THIS MONTH'S GUEST SPEAKER: "Dave M"
Originally posted on Dec. 1998(The author retains all rights to this material)
"Will I" by Dave M.
Will I ever be completely comfortable with myself, alone?
Without some noise, a TV, some music or phone?
Will I ever be able to love, always, my reflection?
without consideration of change or correction?
Will I ever be free, from internal commotion?
Without a reaction, to a whim or a notion?
Will I ever be safe, from myself deep within?
Without any feeling, that my thought is a Sin?
Will I ever have answers to all of these questions?
Because if you can help, I'll hear your suggestions.
Age seven to thirty one. Almost a quarter century of drug usage and abuse, and if I add to that the additional time I spent "out there" during two "returns to insanity", (a better way to describe my own lapses) then I can safely say that I used up a solid quarter century of my life getting high.
I started experimenting with alcohol before I had reached the ripe old age of eight, discovering probably after my first use that the ingesting of a foreign substance could be a quick escape, from reality, or even better, a fast way to "Feel Good." It wasn't until years later that I would learn how I was really just escaping, finding the easy way out and away from myself and as yet undiscovered feelings and emotions, demons that prevented me from wanting to know and to love myself. I became an "Escape Artist," using any and all resources at my disposal in order to maintain a perpetual wall against living life on life's terms, a wall that literally blocked my life from myself. I'm not going to go into any specific details of my many insane and varied "War Stories", but will suffice to say that I lived, for twenty-five years, an existence that, had it not been halted, would have most certainly led to death, more jail time, and various other institutions. I've already spent the better part of two years in jail, and I strongly feel that with my luck, (good or bad?) I would have escaped death and would have wandered the planet in a deceitful, drug induced life style, interspersed with not only stretches of jail time, but with tragedy after tragedy occurring. Reflecting now, on a life that would have been what I consider a "Walking Dead" life, I guess it would most certainly have been bad luck. In a nutshell, my drug usage progressed quickly to every different type, anything to get me high, using the cheapest and easily acquirable ones, (Alcohol and Marijuana) on an almost daily basis. I fell in love with almost every drug, from Cocaine to Jack Daniel’s, eventually settling on opiates as my number one drug of choice.
There I was, Thirty-one years old, in jail in Florida, strung out, facing a five to ten year prison sentence, when I experienced my "White Light," which came in the form of a feeling, a knowledge, a true belief inside myself that there existed another way, a better way.
There, in jail, I volunteered for an In-house Rehab, and while sitting in a chair at a group session, I listened intently while a man, John, was telling his story. The details are moot, because the message I got was a message of hope, of another way, because here was a man in his mid fifties who had been free from active addiction for over twenty years. I had no idea then how it worked, and I don't know much more now, other than humbling myself enough to do what others before me have done. Mainly, for me, a physical connection is very important, not only to hear the message of Recovery on a steady, habitual basis but to actually incorporate the people of "The Rooms" into my life-People making themselves better in place of the people who are making themselves worse. I Won't waste time listing all the other suggestions, but will simply say that I do most, if not all of them, as best as I can, never perfectly I'm sure, but enough each day to stay clean for that day. Another concept that I believe I've been grasping a bit is the desire and the request to a Higher Power to be granted another day without having to take any drugs. I literally drop to my knees every morning and make this request my number one priority for the day. Then I read a bit of literature, not a lot, but enough to remind myself WHY I'm reading it. The other things, like networking with the phone, calling my Sponsor, commitments and other service work I do when it feels right, and if it doesn't feel, then simply out of habit. I'm very close to having a year clean, but I try not to recognize my own clean time, except at the end of the day, when I never hesitate to celebrate another day under my belt without the use of a mood or mind-altering substance.
I really can't say enough about life in recovery, but if you are experiencing it, then you will certainly identify when I say that all I have to do is compare my life today with my last day "Out There" to know for certain which way I want to stay, at least for today. Yes, with all of life's ups and downs, I most certainly am getting closer to being "Happy, Joyous, and Free," and even though I am not those things all the time, every minute, I know in my heart that I have a much, much better chance while I'm abstaining from things that I am powerless over. I enjoy being wanted, truly appreciated today, and I enjoy the trust I receive from people, program and non-program people alike. As I sit here wrapping up my story l must mention that it is Thanksgiving day, and today I've run pretty much full circle; I woke up, prayed for another day clean, read my literature, helped my family, went to a meeting, did a bit of service work, felt like using, used a tool of the program (Telephone network) acted out on another character defect, then decided to hit another meeting tonight. Drugs will always be there, I will always have a choice, and I know today what to do to make sure that I always have the best chance at making the right choice. Addicts helping other addicts. I believe it's the best way, but I also know that I must truly want it and ask for it before I receive it. Thanks for letting me share.