Life 0; Dave 1

Ha! Life! I see your sneaky little trick! I see it, you bugger!

My move brought with it boxes that have been in storage for years. While there aren’t many boxes, it’s taken a few weeks to make even a small dent in the unpacking – each time I find something from my forgotten past, I sit back, and roll the sentimentality over my tongue, tasting it – getting in touch with these things called ‘feelings’, that I eschewed for so long, through drugs.

Many ‘feelings’ to wade through, after unpacking my late father’s watch; medals I won when representing my country at fencing, years ago. Gifts from my mother. Unrelenting feelsies. Zero drugs to numb these new feelings. That’s the deal, right? In this new life? To meet the highs and lows head on, and deal with them. To feel what must be felt, to handle what life throws at me. Big, adult stuff.

Tonight I opened another box, and found a notebook on top of the books packed inside. Inside, a beautifully hand-written but never-posted letter from the ’90s, to a person – an ex – that ex, who had that profound and negative impact on my life. In the letter, I talk about meeting the man who was to become the object of my drug-addled obsession.

Eighteen years of sex, drugs and chemical compulsion, wrapped up in two men, in one letter.

Cue the upwelling of huge emotion.

Cue the instant, immediate craving for tons of cocaine to kill those feelings, and quell the noise in my head, and in my heart.


Cue the training from my step work and guidance of my sponsor and the subsequent disarming of that craving to zero: “I confess my pain. I confess my urge to lose myself in the drugs. I confess this, and I disarm it, and I reclaim my life.”

Life! I think I win this round, Life!


612 days in a row.

© Dave Luis 2013


  1. For most people we close the door on the past, shying away from hurt and pain we would rather not remember. I cannot even begin to understand what it feels like to meet it all head on. To say enough running, enough hiding away from it and face it head on – this takes courage, this takes brave, this takes power!

    My drug here would have been the sounds of raging metal, the noise of friends, anything to drown out the thinking and feeling.

    So be proud of having turned to your higher power and holding onto those steps. For remembering what is important, for taking one step at a time – even when those steps are baby steps today and giant steps tomorrow.

    Much love Dave, much love as always!

    1. Thanks, Ryan. I guess tonight there will be music playing as I fall asleep, to still the voices, the rage, the pain. Like Sarah said, these relics are ghosts of the past. they have no power here. Not any more.

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