Coming Home

After some debate, I was at a loss as to why I wouldn’t want to share this in hopes it might help one more individual suffering with the hopelessness of addiction. Many know of my personal struggles with alcohol, and that my passion grew for the field of recovery. After a break from the industry, it is glaringly clear that this is my calling…even though I’m no longer directing a facility. Heeding the pleas of some well meaning friends and family, I chose other paths after the facility where I’d devoted my heart and soul for three years closed its doors. I learned new skill sets, traveled and met fascinating people. But, I am not a project manager, or a NASCAR marketer or a cell tower climber. I am a vessel for the broken. Seventeen years ago, I was lost, lifeless, hopeless and desperate to know what it took to see another sunrise, but more importantly, what it took to want to. I’ve been in the back of ambulances. I’ve waited on liver enzyme results. I’ve had parents who stayed up all night praying for my survival. And, I’ve wondered, through wailing tears, how to make it stop. I am alive today because of the hands and hearts that reached me. I was like the kid being pulled from the well…I’d been trapped, isolated, terrified, sick and without hope. It is impossible to summarize one’s personal journey to recovery in a paragraph. But, the really important part of this message is that no one is too far gone. At the ripe old age of 29, I had given up. I had to test the waters to make sure sobriety was the right decision. I’m only half joking. But, for a total of 16 of those years, I have been alcohol free. Again, all grace and surrender. With brokenness that has healed and a life that has become so big I often wake up and cannot believe it’s mine, my gratitude often spills through my eyes and runs down my cheeks. Just as I did when I was using, I still often ask myself, “How did I get here…how did I get this life?” And, I am quickly reminded it was the grace of God and the people who cared so much if I lived or died, that they sat vigil around my bed, taking shifts. The most incredible thing about that, is that, then, I was certain no one cared anymore. If any of this resonates, know that you are loved with an intensity that you can’t feel. Drugs and alcohol are magic like that, they make you forget; they make you forget that you are not alone, that people love you so much it hurts, that the world needs you here. I have witnessed thousands exchange inevitable death for life, hopelessness for that initial “what if” and tears of isolation for laughter with others on their same path. If you take anything from this message, I pray it’s this; Recovery is not only achievable, it is your birthright. The terror of living life with or without drugs and alcohol is FINITE. You will not only want to live again, you will have so many choice that it will be your new quality problem. You will feel it ALL, and you won’t want to numb it. You WILL HELP OTHERS. You will find hobbies, and have the 2am kind of friends that aren’t coming around to use you, but to sacrifice sleep to help you. You will mend meaningful relationships that you were sure were forever severed. You will travel…without fear of using. You will be comfortable in your own skin, alone, and not crave a drink or a drug. You will create, invent and regain a motivation for living that surpasses your wildest imagination. You will be grateful to be who you are and you will be surrounded by people who are grateful FOR you, exactly like you are. Because, in the words of another recovered friend, “You have NEVER not been enough.” And, you will say things, like that, that people will remember when THEY are the ones wondering how to see one more sunrise, and then they will meet YOU, and they will want to. For all of my friends and future friends in recovery who didn’t give up, who now possess the energy and freedom to roam their neighborhood, or another continent, I am humbled to be on this journey alongside you. For those on their journey to us, with open arms, we are eager to say, “Welcome Home.”

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