I remember the day as if it were yesterday, although I attempt to keep it a million miles from my head at any given time. In fact, the horrible of the situation is that it haunts me. Not in the scary, Jason from Elm Street cause Freddy is going to get you kind of way. No, it is a way that it torments me; in fact, I don’t know what moment it will creep up on me. It could be in the middle of the supermarket while I am searching for a can of mushrooms; or it could be in the betwixt and between the sheets of my bed when I wake up screaming wth night terrors. Often forgetting that I long ago left the stresses of that situation behind me. It was the day that I decided enough was enough. A day that i would add a new name to my genre of generic codes in which you could refer to me as . I would now graduate from junkie to recovering addict. I would find my safe haven. My junction in the road. And, it seemed like I was taking the road less travelled if at all. That road was so unpaved that I was tripping over grass nodules, and rocks, and tree stumps. I was fearful that i would be so entangled with this, like I would be choked up in the broken down branches of every failed attempt set before me. A self created hell of stumbling blocks.
And, this is my journey. The fight of my life. As the world would turn. And well, it was turning, but I felt like I was going backwards and standing still. All in a moment of time, this was all floating in my head so much so, that it was causing spirtual vertigo. It was all I could do to feel; reaching for the grooves in the walls I was tumbling down. It was there that I felt the claw marks, and tear soaked pavement from all the ones who has tried to climb out of this pit that has become such a natural disaster. I had these facts and figures stacked against me, and all the naysayers and gain makers telling me I would never succeed. Defeated before I began. It was there that I had to re-evaluate, asking myself some things. Would I listen? Would I crumble? Or, would I just stay, give up and not try at all? After all, it had been ten years. What would be the lack luster difference? Nobody would notice anyways…
So, please travel with me, as I go back in to a time in which radical and authencity was just terms that I used when casing the streets. Radical in my ways to get what i needed and authencity was the quality of what i was seeking. Never in a decade life, would I have thought that radical authencity would become the who and what of my story; the journey that I was walking, that wherein, I mosty found that I was crawling. Only trying to get from point a to point b. As I was trying to avoid the monsters under my bed, or in my closet, or bathroom…living room… or which ever scenery you prefer. As if I had became the victim, and that colonel mustard did it with the knife in the parlor. Because, obviously I didnt have a clue at the damage I was inflicting on myself, or the hurt that I was dealing to my loved ones. But, I was about to discover everything and then some.
Being sober and becoming sober has been a vey life altering thing for me. I now know that it was never me. Or what I was trying to do, but what God had in store for me. I would learn so many things on my road to sobriety and even equal amount of things on my valley of addiction. It was something that I now (honestly) believe that I must have needed to walk through to develop the level of compassion and understanding in which I find embedded in my very fiber. Trust me it wasn’t always like that, I was the biggest naysayer in the book. I dont think I would have ever understood the concept of any of this, if I had laced up these bright and shiny shoes that I thought would offer me the freedom of the flip side. It offered me carte Blanche, sure. All the mean while, taking away ever chance at making right decisions. And, having the ability to learn from them, because I had just spent the last ten years numb to everything. I kept it hid from my family. And my friends. Or, well, I just chose ones that would copesectically understand or was probally in the same rocking leaky boat. Now, that my friend, is candor. Naïveté at its best.
I would constantly hear people say choices. It all about your choices. Well, those are just alternatives. Like me saying am I going to have Kix or Egg whites. And or, should i wear green shoes with a blue dress. A cup of tea you make just to fancy your day. Recovery isn’t a choice. It’s a liberation. You truly only have two ways you can go about it. Recovery or addiction. To fall or to stand. To seek or to hide. To race or be a heckler. It was never about a choice. It wasn’t like I just could check box C on the multiple choice test hoping, praying I got it right. It was a legitimate and stern way of saying today you must live or today you will die. And, for longest I chose to die. I chose not to fight. I chose the easy way. And, I was signing a death warrant that I had no earthly idea I was undertaking my own purpose in this world. And, I was at a cross roads. The juncture of faith. Security. The ability to want something bigger than ever before could I have desired. The intersection of victory or defeat. The round about of pain or numbness. Was this my exit. Was this where I wanted to begin the story, or finish the novel. Would I be comfortable signing my name; or is this a place where I would just pen some crazy alter to cowrite my story. No, this was it. This was the choice. And, the rest. Well, that was the addendum to everything I was about to bear on a cross. But, I would no longer run. I would face the morning with a song in my heart, and a clean slate on clock. I was ready. I was willing. Now, to fight.
And, fight I did. I am now currently 11 months, 5 days 15 hours and 31 minutes sober. I am clean. I am still raveling everything that I had done. Mistakes I had made. Thoughts I said. Things I had forgot. Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. But, I could feel every single moment of pain that I had ran from for so many years. Molestation, rape, abuse, custody battles, adultry, death, anger, conditional love, contempt, jail sentences, fear. But this time, I embraced the pain. I embarked the journey. Because the pain I felt in the inside meant that my heart longed for love and clarity, and ached with conviction; that meant I was alive. That I sill had today. That if I never had nothing, in this end I could say I had Jesus, I had love, I had sobriety; and, that was enough for me. That is all I could ever want. In this life or the one I chose to run from for so many years. A life that could have been so much more if I had let it. A life that with all the bumps and bruises turned out just had it should. I removed those bright and shiny shoes that i once held so dear. They were tight, uncomfortable, and frankly, too much unrefined. I laid them at my front door so all I could see and none would forget, that the victory is only as strong as the battle you fight. And the battle you fight, is only as great as you allow it to be. Where you see war, I now see playground fights. Where you thought was devastation was a place for restoration. And, where you saw dead and no chance in living, I saw a chance to be born again.
To all this journey, is to give the glory to God. He found me, He picked me up, and He set me free. Now that is a choice that I can make everyday. No, I didn’t find Him in a meeting. And, I didn’t find Him in jail. He found me in the center of my bedroom with my head to floor drowning in a brood of tears wanting it to stop, begging for a reprieve, seeing through my blocked out memories to find the transparency of a broken hearted child and said, Follow Me. And, the same could be truly for you as well. You can never be to far gone, so far out there that he can’t find you. Reach up instead of looking down. Open windows instead of closing doors. For He said: Seek, and You shall find; ask, and you shall receive.; knock and it shall be open unto you. Ain’t nothing more beautiful than a warrior of recovery being brought forth from the valley of addiction and the slave that they often thought that is all they would be. For here I am, and here I shall stand. Never again to run from, but run toward the battle to rescue the ones I can because I know what it is like to be in the brink of a casket and a song. Never give up. If only for today. Fight. Look up. And, now you know you are never alone.
Prompt courtesy Radical Authenticity
Until next time, have a glass of good ole sweet tea with a slice of faith.