By: Marc McMahon
Ya know overall 2017 was a pretty good year. Wait, I take that back. Let me start again. You know, I think 2017 was an incredibly awesome year! Yup, a year with over 8 months of continuous sobriety only the second time ever in my life. A year where I again for only the second time since 1996 have lived in my very own apartment and been a fabulous tenant. Also a year of awe-inspiring personal growth and love for self. Something I don’t think I have had in a very long time even though I thought otherwise.
But I think outside of my recovery mind you the two single most awesome things that have happened to me in this past year are; I made it my second year in a row without trying to kill my damn self and equally important to me. I found a purse at the bus station last week. Five days before payday when I was seriously broke and could have used some cash. And, when I picked the purse up it rattled with prescription pills or pills of some sort, (the trained ear of an experienced addict identifies that sound immediately.)
You know what though, I grabbed it as usual, in stride, it was small and fit right into the front pocket of my hoodie and I walked three steps towards my bus to get on and go home with it. When I without thinking mind you made an about face and before I really even realized what the hell I was doing I was handing it to the clerk at the transit station lost and found telling them I never even opened it up and walked off. Head held damn high!!
You might find it odd that I compare finding a purse and turning it into being as important of an achievement as not trying to kill myself but in a way it is. You see not only have I never, ever, even considered turning in something I have found in the past sober or not but I didn’t even open the darn thing up to look inside. I remember thinking if I did it was a done deal probably and I would have taken it possibly so I didn’t.
A Brand New Me
It is as important of a milestone as not trying to commit suicide because it shows me growth on a whole new level. I mean I turned it in and this is coming from a guy who would not think twice about stealing his mom’s power bill money so he could get high leaving her in the dark until she could borrow the funds to get it turned back on. So this was HUGE! Change on a level I never really had anticipated before. I mean I am so different you all. I still have and have always had a huge heart although a bit jaded at times. Twenty plus years on the street with a bad drug habit will do that to the best of attitudes though, sometimes at least.
It is just weird finding yourself responding to situations in ways that you never have before almost as if a new piece of you is revealed to yourself on the daily almost, weekly for sure. Like going on a blind date only to realize the person sitting directly across from you, gazing back into your eyes is a more confident and polished version of yourself. So polished and different that if it had not been for the resemblance in appearance you would not have even recognized them (You!)
Where you begin to question the new you sitting across the table from your new and improved recovering self in hopes that you can get a better understanding of who you are supposed to become. All the while the new you grills you as to why you chose to live in the filth and degradation of your addiction for as long as you did. Why you ignored their voice for so long!
Only to realize on that first date you have nothing in common so you end it early and go your separate ways hoping to never go on a date that boring and awkward again. Thing is you continually since that night keeps running into your new self in the strangest places. The bus stop just as you find a strangers purse.
It Just Won’t Stop
Or how about the times it shows up now telling you to share all your past experiences with others, leaving yourself wide open for inspection in order to help others. Or on the day before payday when it shows up to tell you to make a list of all your bills for the month so you make sure to get them all paid when your check comes the following day. Ya, strange places, and being all responsible and stuff 🙂
Until finally their influence over you starts to take precedence and you find yourself becoming the person they said you should be all along………Simply the clean & sober YOU! The person you were created to be, the one who is capable of finding and fulfilling your dreams. The one who is everything you ever wished you could be and then some. It is an exciting time in my life, it has its moments mind you. But even with the awkward moments of self-discovery and healing from pains of the past I don’t think I have ever been happier.
You know I wish I would have made my recovery this easy in the past. I wish I would have known how close my true happiness really was. Because if you look at it, it really just comes down to a choice, a barter, a trade of equal value. I simply choose not to put a drink or drug in my body for the next twenty-four hours, and the universe allows me to be as happy and fulfilled as I Choose To Be!
About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”