2YEARS off lines

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.

It’s time.

dave 2 years montage

© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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28 Comments

    1. Thanks, Kerry – the challenge now is to apply the strength and learnings of my drug addiction recovery to the rest of my life, and slowly build a cogent, working human.

  1. What a powerful post. A very sincere well done on your 2 year milestone. I relate so much to your new addictions, at the very least the latter of the 3. I wish you every positive, hippy vibe out there, and thank you for being so honest. You are an inspiration and I admire you so much.

    1. Thank you, Sheena! Kind words of support like this help drive me on – it’s why I chose to do this publicly – I took a chance against the trolls, in the hopes that telling the story without any punches pulled, would reach the right audience – and it has paid off well! Far better than I could have hoped!

  2. You speak of accountability, responsibility, selfishness….I read your posts, some blogs and really admire that you just lay it out there. No fluff pieces to cover the hardness of truth, acknowledging there are other types of addictions too … thank you for sharing in a way that I ‘get it’.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Rachael – there are times when writing a piece is too emotionally difficult, and I can tell when I read it that those pieces are flat, closed, share nothing – usually they get deleted. It’s often why there is a long time span between posts (though often just because I am busy, or not in the mood to write) – but every now and then a piece really comes out that carries a sold piece of ‘me’ with it – and those are good pieces, that makes my catch my breath, and make some of my readers sit back and think “Yes! I get that!” – and then I know my sharing is worth it. Thank you for the cheers, and the support.

    1. Now THAT is an inspiration! 23 years! That is AMAZING – and gives me hope, Samantha, that I can drive myself onwards to 23 years (one day at a time!) – thank you for the kind words and support!

  3. Wow dave, you are an inspiration to me and to many others. I have started with a change of lifestyle and following the tim noakes real meal revolution plan, and man can this work for me!!! Have a read!!

    1. It’s something I have to look into – it would be so pointless to recover my life from drug addiction and then die from a bad diet (melodramatic, but it’s not far wrong!)

      Thanks for the words of support, Jana!

  4. Dave, not sure you remember me but George and I grew up together…I remember you well from sailing back at Rietvlei. So sorry for what yo have gone through, but so proud of you for where you are today. I have many friends who have been through this, faced it, and today are the best friends I know!!! Thankful you have faced this too, and recognize the long road forward…..congrats, you will be forever a better person….and you will inspire and teach others. Hamish.

    1. Hi Hamish – I DO remember you well! Thank you for the words of encouragement and support – these are a FIRM currency as I rebuild my life step by step. As I write it out here, on the internet, I am astounded by how many people message me in private, sharing their own battles with addiction, abuse or violation – all three are sadly far more prolific than we can imagine. Any stats you can care to name will not reflect so many addicts because they live in fear, silence or still battle under the burden of that daily drug monster that beats them down. It spurs me on to share my story more and more publicly so that – selfishly for me – I can know I am not alone, and secondly, that this story can spark in someone – even just one person – that first step to healing themselves.
      Thank you again for the kind words, Hamish – I am very grateful for them!

      1. Dave….you are awesome, inspiring and honest…..and no, it is not selfish to share so you know you are not alone….it is wise and the right thing to. I watched a great friend of mine diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago share his story and experience…..and it has insured thousands, not only while he was alive, but even more so now he is gone. You have a purpose…..go change people’s lives. Great job brother!!! Rock on.

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