I remember all too well, it was early November 2003 and I couldn’t get one day sober.
By 2003, I was successful, and in my 18th year with a large corporation living in New Jersey. My addiction had progressed to such a state that it needed to be fed multiple times daily. As I look back, my life was so split it was as if I was living two different life’s. One, as a successful married businessman, and stepfather, involved with our community. Then there was the darker side of my life. From 2001 – November 2003 I was using drugs and alcohol every day. I was no longer a human being, I was a human doing with one and only one motivation and that was to get my “fix”. I was lonely and empty on the inside. I was using to live, and living to use.
When I entered treatment AGAIN, I had already been to four detoxes and one residential facility. On November 14, 2003, I flew to Los Angeles and entered treatment and have been sober since that date. I consider myself blessed and also
When I think back, one of the reasons I feel I am sober today, is that when I showed up at treatment the final time, I made a decision. I made a decision that I wanted to be sober and wanted to change the way I had been living. I wanted to show up and participate in life. As one of my teachers said to me; “don’t be a tourist”. After making that initial decision, I started to listen in a way that I had not listened before.
I stayed in treatment and sober living a total of 9 months before moving out, and when I did move out I made the commitment to live with a sober roommate for the first year. I got a 12-step sponsor and not only worked the steps but tried to live them to the best of my ability every day.
I started and continue today to sponsor other individuals in the 12-step process. I also made a decision to live honestly, never cutting corners. There are a lot of sayings in recovery, and the one I use to dislike the most is, “you only have to change one thing – EVERYTHING! As I look back at my path since I have been sober, everything has changed. The work that I do today I consider a “get to” not a “have to”. Today I am truly happy.