You mean I am going to have to work for it.
There is never such thing as a free lunch and there are no handouts in recovery. Sure, I wish there was a softer, easier way but there really just isn’t. Of course, like many alcoholics and addicts I did blindly believe others close to me would recover because I was. One of the hard lessons of recovery is that not all of those we affected recover at the same rate. Yes, they to must recover. It is our irrational thinking that lets us think our recovery is all about us. What a selfish lot we are.
You mean the ones I have hurt have to heal too?
I fell prey to this selfish train of thought early on in my recovery. They should be as happy for me as I am. After all I am the alcoholic, they don’t have anything to heal from once I am on the recovery train, right? Wrong! At first I had no idea the pain and suffering I had caused. Quickly I began to see the wreckage that I left in my boozed out destruction. As I sit here on Christmas Eve I am reflecting on just how important recovery is for all those addiction touches not just the addict.
Thinking back to Christmas Eve 2013. It would be the last one I would have as a professional bar bum. I had my six-year-old daughter and we had shopped all day, blowing money on gifts that I had no business spending. Playing the big shot was one of the masks I wore to cover the alcoholic I saw in the mirror. I was in a hurry to get home, unload the gifts, and ready myself to head to the bar where I was sure to find the purpose that would fulfill my life.
The look in her crying eyes still lingers.
My boys were coming over to spend the night, built-in baby sitters, nothing better. My kids, Christmas, family, love, none of it was on my mind, only a tall cold one or twenty. As I got ready to leave, Kamdyn asked me where I was going. I told her I had to go meet some friends. She instantly latched onto my leg and begged me not to go. She began to sob like I had never heard before, the pain from her tears still pierce me today. Not even my baby could break the chain of my alcoholism. I pried her away and hurried to go get my drunk as I was an expert at blocking the emotion of guilt.
I did something that night I still cannot believe I did.
As I look back on that night, three years to the day later, I can see with clarity the power of addiction. My little girl was my world, she was the only thing saving me at that time, yet I was engulfed enough in my alcoholism that not even her most desperate plea’s could stop me. Not only do I see the strength and the hold addiction can have it also shows the heart wrenching pain it inflicts on others. The man I was three years ago is unimaginable to me, he disgusts me. But we can and do recover. Not just the addicts either, the whole family can too.
So today I celebrated Christmas with Kamdyn. The first one together since that night in 2013. It was a day of smiles, laughter, and even some tears but they were tears of a loving sort. I was able to play Santa once again and this time I awoke without a hangover. The sheer joy on her face as she opened gifts and as she gave me all the handmade things she had wonderfully crafted for me was priceless. However, there was a debt due through recovery to get those precious moments back I had squandered in my past.
Don’t quit before the miracle happens.
My whole point here is, that we can recover a life that exceeds our dreams. Or, we can just not drink and fight through what seems to be an unending hell of an existence. To truly recover takes work, not just part-time work, but a real blood, sweat, and tears kind of work. It was not an easy road that led us to our rock bottom of addiction and it will not be an easy one out. I do know that nothing worth having ever comes easy. And there are definitely no handouts in recovery. But man, it works if you work it and it sure is worth every single hard-fought day at a time.
Are you wondering if the promises of recovery come true? Are you struggling in recovery and wondering if staying sober today is worth it? Maybe your active in addiction and cannot seem to find any hope. Let me tell you that the promises do come true, it is all worth it, and there is hope. Every time I wrap my arms around Kamdyn and hear her say, “I love you, Daddy!”, is all the proof I need to know that my recovery works. The reward is well worth the fight. So fight, contact me, reach out for help….it is never too late.