I stepped away from writing for a while… I actually stepped away from everything for a while.
Now, however, I’m back.
Sober, happy and (dare I say it) healthy.
Life is good, like really, really good. I don’t think I honestly believed all the positive stories I’d been told about what the world looks like when viewed through the lens of sobriety. I just knew I couldn’t keep going at the rate I was going… knew I had to stop drinking… and then, before I knew what was happening, my world fell apart.
I’ve picked up the pieces, and what I’ve managed to build looks so much better than anything I thought I was capable of creating. Better than anything I’ve ever had in my entire life, in fact.
I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself did I know who I really was.
-Sade Andria Zavala
That quote tells the story of me; most especially in the last year and a half. The process hasn’t ended. I’m still knee deep in “fixing” myself, but I’ve made so much progress, and I really like – maybe even love – who I’ve become.
The work has been hard as hell on some days. Between recovery and counseling, I’ve had to face truths I never wanted to face. Truths that I actively sought to never have to acknowledge, and truths I avoided for many years by drinking and running as a means to escape.
I had to surrender, and then I had to listen. I had to follow the instructions of those who are doing what I want to do. Living the way I want to live.
Most significantly, other than getting sober, I had to acknowledge the truth of my illness. Not just the illness of alcoholism, of addiction, but my mental illness.
It took me years to be able to say the words, “I have bi-polar disorder.”
I had to acknowledge it, own it, and get treatment.
I’ve had to survey the damage years of living the life of a virtual fugitive has done. The damage I’ve done to myself, and to those that love me. Then I had to own it. All of it.
Those that were supposed to, stayed with me. Others didn’t last through the process. And that’s ok.
Today, I’m grateful. I’m loved by others, and I’m loved by myself. I have more than I’ve ever had, and I am sober.
I get it now. I see the life I’ve always wanted on the horizon, and I’m ready to grab it and embrace it. Ready to do it.