Love is more than just a feeling. Love can be a vibe or atmosphere when around something or someone. It can be as simple as being content with my passion, or love with a significant other. The love I have for others isn’t about looks but who they are as a person. Being non-judgmental at first, taking the time to know and understand them. I find the inner beauty in others. Past or present, experiences, negative or positive, truly caring, loyal, honest, and compassionate for this significant other helped me fall in love over time, disregarding their appearance or past, only focusing on the present. Love isn’t something you want to rush into at first sight, this can be decieving, it takes time. Whether it’s a relationship or your passion, love is something you commit yourself to. Working through the difficult times and the outcome will be well worth it
For myself commitment has always been a very difficult thing for me. In my active addiction and before I was in active addiction, I could never commit or follow through with anything. I would be motivated at first and start something, but could never finish it. When I first came to rehab, it was very hard for me to commit to staying in treatment long term and commit to staying sober. I would go into treatment, and slide by without putting in the work just to please my parents and family. It was very hard to understand and conceptualize the concept of AA meetings and realizing that I had to stay clean from all mood and mind altering substances and I had to commit to that in order to stay sober. At first, I thought that everyone was crazy and that I was different and I could drink alcohol and smoke weed because my problem was with drugs. I soon found out that wasn’t the case, I was just like everyone else and I had a problem with all mood and mind altering substances. The concept of committing was still very foreign to me; it took a very long time to realize that I was no different from any other addict and that until I fully committed to staying sober, and working on myself I could not stay clean. Today, when I think of commitment I think of being impeccable with my word, when I make a commitment I need to follow through with it and do what I say I am going to do because if I don’t I can slip back into old behaviors and possibly relapse. In my eyes, commitment is a very crucial part of recovery and being able to stay clean and sober, until I can fully commit to being sober I can’t stay clean.
Its not easy making any kind of commitment in life, at least for me. I think it stems from my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. I came from an abusive family that made it almost impossible for me to commit to trusting anyone. During my teenage years, I started to use drugs and alcohol and hang out with dangerous people and those are the people I got used to being around. When positive people would present themselves in my life I would not commit myself to starting a relationship with them. Finally, in my early 20’s, I got into a relationship that ended very badly and that made it difficult to believe that I could love anyone. I see now that all of this lack of commitment to anything was only hurting myself. People would often try and offer help but I would turn the other direction. I thought, wrongly, that the only people I could trust were addicts and unhealthy people because they shared the same interests as me, which was doing drug and not caring about anyone or anything, including myself.
This time around I have made a commitment to myself and that commitment is to fix my life. After I made that commitment, Salina, SOCD, and my Father all came along so I was supported while I work to achieve my goal. I finally got myself to SOCD where I feel more at home than any other place in this world. I let my walls down and let people in and allowed them to help me. Trust and security finally came to me! In recovery, I’ve learned that commitments need to be made in order to gain serenity. I realized that I needed to commit myself to working the steps and getting sponsor. Sometimes life gets tough but I cant and won’t let that stop me. Remember, if you are following through with a commitment to better yourself, you must stick with it, even through the most difficult of times.
The definition of the word “vision” is the state of being able to see. While I was in my active addiction, I could see but, only the things that I wanted to see. My view on things, and how I was always right was clouded by my drug-use and selfish ways. The thing I couldn't see was an actual “vision” for myself. I couldn't see my future or my potential. I had no goals, no aspirations, no motivation, other then to stay well and get my next fix. Today, after getting clean and sober, the meaning of the word “vision” has changed for me drastically. I can finally see a vision for myself in a positive way. I can vision a beautiful life for myself and I know I can obtain my goals as long as I stay clean. Today, I am able to continue to look forward and move forward rather then living in my past. I'm able to live in the moment and be present, while still having a clear vision for my future.
While in my active addiction I relied solely on my current circumstances. I was a young kid who was addicted to drugs and alcohol who had no education that exceeded high school, worked multiple unimportant jobs to me, lost all my hope in my dreams and thought that I would live as addicted for the rest of my life. I struggled with the constant conflict of myself living in my past but also trying to live in my future. My past allowed me to keep justifying my using, and with this came the sight of my future perceived as failure and disappointment, which also kept me stuck in my addiction. Despite this way of thinking, it was inside my true self where I kept a small amount of faith in myself and that I deserved and could be better. I did the best thing I could have ever done for myself which was sought out treatment and where I am today in my life started out with a motivating vision of where I wanted to be and how I was going to get there.
It was during my treatment where I found my imagination again. I started thinking again like I once did before my addiction. When I was little, I used to imagine myself with endless possibilities for my life. I would imagine that I can do anything I wanted to do, just if I was willing to put the work in. This is the same type of thinking I gained back after entering treatment. The first step that I took was using my imagination to see something I was, even when I wasn’t. I had always seen people taking year sobriety chips and never thought I would make it to that level of sobriety… but not this time. This time it was different. I developed a vision of myself achieving one year of sobriety even when I only had a few months of sobriety. I reminded myself that where I was at was only temporary. As long as I put in the work that was needed and lived in my vision each day, my vision would eventually become my reality. Although before anyone else believed in me, I needed to believe in myself.
I achieved that one year of sobriety and am about to take my second sobriety birthday. I couldn’t have achieved any of this along with the other countless gifts that I have received during my sobriety, without having that vision of where I wanted to be and how I was going to get there. I used to rely on sight of where I was going to pick up, who I was going to get it from and where I was going to use it; but now I rely on vision of where I want to be, who I want to be and how I’m going to get there.
In my recovery, there's a lot of shame when I'm applying the steps and taking an honest inventory of my life. Step 10 has to do with taking a daily and personal inventory and promptly admitting when we are wrong. With that being said, shame has actually helped change my addictive behaviors so that I don’t keep making the same mistakes that inflicted shame in the first place. The steps have helped me to learn it's important to take an inventory and understand the underlying causes that drives my addiction and bad behaviors. I’m going to continue working hard to forgive myself and change my behaviors so I don’t have to feel shame anymore.
Awakening is a very fitting word for a disease such as alcoholism. Alcohol dulls the senses, and for me, my heart and soul. What I have learned here at South Orange County Detox and Treatment is that it is ok and even encouraged to awake to who I really am. What everyone, and especially Salina, has done for me is to help me awaken to my true self. By encouraging me to dig deep to be completely honest without judgement is such a gift that is given here at SOCD freely. Here they encourage me to awaken to not only physical sobriety, but more importantly, emotional sobriety. I feel that I now have the tools to awaken the true self; mother, daughter and friend. The true self is awake and sober!
When I think about awakening, I think about the day I woke up from the nightmare that I called a life. It was a moment of serenity, and a weird, unexplainable feeling came over me. I then realized I was living a life of a lie, a false self, throwing away all responsibility. On this day, I decided I had enough and prayed to my Higher Power for something to change. I had to go through hell to get to heaven, experience countless negative consequences to get to where I am at today. Today, I have a relationship with my Higher Power, I look at life from a completely different perception. Looking at the ocean, the mountains, and the stars, I smile, because my true soul has been awakened, and I now have the chance to live the amazing life I was put on this earth to have. Let there be hope, let there be light, let there be awakening tonight...Let there be joy, and let it all go.