Having recently celebrated 3 years #clean and #sober, I find my mind taking me back to places I’d rather not go.
I remember 3 years ago this week – just after entering rehab from my relapse – not knowing if I’d have a place to go. I had two days left in rehab and still had no idea where I would stay. I was pondering how I could re-organize everything I had in my car so that I could sleep in the back. I was pondering where I could park my car long-term (the back of the gravel parking lot at our AA “clubhouse” in town). At the last possible minute, myself and a friend from rehab (Chuck) both found rooms in the same Oxford House.
I remember having to go over to my ex-girlfriend’s house to retrieve my things. She had confiscated all of my studio equipment while I was in rehab, as payment for money I owed her. She wouldn’t allow me in the house unsupervised, nor would she allow me to see my dog. It took 4 trips to get what was left. It was heartbreaking.
I had been locked out of my main checking account because I was past due on a loan payment. Fortunately I had a backup account with a different credit union, but had hardly any money in it. Nor did I have any money coming in. I applied for work with several different retail stores but never heard back from any of them. I finally landed a freelance contract worth $500, which covered my rent at the house and one other bill.
My car was out of inspection and falling apart. Were i to get pulled, I would’ve incurred additional expenses I couldn’t afford. I continued to drive with the car in that condition, because I had no money and no choice.
My 8 year old Mac laptop (the only computer I had left after my girlfriend took my other computer as part of my studio) worked about a month and a half until the motherboard failed. I had to take out a loan immediately to buy a new one to continue my freelance work. So not only was I broke, I was also $2000+ in the hole.
I had been all but abandoned by blood family, save for my mother who, though she was 2,000 miles away and broke, was able to help me financially.
That was just the first two months.
But that was yesterday.
Today, life is not like that.
I have a good job with a great company, where I’ve been for over two years. I’ve built a brand new studio with new recording and DJ equipment and have been playing regular gigs since 3 months into my recovery. I have a girlfriend who i’ve been with almost a year and a half whom i love dearly. We live together and have a dog (Boots) and a cat (Shadow). She is also a musician, singer and songwriter.
I’m in good health, and getting better. I’m not under anyone’s thumb, or under threat of arrest or commitment. I have true freedom, freedom of the soul. I know who I can truly count on.
For those struggling, have hope. You may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You may be scared shitless, angry, hurt, sad. I personally have never known what the next “right” thing was, but I knew what the next “sober” thing was.
I pray that you will too.