Gratitude, Growth, Love, Hope

Today I celebrate two years of recovery in the narcotics anonymous program. I am so grateful. Two years ago, I had no reason to live. Life was meaningless. And not the beautiful kind of meaningless. It was meaningless in a way that filled me with fear every time I thought about it. Every time I stopped to look at the moment I was living in, I wanted to die. I could not cope with my present moment or my present self. I hated myself. I had hated myself for years, and I was exhausted. Getting high was no longer enough of a relief, the only option was death.

On May 31st, 2012, I called my dad to wish him a happy birthday, and then I began my first day of my journey in recovery at a psychiatric hospital that saved my life. I was finally safe. I was introduced to the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous. Those rooms were full of reasons to live. They were full of hope. They were full of people telling my story, but their stories didn’t end in death. Their stories were of pain and isolation, but also of resilience and growth. The people telling them had found a new way to live. The people telling them were funny, non-judgemental, silly, and compassionate. I decided to give this new way of life a try- one try. I had tried everything else- I might as well try this. I am so glad I tried it.

I was told that the journey would be difficult. That there would be dark moments, and only one way to escape them- by feeling them. I have felt a lot of feelings over the last year. Difficult feelings, scary feelings, feelings of loss, depression, anger, shame, guilt, and fear. It has been one of the most challenging years I have experienced during my short time in existence. However, it has also been the most fulfilling. I didn’t have to be alone with my sorrow. I was able to experience the present moment in the hands of those who love me, and in the hands of the power greater than myself. By facing each moment as it came, I was able to grow through my experiences, instead of be defeated by them. I fell more in love with myself everyday as a result. I was able to fight for what is best for me. I was able to see each moment as an opportunity to become me– to embrace me.

The friendships I formed during my first year in recovery grew stronger, and I formed loving bonds with more friends. I truly believe that I am worthy of all the love I have in my life. I believe that I deserve to be listened to. They say that it works if you work it, and that is what I hope to continue to do, one day at a time. I will continue to learn, grow, and find serenity if I continue to practice honesty, open mindedness, and willingness. With those, I am well on my way.

Last night, I visited the first meeting I ever went to in Houston and had the opportunity to share my gratitude and hope with a few new faces, a few people who were there on my first day, and two people I love who made the drive from Austin and back a great adventure.

I am writing this post from the desk in the small business I run with a woman I admire, love, and gain hope from everyday. She is teaching a screen-printing class while I use my birthday as an excuse to do what I want (thanks, E). I get to work hard everyday in a loving, creative environment. Something I would not have if I were a) high, or b) dead. This afternoon I will frolic in a field of flowers (or have a dance break, or smoke cigarettes and drink coffee) with a man who likes me even though I haven’t seen most cool movies, and I don’t know most Stevie Ray Vaughan songs. I don’t have to lie about how cool I am to get someone to like me. I get to be unapologetically me today, and I get honest love in return (thanks, J).

Tonight I get to introduce my biological family to my Narcotics Anonymous family. I am so grateful they are willing to see this world, and support me as I grow. Today I get to celebrate the birthday of the best man in my life- my dad. I have watched my dad become an amazing human being, someone I trust, admire, and seek advice from. He taught me a very important lesson this year- never make a promise I don’t intend to keep. And if I do make that promise and break it, don’t wait until the fourth quarter to get honest.

My siblings, my tia, my professors, my mom and stepmom, the baristas at the coffee shops I go to- every person in my life is so vital and such a source of light for me. I have said before, and I’ll say it again- the meaning of my life comes from the connections I have with other people.

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, all I have is today. And today is a wonderful day.