Four Years.

Today marks four years since I last touched drugs or alcohol.

I wish that I was writing a piece that celebrated my victory and affirmed that I had all the answers to beating addiction, but I am not.

Truth is, I wrote a piece 2 years ago today saying the battle was far from won, and today as I write nothing has changed.

In fact not only has nothing changed, nothing has changed since April 16, 2014. 

I am confined to a wheelchair because I am so overweight and unfit that a small accident that would have been a minor inconvenience in a healthier, stronger person, has rendered me useless and unable to do anything. 

Yes, I may never touch drugs again (that battle has been won) but my focus on self-care and planning for the future is as undeveloped and for the most part absent as it was at the height of my addiction.

There is no point writing a searing and inspirational post of how I beat drugs, when there is so much I am not getting right. There is nothing to be gained from opening up in a vulnerable piece about how I need help. No value in a life listicle, defining achievements and work yet to be done.

In short, these words are meaningless without action to change my situation. 

So yes, today I celebrate four years of drug-free living, and I acknowledge that milestone, and the hard work it took to achieve. I acknowledge the love and support of everyone who helped me to get to this point. I respect the wishes of those who had to walk away. 

I have so much still left to do. 

Happy birthday, me! 

© Dave Luis 2016. All Rights Reserved. 

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24 thoughts on “Four Years.

  1. As a member of Team Dave I shall like to congratulate you, Four years clean is no easy feat. Learning new (good) habits is as difficult (if not more so) than unlearning old (bad) habits. Strength and power to you on your journey of new discovery. You’re tough. You’re here. You’re alive. You’re loved…just the way you are. Big hug.

    1. Thank you. I know I should celebrate the milestone (and that’s the reason I wrote the piece) but I really feel like I have not only stagnated over the last two years, but I have gone backwards. Anyway, not going to wallow in remorse. Action. Not words.

      1. You have all of us. You can wheel whilst I attempt to run…jog…walk. We might have to use a rope in case I go from walk to fallsflatonherface. Luckily you have the wheely-chair so you can drag me. You are forever the Super Dave. No matter what don’t you forget that. Words become action.

  2. I love the saying ” we don’t see things as they are – we see things as we are”
    Right now you are focusing on all that you still have to do, on those things you have as yet, not done, failed to do.
    But today I think you should celebrate being the extraordinary human being that you ARE.
    Like all of us, life is a journey. It’s not a destination. We never arrive. We continue, we learn, we grow, we expand. We are all trying to be come more. To be better. To succeed at those things we consider important.
    Just for today really glance back and honestly notice how far away you really are from where you were 4 years ago!!
    Celebrate that you wanted to change, celebrate that you have tried very hard to chance and celebrate that YOU HAVE CHANGED. Don’t judge how much you’ve changed just be happy that you have.
    Your journey has inspired us to change and to grow!
    Just for today – let’s all celebrate that we are human and ALL IS WELL

  3. Congratulations on your fourth anniversary. While you definitely have a tendency to downplay your achievements, i hope it doesn’t get lost in your future “to do list”. Yes we still have mountains to climb but look how far you’ve come already! Dave! Bave! You are enough, as you are. And i love you for it. Everything else will come when you’re ready!

  4. Gosh Dave, four years already! It feels like just the other day that you celebrated 3 years!! No matter how you feel about where you are right now, know that you are an inspiration to many.

    Your honesty is admirable, a trait that may have been non existent before 16 April 2012? Let me encourage you to at least celebrate this honesty of self.

  5. I have only known you a short little while but I am so very glad that you are still around to be met. Yes you are in a wheelchair from a minor accident but it happened while you were enjoying life, travelling, seeing family, filming spectacular things that so mamy people won’t get to see. We both know someone else who stepped out a restaurant and landed in a hospital bed for a few weeks so don’t blame yourself for accidents and the results there of. Acknowledge that you wish you were different but then once that valid feeling has had its 15 minutes of fame, put the spotlight on something else, think about the last for years again from the perspective of “Dave’s best friend, Dave” not “Dave’s harshest critic, Dave”

  6. Woo hoo for 4 years! Dave it is an amazing achievement, and every minute over it keeps on being so. New habits are hard, and one day we’ll all get everything right. But for now, know that you are amazing.

  7. Dave – something you need to consider is what you are expecting of yourself. Perfection? “Gives up drugs and alcohol and becomes beacon of clean living and healthy eating, a paragon of virtue and all-round Saint” … Um, no. That’s NOT the expectation from anyone, nor should it be the demand you place upon yourself. This life thing is a journey. Most of us cha-cha our way through it: one step forward, two steps back. But eventually we move somewhere. As long as we don’t stand still in one place, we’re progressing as humans and we’re learning and living. Today, celebrate this massive milestone – you might not feel like it, but you deserve it. And, simultaneously, celebrate the rest of the journey too. You have a lot ahead of you (and the fact that you have good, quality LIFE ahead, is thanks to this milestone!) and IMPROVEMENT IS POSSIBLE! Don’t let the “I haven’t”s get you down. Rather, let the “I’m gonna”s lift you up. There are a lot of people stuck in wheelchairs permanently – you won’t be there for long. Sure, reflect – but reflect positively and allow yourself some slack. Getting mad at Past Dave isn’t going to help. Giving Future Dave some goals and encouragement will. I love you endlessly friend.

  8. I’d hazzard a guess that NONE of us are where we wanted/hoped to be. I don;t think you ever arrive… because if you did, what then? Once you reach your end goal is there any point to life?? Life is about constantly striving to be/do/achieve more. But t need not be so relentless that was can’t take it slow and enjoy the journey and moments along the way. Sure make sure you are a bit stretched and pushed to do more, better, faster, but not to the detriment of enjoying the here and now, and not without glancing back and seeing, acknowledging, appreciating and celebrating how far you have come. All you need (for yourself and others) is incremental improvements. Be kind, to yourself. And focus on what YOU want and need from yourself to feel full and whole. That’s all that really matters, and all life is about really. xxx ❤

    1. Thank you, my friend. It’s true, what you say. I am frustrated by all the “what ifs” today, and it gets in the way of celebrating and enjoying. Xx

    1. Cheers, Gordon. Thanks for the support. It’s a different age, now, where making “just one more day” is almost taken for granted, I guess.

  9. Dear Dave, congratulations on your achievement! You have some wonderful friends and it appears to me that they love you unconditionally. That is how it should be. I was unaware of the accident. But, like the folks are saying, you are making strides. Inch by inch, hour by hour, your heart ticks and you can breathe and reflect over the miracle of life. You are loved, you lo e, and

    1. Thank you for the kind words. We have 20/20 hid sight and it is so easy to pepper the narrative of our lives with “if only” and “I should have”…

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