“Sometimes, what we are fighting for, is just a dream that your ego is not ready to let go of.”
– Chasing The Tides
After 20 years of active addiction and now almost two years of living in recovery, I have come to terms with this quote. My addiction stole everything from my life; my innocence, my self-love, my ability to feel. Before I realized it, my soul was in the darkest void and I had no idea how to get it back. After all, retrieving it would take too much work outside of my ‘comfort zone’ and I loved instant gratification…no matter who I had to hurt in the process of receiving it.
For every “Have you ever?” question you can think of to ask, more than likely my answer would be “yes, yes I have.”
There was no limit to my darkness, no method to my madness. My addiction was life draining, knew no boundaries, and gave zero fucks. It was hell-bent on destroying me, and I was hell-bent on letting it. Anything to take the pain away, to quiet the voices.
My drug use started when I was about 16 years old. But when I think back, my inner turmoil started way before then. But that is a story for another time.
I spent my entire adult life in a constant whirlwind of next fixes, homelessness, dope houses, running buddies, jails, institutions and being strung out – 20 long miserable years to be exact.
In July of 2016, I lost my Pops to an unexpected heart attack. The last time I saw my Dad, an argument took place and the cops were involved. I didn’t even call him that Father’s Day because I figured I’d have the following year to see him and I didn’t want to hear the disappointment that I was convinced would be in his voice. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, I missed his funeral. In my addict mind, I believed if I didn’t acknowledge it, it didn’t happen. I had become a professional at running from my problems and completely sweeping reality under the rug.
I dove deeper into my addiction, only to find that no amount of dope would or could ever fill this heartache. I always knew my Dad knew about my issues, but I kept thinking, “he sees everything now.”
Then in November of 2016, I met Roy. And he was so much like my Pops at times it took my breath away. (Still does). I remember one night, I looked at him and said, “Please, just don’t give up on me.” His simple reply, I will never forget was, “Stephanie, just don’t give up on yourself.” In that moment, it was as if all the puzzle pieces I had been searching for miraculously appeared. Finally, I had something to work with, I had HOPE. I took that simple conversation and I ran with it. I kept it clutched tightly to my heart (and it’s still there.)
On March 9th of 2017, I snatched my life back. I will not pretend that it was easy, but my God it was and is still so worth it. I had to change everything; people places and things. I learned how to hold myself accountable and how to be honest.
I made amends and had to forgive people who weren’t even sorry, myself included. It wasn’t long before I realized that my ‘comfort zone’ wasn’t comfortable at all and that this change was needed in order to save my own life. I had come to the realization that I didn’t wanna be another statistic. So I straightened my crown and suited up for battle.
The most vital tool I have in my recovery toolbox is my mind. It’s ironic how I had what I needed all along. I have learned that the law of attraction is indeed a very real thing and I am whatever I say I am. I’m capable of whatever I believe I am capable of doing.
The phrase “mind over matter” no longer insults me, instead it makes perfect sense…it’s crystal clear. My life is not all sunshine and rainbows. But I’ve learned that even through my darkest times, life was never picking on me. It was teaching me. I was picking on myself. The key, at least for me and this is only one of many, is how I face my struggles and my blessings – I still have to remain humble.
Today, my mindset is set on, “What is this trying to teach me?” instead of, “Why is this happening to me?” And that has helped me push through. It has helped me live life on life’s terms.
by Stephanie Meyers