of which ever happened and if it did it never worked out the way I wanted it to.  I have spent a lot of time here really taking a long hard look at what I needed to change.  I had to really admit the things I really did not like about myself and get off my ass and do something about it.  And today, I am so grateful to myself for that hard work.  I am grateful today that I have found a bit of peace that I have been searching for my whole life.  Before, I never knew the feeling of being content. I was always looking for the drink, the drug, the woman, the sex, the material possession to fill that that gaping hole in my heart.  Yet, none of that worked.  Only through getting sober, being honest, self inspection, and searching for a higher power that was sufficient to all my needs have I been able to slowly and surely heal the wounds of the past.  I am still no angel by any means, but I am miles apart from the old, miserable, needy, shell of a human being I use to be.

Tonight, I have no words that could ever express the amount of gratitude I have for this new life the journey of recovery has given me.  Never, would I have ever thought that I could be a person that would actually think about my motives before acting.  And this is just one of the amazing gifts that keeps me out of harm’s way and emotionally stable today.  I am grateful to be able to sit out in the late summer Georgia heat, late in the evening, and spend some time talking, to share in another man’s pain.  After all, nothing guarantees my sobriety than working with another alcoholic.  I am grateful to be back on my feet again financially and able to finally for the last time move out of my parents house and back to Athens, Georgia.  I am grateful too for the opportunities that are waiting for me there.  I am grateful to see all the hard work I have put into my writing finally paying off with being offered my first professional writing gig.  Most of all I am so grateful for the trust I have earned back from my family, and to honestly enjoy spending time with them.  I cannot ever get the lost time back, but I can make the most of the time I have today, and make sure not to waste a minute of it. I could go on forever listing all that I have to be grateful for.  There are too many, but I am grateful for them all.  I will close with this simple exclamation.  It is great to be alive!

Friday, July 5, 2013


I heard a gentleman share tonight about being an ex marine and that he was a free man today.  Free from the bondage of drugs and alcohol.  As I listened to people share tonight about how they were free to live their lives today without the chains of misery I started to reflect on my own life.  That movie that likes to play in my head was moving slowly, giving my eyes an opportunity to really see how things use to be.  I was a slave to my own appetites for so long.  I had no idea how to live with them and was scared to death of living without them.  I think about all the things that had me mastered for so long, sex, women, money, the “scene”, being cool, food, anger, hate, fear and on and on.  So I shared about what it was like during my active addiction, and then I shared how it is now.  And today my life is beyond anything I could ever dream of for one simple reason.  I have found peace.  I have let go of that anger and fear that drove me for so long.  I have let go of the reigns of false control and let someone else be in charge for a change.  Why wouldn’t I?  Who needs all that baggage from shit that I have no control over?  I cannot control the timing of anything, nor would I ever want to.  But at some point in my old life I thought that I could. I really was that guy that would spend time “worrying about my worries” until it made me so sick, the end was near.  For 20 plus years I was broken and enslaved, and today I am a free man.  I am free not to pick up the straw or the bottle today.  Most of all I am free from the sick insanity that comes from the moment I put that poison in my body.  Today, I will fight for my freedom.  I will fight to the death, after all that is all that waits for me out there if I go back to my old ways.  So, for now I will hold those memories of the insanity and pain close, and hope to never forget.  And hopefully, I will be the one out of ten that makes it.  Thankfully though, today is all I have to worry about.

Happy Fourth of July

Eternally Grateful