Authors note: I haven’t been able to write or publish much of anything as of late because, well, life happens. And not that this is even a bad thing, just that my free-flowing thoughts have been interrupted by my increasingly busy day-to-day life. Which is why I looked back into my own personal vault of unpublished material. And I stumbled upon something that I must have written right around the start of 2018.
I wanted to publish this because my sentiments from back then still ring true. I believe that people in recovery are some of the best humans around. And I hope that one day more people will recognize that. Until then, know that I do. Stay safe, friends.
To all of my friends,
As the year comes to a close, I find myself looking back on everything that this past year has held for me.
It’s hard for me to describe just how polarizing the highs and lows were. In fact, on this date last year, I was in jail. I was sitting on a cold, metal bunk in a cold metal cell. Wearing a blaze orange jumpsuit, an unkempt beard, and wild hair. Trying my best not to look out my window or in the mirror. For then, I would have to face exactly what kind of man I was. Fully submerged into disillusion and misery, I thought that my life, as I had come to know it, was at an end.
And though I made it through that misadventure, I quickly found myself buried in others.
I struggled along, never totally committing myself to a new way of life. My path wobbled between sobriety and addiction for months before it finally caught up with me. In one short month, I destroyed any semblance of normal life and once again found myself in inpatient treatment.
And while I was on autopilot at first, I made an effort to do the work, and I found out so much about myself. I found talents that I thought I had lost long ago, which led me to the dreams that I’m chasing after every single day.
I believe that one of the reasons why I continued to use drugs was because I thought the world was just too big. I thought that none of my choices, opinions, or ideals made any sort of difference, so I thought—why bother? Why even try?
I can tell you that I have come to see that I was wrong. While we may not be able to change the world in the grandest sense, we can change our world. And by putting forth our best unto ourselves and others, we can impact our surroundings in ways we may have never thought possible. Don’t ever lose heart or hope. Our dreams may be just around the corner.
Whereas some may have the tendencies to see the worst in themselves, I see the best.
I see the most intelligent, brave, tenacious, beautiful, courageous, versatile, resilient, loving, and brilliant people. I see the best that this country has to offer, and yet most are not even aware of this.
And it is because we lived a life that breaks humans down into animals. We must strive not to return to our old selves but to forge ahead and become our new selves. Take all of the wisdom and experience we have and use it to become the person we wish to be.
Know that we are never alone.
We have an entire family of people in recovery, always waiting with open arms. We have so many friends, in every city, in every state in this country. And you have me.
While we may not know each other by name or face, take comfort in knowing that we share experiences the likes of which most people never encounter.
And if you believe that you have no one thinking about you, know that I am.
Stay strong and be brave. Tomorrow is a new day for all of us, and it can become whatever we wish to make of it.