Waking up in a hospital bed, yet again, I knew the end was rapidly approaching. Although I wasn't sure which end would manifest itself first, my recovery or my death, I knew something big was encroaching upon my distorted reality. At the age of 29, I had been through enough inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, seen enough therapists, and been to enough meetings to know that there was a different way of living.
My "story" really isn't any different than anyone else’s. At the age of 16 I began drinking, my demanding social life became a priority over school and sports. Quitting nearly every activity I was involved in, I threw myself into a spiral of school, work, and partying. Although I did not drink often, when I did, it was always chaotic. The real delusion of this new life began around the age of 19. A college student, I went to school full time, worked full time, and partied full time. The cycle was school, work, and party. Wake up. Repeat. How I managed to obtain my Associate's Degree is still beyond me, but I got it done.
After college I began working in a different field and dedicated myself to independent parties. While I would go out on the weekends, the weekdays were mine. Isolating became the priority. It was much easier to avoid painful humiliation when I drank alone. After several treatments and no real recovery, I found a new happiness in a drug with a death wish. Heroin became my soul mate, my lover, my friend. Within three years, I lost everything I owned and nearly my life. My will to live diminished as I searched for the next high. Thankfully, my Higher Power intervened, and I was given a new way of life.
Managing to scrape together enough courage, I walked into yet another 12-step meeting determined not to take another drink or drug. Those first few months weren't easy. As I sat on my couch one night, curled into the fetal position, crying and praying, I asked God to save me. My repeated prayer was simple, "Please don't let me drink tonight." When I awoke the next morning I was emotionally hung over. Physically, however, I had survived. I had made it through that mental anguish and planted my roots in recovery.
Life today is undeniably different. The pain and suffering have subsided, although I tend to welcome it on occasion. My day-to-day life consists of ubiquitous contact with God, or at least striving to maintain connection always. Again a college student, studying for my Bachelor's Degree, I am privileged to be able to balance work, school, and a life of recovery. Attending several meetings and meeting with my sponsor weekly keep me in check and focused. I have been granted a new life and a new way of living. Eternally grateful for those who have gone before me, I share the light of the Divine which was freely given to me.