Retro Recovery: One Year Post
Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.
|Published 05/12/2017 at 8:00 a.m. – Day 175 of Treatment|
Today I celebrate one year in recovery! One year ago today I walked into probation to do my weekly check in. That day the officer did not say “See you next week.”
No, she said “We have a problem.” My ex accomplished her mission; get me into jail. I spent 5 months there, contemplating drinking finally without her madness.
Then I decided I would transition to a VA Treatment Program. I finally realized I could never pick up again. That drinking had ruined my life and would continue to do so unless I stopped.
I spent two months at that program. I began to confront my emotions. I began to learn about mindfulness, gratitude, acceptance, spirituality. I began to write this blog, I began to meditate.
It wasn’t always easy. I looked around me at Vets would seemed to brag about relapsing over and over again. They would compare the number of times they had been to detox.
Not all of them, of course, but many. I judged them at first. Then I learned from them and took to heart the reasons for relapse. I dealt with life on life’s terms. I went to AA a few times, but for me my Recovery would become a private affair.
I then transitioned to a more lenient VA program. I remained there for 3 months. During that time I learned more how to manage my emotions. I learned that drinking really wasn’t my problem; it was how I managed all my pain and emotions that was.
I learned, through my work with paralyzed vets, gratitude and service to others. Those vets helped me to come out of my shell a little. I learned how to live in the NOW, after reading The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I continued to practice meditation, which truly helped keep me centered and focused. But living life on life’s terms really helped me deal with all the hiccups in life.
Still homeless I chose to transition to something similar to a sober house, where I am today.
I have a decent job, a decent place to live, and for once in my life I have dreams and goals.
Many of you know I do not really have anyone in my life. I have a father who I have called once when I first left jail, and I have an elderly Aunt that I do talk to once in awhile.
You also know I am not very adept at making friends, but here at my new place I am making strides.
That being said sometime towards the end of February I met a woman who would become my best friend and one true love. I have not disclosed who this is because she is a member of our community and her privacy is very important to me. I will if she tells me she is comfortable with that.
Anyway, this woman has taught me what it means to be a true friend. She has been so supportive of me that I actually feel like I am finally home; that I can be my true self! She has been there for me through everything.
Even though she is dealing with her own life, she has proven herself to be an incredible friend. She is a huge part of my recovery; of my growth and maturity.
Over time we have developed a bond I cannot even describe. I want to avoid cliches! We have a life plan, she is my friend. She is my partner in life. She is everything I have ever desired in a person, let alone a woman. Everyday I feel lucky, so very lucky to have her in my life. And I am deeply in love with her! Trust me when I say that I never knew what love was until her!
Today I celebrate one year of recovery. It can be done! This is my first effort in 36 years to recover! With a deep commitment to yourself and survival you can do it! If you know anyone who is suffering, please, share my story. Perhaps it might help them.
And finally, I want to thank you, all my dear members of this community who have shown me love and support. I just want you to know you have also helped me, more than you know. Thank you so very much!