During my own addiction, I traveled down a dark, tumultuous and extreme winding road of despair. My designer-draped external shell was a mere smokescreen for my brittle-boned skeletal frame, which protected the directionless compass of my mind and ill-fated spirit. Despite all appearances, I was hopeless and rooted in fear and self-pity, my life was unmanageable, I was the queen of emotional manipulation, I abused others around me, I took numerous hostages, and I could care less of the wreckage which I left in my wake. After drugs and alcohol ceased to ease the pain, and to quiet the noises, suicide seemed the only way out. But, after several attempts to end my life, it became obvious that death was not the plan for me...but, why did I live?
That question crosses my mind everytime I lose someone to addiction. The answer is fraught with survivor's guilt; but, it is also grounded in gratitude. I lived so that I can tell my story of addiction, depression AND recovery. I lived so that the ultimate sacrifice, my life, did not have to be my way of giving back. I lived so that my journey in addiction would inform a new way of living. I lived so that I could, through a career in social work, substance abuse prevention and addiction recovery, help others to know the joys of a drug-free life too. I lived so that I could make amends for the pain I caused others. I lived so that I could change the way some view addiction. But, most importantly, I lived so that I could truly LIVE...in peace, in harmony with others, and in happiness.
Everyday, I work toward the eradication of substance abuse. Everyday, I actively participate in the vision and creation of a drug-free world. Everyday, I aim to teach others how I did it....so that they can do it too. Everyday, I seek for my work to be focused in RECOVERY!
So, here's to being gainfully unemployed...as an addictions specialist in 2017!