By: Marc McMahon
I was struggling this week with what to write about. A topic for this article, when I thought shoot, how about something like this one. I mean, after all, I will have my first year Clean and Sober done all by my lonesome, no treatment, no AA, no blah, blah, blah. Just me, my lonesome and my H.P. except now my lonesome is not quite as lonely as in his addiction that’s for damn sure :). I have learned many things this year about myself or maybe I should say am learning many things about myself. Kind of hard to learn much of anything and be good at it in just a year but its possible. So I was thinking let’s share some of these lessons I am learning this year with you all.
The top thing I am learning about myself this year is probably to believe in myself again. I mean really believe in myself, not just tell myself and everybody else that I do. Did you know you could do that? Think that you are telling yourself the truth but actually its a lie, except you don’t know its a lie because your monster tricked you too. So you go on through life tight-walking the rail of a very high suspension bridge everytime you go out for a walk. v.s riding in the relative safety of your BMW? Tricky little bastard is he not? I could not believe the day I realized this had been happening to me and here my cocky, self-believing ass thought he was in total control, shit, I had none! Through all that though came that knowledge I just revealed to you and the ability to honestly believe in myself again and not only that but succeed in doing what I have set out to do so far. So for that, I am once again blessed. Truly believing in myself again is Number One.
The second lesson I would list would probably be that I am learning how to love again. Learning how to let go of the pain of the past, of a past life, and past addiction. To not let the level of human despair that I witnessed and all the behaviors that went along with that taint my overall view of humanity as a whole as I had begun to do in the past. To make a conscious effort to choose to see the good in all of God’s creation over the minimal bad in comparison. To simply choose to love all and let go of all my hate the best I can as a human being. I wish I could say I have let go of all of it but I cannot. Which is actually a good segway into the third lesson I have learned this first year in sobriety.
Learning how to cope with the negative emotions that not only life brings our way at times. But for me also learning how to cope, deal with, or handle the emotions my Bi-Polar disorder throws at me on a seemingly weekly basis. It would be one thing if the mood changes were scheduled or occurred at the same times each month or week but they are not. They are completely random and need managing on an ongoing basis. I have learned in order for me to do so successfully I need to acquire the outside assistance of a therapist, a Psychiatrist, and an M.D., and sort of created a dream team of support around this new recovery I so tenaciously defend. So number three is Learning how to cope with negative emotions.
This one may sound a little bizarre to some but I am learning at age 49 who I really am. Who I want to be, what do I want to stand for? The whole package, I am learning all about me, the man God created me to be and for his purpose too because my best purposes over the years did not net very positive results, to put it mildly. It is a lot like the believing in myself again lesson with regards to the lie my addiction played on me with this too. You see I always thought I knew who I was, how my heart was, and how to love but I didn’t. I thought I was a good person with a huge heart for all who would do anything for most but I wasn’t. I couldn’t possibly I was an addict in a very active addiction who knew nothing about the meaning of the word love, nothing, although I thought I did. So number four is I am learning who I am as a God fearing Man.
The fifth lesson I would have to be When I think I have it all figured out because everything is going so well. That it is actually then, that I know the least! I cannot believe those words just came out of me, finally maybe a little growth again. That was not the fifth item to share when I sat down to write this initially but when I started typing this article half of those changed as my soul was allowed to speak its truth and we know his truth is brutally honest. That’s so cool I mean after all life is one big continuing lesson full of things to learn and ways to grow not sure we will ever learn it all so I find number five here very fitting. I as always would like to thank you all for reading and for sharing in my journey as I walk, run, and stumble down this rocky road of recovery. Stay blessed my friends and I love you.
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!”