Soldier On

By: Marc McMahon

You know things aren’t the best right now but there better than they used to be, better than they once were, but not as good as they will be one day, and that sometimes, is what keeps me going. What pulls me through the fog, the fires of life and all it’s demons. The fact that this to shall pass and no shitty feeling lasts forever. That is probably one of the most important lessons I have learned in recovery. That I can be so frustrated one day that I just want to say F it and go get high, and the next feel like the king of sobriety who will never relapse again. The ups and downs, twists and turns as we ride the recovery roller coaster called life.

You know I have been clean and sober now over 15 months and my recovery is strong but do not think for one minute that this recovery author never thinks about getting high. Please do not put me on that pedestal it’s too far of a fall if you do and I am no different today than the day I got clean. I still am very prone to relapse although not as much as I once was but its still a threat to my recovery. When things get bad and I get overly frustrated my mind will, at times revert back to its old ways and say this recovery is for the birds and you should just go get high.

man in white shirt using macbook pro

Photo by Tim Gouw on

Seriously it just happened to me the other day after a frustrating day at school and so I went for a walk. On that walk in the midst of my frustration who did I see? Yep my old drug dealer walking towards me and of course he stops to chat a minute and my mind is realing but we talked and kept it cordial and I kept it pushing but my disease ran wild with the possibilities in my head as you can imagine.

The should I or shouldn’t I get high, the one time will be o.k. and no one will ever know, and you’re strong enough to just use recreationally Marc, after all, you are the recovery author now. Just a barrage of thoughts for the next 24 hours after seeing him before I could get it out of my mind. You see he only lives two blocks away from me and I can see his apartment from mine so sometimes this happens and it has the potential to be disastrous if I am not on top of my recovery game.

Should I move? Thought about it but the housing situation I am in is so affordable I cannot afford to move. Plus if I did I would feel like I lost a battle or something, like I was not strong enough to handle it on my own and if I can’t handle a little situation like that then how the hell am I supposed to show or encourage others to do the same. So, like a good soldier, I stay. Retreat and defeat are not options in this kids playbook today. No today I stand on the front lines ready to fight any and all obstacles that come my way in recovery and I have to do that not only for myself but for all of those in recovery who come behind me as to show them the way. To light the recovery tunnel of darkness for them so that they to can see.

road in city during sunset

Photo by Nout Gons on

I say all of that to say this if your struggling with your recovery it is ok. It is just something that we addicts have to deal with. It is nothing to feel guilty about, nothing to be ashamed of and you are no different than the rest of us who are in recovery because no matter how many days clean you get you will have the struggle it will never really go away. It gets easier but to think that one day it will go away completely I think is a pipe dream.

If your struggling with your recovery reach out to someone who is in recovery don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings of wanting to use by doing so you take the power out of the craving. To know that others at times struggle to can make you feel like your not so alone because you are not we all struggle with our demons occasionally at points throughout our recovery, it is normal and like I said before nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty about. It simply is what it is and like the old saying says this to my friends shall pass.

So keep your head up, your shoulders back, and your support system close to you and all should be well. Remember to talk about our feelings is important it takes the power out of the negative ones I have found and can often times give us a totally new perspective on things. So grab your weapon soldier and another person in recovery and come join me on the front lines of this war and we can kick addictions ass together because after all we are not just survivors but we my friends are warriors in every sense of the word. Stay blessed my friends and soldier on!

About The Author: Marc is a 49-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!”


2 thoughts on “Soldier On

  1. YES! You have captured my best recovery weapon here. My addiction shrinks and scurries away when I snitch on it! Just saying it out loud is sometimes all it takes, just verbalising the crazy thinking to whoever it may be – my husband, a friend, a sober tribe member – and the moment I do I am much safer. It’s like a bully, really. Or abusive partner, wanting to isolate you and keep it “our little secret” because you stay vulnerable and in their power then. It’s my best tool by far – my alcoholism doesn’t like me snitching so that’s what I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My recovery really began in earnest when it stopped being a battle I was convinced I had to fight alone. Finally, with support, recovery went from seeming something impossible to something I saw other people doing successfully. The strength of others held me up at my weakest.


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