Awakening to Myself: Craig’s Story

From A Mouthwash Addiction to Freedom
April 4, 2017
Thank You To My Therapist
April 14, 2017

Awakening to Myself: Craig’s Story

In the month of September of 2015, I had finally decided I had enough of the miserable life I had been living. My life had completely become a mess and I didn’t know any way out of it. I had been in and out of treatment since I was 17 years old and at this point I was pushing 30. My journey to sobriety was a long and hard fought fight. I had grown up in a house with my mother who was actively using when I was young; I remember going to drug deals with her as a child and being left alone with my brother for hours on end while she did the things she needed to. I blamed my mother for a long time for my addiction not seeing the parts I played in it at all. I’ve been very good at playing the victim my whole life and it has got me nowhere in life except miserable. When I was 15 or so my parents gave me up to state custody and I pretty much became the states property, to do whatever they felt like would “cure” me from acting the way I did. Like I said, I played the victim very well and used this as another reason to rebel. I spent quite a bit of time in and out of juvenile hall and group homes, still not seeing the part I played in the things that happened in my life. At the age of 17 I was court ordered to my first detox, where I didn’t believe I had a problem at all. It was my parent’s and society’s fault for my using. So from the age of 17 to the age of 23 I created chaos in my life, my family’s life and in the court system.

At the age of 23 I came to The Watershed for my first time as a selfish, self-seeking, egotistical young boy. I stayed down here for 6 weeks and thought because I had the drugs out of my system that I could go home and manage my life better. I learned a lot about this disease while down here the first time and thought because I knew all about myself I would be ok. I would have bet money that I would never need treatment again. But on the descent into Logan airport I got that same familiar feeling and thought, “Maybe I can do it one more time”. I didn’t realize how this choice would spiral my life so out of control that I would eventually be praying for death. So I picked up, and for the next 6 years I was in and out of rehabs, detoxes, and jails. I was back to my old tricks and trying out some new ones that I would have never thought I would do.

By the end of this last run, I was on the run from the police after being released from jail and not following my conditions of release. I was living homeless on the streets with 6 feet of snow on the ground, watching my friends die around me, and feeling jealous that their misery was over and mine would go on forever; as it says in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: “How dark it is before the dawn”. I made a call to The Watershed because I was totally broken inside and out. My family didn’t want me, the police were looking for me (yet again), and I truly wanted to die.

I flew down on October 4th of 2015 and my life has never been the same. I had a real miserable detox and didn’t like anyone I met, mainly because I hated myself. How could I like anyone else? I wanted to change but didn’t know how to. I had been using drugs and alcohol for so long that I hadn’t the slightest idea on how to stay clean and sober. So I did the most uncomfortable thing I had done up until this point and said, “I give up and need help”. I started taking suggestions from people that were sober and fought myself by talking about wanting to leave. It was time for me to be a man and stand on my own two feet, while being supported by men that knew better than me. I got a sponsor at an outside meeting I was taken to. I went through my steps and had the obsession to drink and drug relieved from me; for someone like me that’s a true miracle.

After I had gone through my steps, I thought I was the greatest human being on earth, and that is the farthest thing from the truth. So with 7 month sober those same thoughts came back, “Maybe I can drink”. The truth of the matter is that I didn’t want to drink and I had do something about it; what I did was talk about those thoughts. It was brought to my attention that I hadn’t changed one bit and was still treating people like I’m better than them. I had a true awakening and found what my life was missing. Though I had gone through the steps I was not living the principles behind them. So I started to try and live my life with love, tolerance and compassions for all people.

Since that day, I’ve had many “God moments” and it is the most amazing feeling I have ever felt in my life. I am truly a free man today and it is all because I put in the work to be truly happy. I’ve made many mistakes in sobriety, but the one thing I haven’t done is pick up over it. My life works out exactly how it’s supposed to. Sobriety is the greatest gift I have ever given to myself and my loved ones. I am truly grateful for the boring and simple life I live today.

Craig B.