One year sober

Hello everyone!  Happy birthday to me! I think that’s what we say when we’re on the anniversary date of being sober? Today marks one year of my sobriety.

I wish I had more that I could say to you right now, but the only thing I am doing is sitting here, reflecting upon a year gone by. It hasn’t been an easy year, with everything that happened. I think about it often, my substances, and sometimes I still crave them, but I’ve found a new drug–writing.

Some people have asked me how I managed to quit, and I’ll tell you like I’ve told them; I had two choices—DO or DON’T. It’s as simple as that, really; though it may not seem that simple to my fellow addicts, it really is. You can’t tame the dragon, the dragon tames you. And while I rode the rollercoaster of substance addictions for a while, and went with its many ups and downs, I knew I had to get off of the ride.

I’m not going to come at you like silicone. I’m coming at you head-on. (Not the screaming roll-on headache medicine commercial). It fucking sucked! It still FUCKING SUCKS, at times. Everyday seems to be an adventure in this life, but I’m not thinking about drugs and alcohol nearly as much as I used to. It is getting easier. And there are times where it still kicks my ass and I just want to sleep all day, cry, or scream. There are times where I wish that I never quit and that I would have died already. There are still highs and lows, but the difference is in how I choose to face them, and not hide behind my substance(s).

When I was drinking and drugging, I had more friends, a social life—hell, relationships, and even a love life. A lot of that changed, where now I have only a couple of friends—and as many friends in books as I can find. It is somewhat lonely now, but that aside, I feel better about myself and my life and my health. All of this is relative, and it doesn’t mean that it will be the same for you. I had to get away from it all, though. I mean, I really had to get away from it, not just hide from or avoid it. And I had to die, in order to start living. And I couldn’t start living until that part of me, that life, died. I haven’t really remade myself per say, but I’ve remembered who I was, and have knocked off the dust a bit. And each day is an adventure in that, to help chisel away the undesired aspects of myself, but also to build onto a better, new me.

My first step was to actually, and truly quit, and I did. The next step was to sweat it out, scream it out, cry it out, let it out and let it go. It is a process and it isn’t an overnight process. I watched a lot of movies! (Like four or five a day). I cried, I screamed, I slept, I went on walks, I found some other people who had been where I was,  or other people that let me talk with them, I started exercising, I got into a better diet, I continued to pursue my college education. Education is going to help set you free, and I don’t mean to sound like “everyone else,” but I can’t tell you how much getting off the crap and going to school has helped me, the actual me, and how fast progress is made.

I’m not telling you to quit, but when you’re ready, you’ll know it, and when you do, you will actually quit. Though I’ve never been to any type of meetings that specialize in recovery, there are plenty of them out there. There are also rehab facilities around–even in Albuquerque, where the city or state foots the bill for you to get clean or sober, and they don’t just leave you, they help set you up for the journey ahead. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you have to find what works for you, and there are professionals, places, and people that are there to help you so you don’t have to be in it alone. My way may not be your way. But truly, and I know this deep down inside, all the bullshit and episodes of depression aside, I know that me quitting was for my best.

So… happy birthday to me. And to my brothers and sisters, united through our substance abuse, I love you. You are important. You are valued. You are amazing. You are worthy of love. I love you.

Much Love,
Volatalistic Phil


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