Two years ago, tonight, I fell off the wagon. I’d only been clean for 43 days.
A year ago, tonight, I sent an email of forgiveness, unlocking the way forward after nearly 18 years of life on pause.
Tonight marks the two year milestone, of the end of my active addiction. It’s been two years since I last snorted a line of cocaine, took a sip of alcohol or smoked crystal meth. That’s 730 days. Or 17,520 hours – even though some of those hours have felt like an eternity.
In the last two years, I have learned to confess when I am feeling weak, and craving drugs. I have learned to share my story, and speak with hope, and honesty. I have unravelled 40 years of my life, and understood that my addiction was the product of my entire life – not just one night or a few bad choices, and I’ve come to face the reality that beating addiction is a daily battle of retraining myself to make the right choices, better decisions, and to be less selfish. Selfish? Yes. Selfish. My addiction is 100% the result of a selfish life, treating everything and everyone like they belonged to me, and if things didn’t fit in with this, they were wiped out of my reality.
OK, so that’s a pretty harsh summation. But it’s not untrue. My sponsor has often said I am too hard on myself, in my recovery – but I have to be. It’s only having been this hard on myself that has allowed me to change the habits of a lifetime, and to start taking accountability for myself. To take responsibility.
So I have reached the two year milestone. But I haven’t won yet. Oh, I know I will never touch drugs again – this is personal, now, and no man, situation or emotion will ever drive me that far again. There is still much work to be done though, because addiction is insidious: it finds new manifestations, new ways to take control of a recovering addict’s life.
For me, it has taken over sex (the unending hunger for), relationships (the continual shunning of) and food (the self-destructive total indulgence in) – these three things threaten to unsettle my life and throw it into as much turmoil as drug addiction did.
This is the first time I have spoken about these, confessed them as issues fast making my life unmanageable and perhaps what better time, than at my two year milestone, to set out new challenges, in healing me?
My name is Dave, and I’m an addict. I continue to beat my addiction to drugs daily, but I need help with other areas in my life, now.
© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.