I came into the program for the fourth time and God willing, the last time, in 2012 at the age of 24. I got out of treatment full of fear and was restless, irritable, and discontented. I was thrown into a sober house with all these questions plaguing me and weighing down every step I took. How was I going to make friends my age that were sober? Were these people going to understand what I was going through? What was the rest of my life going to look like as a sober individual? Was I going to continue to feel alone in this world? These questions ate me up inside and left me in constant worry. These were the same questions that I had the previous times getting sober and they ended up being my downfall. The biggest question on my mind was, of course, how am I going to enjoy life and have fun now that I no longer wanted to drink or shoot dope? I was in constant worry about what sober life would look like in the future and ignored what a blessing it was to be sober in the first place!
It wasn’t until I started enjoying the present moment and looking for happiness in my current situation, that I began to have an attitude shift. Suddenly I was no longer in fear about what the future would look like because I was enjoying life in the Now. I began to look for similarities in people rather than differences for the first time. I came to the realization that normal people don’t have to drink to have fun. How I had fun in the past was completely insane to the outside world, in fact, what I perceived as “fun” was complete and utter chaos. I began to hang out with people who had something that I had always wanted, happiness. I found all the answers to my problems by just taking some simple suggestions and working some simple steps. Slowly but surely, these questions no longer became an issue. The fear of living life slowly slipped away and was replaced with a new freedom I had never experienced. The obsession to drink and use had been lifted by something out side of myself and I was able to do things I never thought I could do sober. I am able to go where any free man goes today. This power that I have tapped into keeps me safe and protected in whatever situation I choose to put myself into as long as I trust in him, clean house, and help others.
No longer do I have to worry about obsessing over NOT drinking or using when I got to the concerts and music festivals that I love so much. The obsession has been removed and it doesn’t even come into my conscience to stick a needle in my arm or have a drink in order to enjoy these events. If I had to worry about drinking or using every time I was in those situations, I would go insane. I have tried other routes trying to achieve the same result and it simply never worked. The only thing that has ever allowed me to achieve this is the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Thru this simple program of action, I am able to be free of the thought of drinking and using. I am able to live the life I was so terrified of. By trusting in something greater than myself, miraculous things have occurred and I actually have a chance at life today.
Once I stopped asking what life would look like for me in the future as a person in recovery and started focusing on what I could do right now to improve my life, things immediately changed. I found friends that care about me and want the best for me. I discovered friends that I can be myself around, without fear of judgment. Most importantly, I finally found people that enjoy life and I can actually have fun with. Turns out that by doing everything I didn’t want to do early in recovery, I got everything I had ever wanted out of life. Through recovery I have gotten everything that drugs and alcohol did for me before they stopped working. I have found ease and comfort. I have found a new freedom and a new happiness. I have found purpose in life and no longer need to worry about these questions because they are irrelevant now. I trust that as long as I put positive out into the universe then the universe has no option but to put positive back into my life.
-Mark Rector (Tech at The Last Resort)