Four Year Sober
My adult life spiraled downhill as the hollow valleys of addiction dawned like shadows from a dark sunset. As hard as I tried to get clean, sobriety was always in vision but just out of reach. Just like the carrot dangling in front of the hungry horse, I could see victory but never reach the goal. Life festered in frustration and disappointment, one after another.
Take for instance, begging for money outside a grocery store or on a street corner, hoping to scrounge together enough ends to purchase a small dope sack. Or, for another example, perhaps it was stolen merchandise providing the lucre for another bag of narcotics. Either way, all things pointed to the drugs, meanwhile, the drugs pointed towards one thing—insanity.
And yet the truth is, loving parents raised me with values. Together, as a family, we tasted the sweet delicacies of togetherness and unity, while sharing the joys of blue collared endeavor. My youth was spent in baseball dugouts or on sidelines, a part of winning teams and success. Our home was filled with friends and cookies, while mom graced the kitchen and dad worked the market.
But the innocence of little league and cookies, however, vanished as quick as smoke vapors blown to the wind. Perhaps it was the chemical induced hangovers or the long liquored nights or the blackouts? It is for these reasons, in fact, that year after year goals faded with every shot of dope, until dreams collapsed to the wayward circumstances conceived from rotten living.
The Recovery Life
On one hand, I’m thankful for a firm foundation laid by loving parents and five-star friends. On the other hand, overcoming the whirlwinds of addiction is the hallmark event of this lifetime. In other words, the deepest and darkest moments were not the worst days at all, only seeds commencing the true journey, which surely is breaking ground in service and speaking engagements centered on enjoyable recovery.
At times the journey is so balanced I can taste it. Other times, it’s as distant as the space between a memory and a long-lost loved one. But the small and harmonious flavors of life, in fact, carve my thoughts the way a small stream cuts the earth. In many ways, the life of recovery is the perfect life.
The Starting Point
Traditionally, this time of year, our culture meditates on resolutions by setting goals for the upcoming year. It’s also a important time, personally, to reflect on the journey of recovery and the road to sobriety. How can we make 2018 the best yet?
Every place has a starting point. Whether you know where that is or not will be determined. But the fact remains: taking an accurate account of where you’re starting from only clarifies the destination. Certainly, true and honest thinking clears the debris for future thoughts to illumine the pathway. Indeed, we all start from different points.
And although 2018, for me, starts as a thirty-seven-year-old living at moms house, again, while I nail-down a career and figure out the next move. I am, however, grateful for the vantage point offered from four continuous years of sobriety and healthy living. Life is good.
2018 will be great, I can feel it. Happy New Year!
About the Author
Tate Gunning has entered his life purpose with the creation of Inhouse Treatment. For over 10 years, he suffered from addiction, living homeless, in jail, and on the streets. Rehab didn’t work; he couldn’t get clean. Now 3 years sober and completely transformed, he is ready to teach the enjoyment of recovery.