Recovery has brought a real transformation to my life.
The online community of recovering addicts and alcoholics was like a breath of fresh air for me in sobriety. I had no idea the magnitude of people who I would meet that shared the same disease. One of the first I met was a man by the name of Daniel Maurer. He contacted me and had me write a part of my story for his site T I R. Daniel has been a mentor and has propelled me as I strive to carry out my purpose in life and recovery. He was on to something when he began his site and I have seen the real transformation in my own life.
In the last three years I have experienced a rebirth, a true transformation. I love the life I live today and the sense of purpose that I feel. My life is not defined by a disease but by the beauty life is now offering me. My legacy will be how I lived my life, not who I was in my past. Sobriety offers us a life free from addictions. Our past is not forgotten, it reminds us, and becomes the foundation from which we can build an entire new life. We move past the horrors and negativity that drowns the stigma of addiction and into a life of promise. If we have truly been reborn, transformed, then that is the face the world needs to see.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking my daughter to her riding lesson. That in itself is a transformation of sorts, being as I have just been reconnected with her. I was not allowed to see her for two and a half years because of my alcoholism. Our relationship has gone through a renewal, a rebirth, and we are growing stronger a day at a time together. Once at the stable she showed me the new foal her horse Glitz had given birth to recently. As I took a picture of her little hand reaching through the fence to the new life before her I was reminded so vividly just how precious life is to me now. Life has come alive again and it’s that reality of recovery that I want to show the world.
We do more than recover, we come alive…
Today I know who I am and where I am going. I remember where I have come from, as it is a source of strength but not my label. Yes I carry the banner of an alcoholic but I am a Christian, a father, a son, a speaker, a writer, a teacher, a man on a mission, and a warrior with a purpose. Life no longer is full of the chaos and devastation of my disease but of fulfilling promise. I am in constant search of light and joy that I have been delivered to by my God. Why should the world see “only” my past struggles when they can take hope from my current triumphs?
Addiction has enough publicity clouded in darkness and death. The world thrives upon its devastation and pain. Therefore, a heinous stigma is attached to addiction and also to us in the realm of recovery. When that is all the world sees what are we to expect. Even in the rooms of support that I have attended I see many people with great lengths of sobriety yet their face is one of misery and angst. Shouldn’t our faces be emanating a light? A light that focuses on the beautiful life we can recover. We celebrate cancer survivors because we are shown their wonderful victory against their disease. I want to celebrate the life addicts and alcoholics recover in their fight against drugs and alcohol. I want the world to see our victories not just our defeats.
We need a transformation on the face of recovery. The stigma attached to all of us, suffering still or not, is not a positive one. We cannot really blame the world; it is all they are bombarded with on all platforms of media, movies, and music. Breaking free from our current stigma will take us changing the face the world sees, one addict or alcoholic at a time. A face of real life, one that has been transformed, one of true change. A face that shows such a brilliant light that the world sees the redemption in recovery. What we focus on, what we speak, will be the direction we take and what the world will have no choice but to notice. Rise up, let’s start a transformation on the face of addiction, put forth the beauty, power, and purpose of our lives today. We are much more than our past as addicts or alcoholics, WE ARE ALIVE!