Over the years
others have recognized changes in me and I have also been cognizant of the emotional growth over these many years, yet to just
leave it as simply “just growing up” would be a misleading assumption and grave
injustice to the recovery process.

     Recovery is the
process which makes growing up possible
for those of us who due to addiction will continue from the moment of
conception to the grave will remain in a constant struggle at times to show
love for ourselves.  When in this battle,
the band onerepublic lyrics have captured the emotional process, “everything
that kills me makes me feel alive”.  This
inability to show respect and love for self is the mechanism that fuels
addiction, and for too many to their grave, far too early.  For a person existing in active addiction,
hope is a four-letter word!

     I still after
over twenty-seven years continue to be shown that I am not immune and can
become vulnerable to the voice as I call it, addiction, is always present but
with a foundation I’ve designed throughout my years in recovery it does not
have to ever become active again.

     The changes may
be apparent to those that have know me the longest, before, during, and after
my self-destructive behaviors, today I honestly believe that death is maybe not
a conscience goal, but just existing was surely heading me towards that
direction by my using and actions.  Today
when I meet someone for the first time I feel no shame in my past and can when
appropriate open up about who Vince was and can demonstrate by my actions today
who Vince is here and now.  An the beauty
of it all is I never have to be that
version of me again, as long as I continue to love and respect myself.

     There are those
social changes that most everyone can view and acknowledge, the changes I’m
speaking about are those that are internal and spiritual in nature.  Without this transformation from a
self-loathing individual, although I would never admit that to you, as
evidenced by my choices and actions I could not of continued my journey after
the first five years if I had not looked inside and started the search for the
real me.  Incapable of this until those
early years of recovery gave me the courage and tools necessary to ask myself,
who am I really?  Something I had been
escaping from one way or another for 36 years and now knew I needed an answer
if I was to continue my journey and enjoy the emerging sense of freedom I felt
which was on the verge unknown to me to soon include love of self, and then the
party was to really get started emotionally. 

     Here is where
having seen the occurrence happen time after time in the rooms, I knew I needed
more than what was offered presently.  I
chose to go outside elsewhere, taking what had given me a life saving moment to
remove the clouds of confusion and lies and seek out something that could help
not only maintain this new found sense of freedom but also expand what I had
observed as a revolving theme with those that returned to the pit.  Their shame and anger after returning if they
did was not only directed at self but always carried with it to me a sigh of
confusion as to, I did what you said and I still failed, only to start the same process again, granted if they are
that lucky most are not, but the same process? 
Having observed this so many more times that I could count, I knew the
end result I just did not know what the problem was or how to solve it.  So after some ten plus years an having built
a “foundation” unlike anything that I had been exposed to in the rooms of
recovery or college I started to assemble a program, a new view of just what is
addiction and the process needed for a lifetime
in recovery.  Simply put as I believe
recovery can an should be, at around their fifth year is when most of the above
incidents I had observed occurred can be explained by, “you either grow
spiritually or go”, and by grow I am not talking about an acknowledge of
something greater than yourself, that is just the beginning, the vast majority
had that others were just holding on or abstaining, but building a relationship
is the necessity. I have found a relationship as the only alternative that
still maintains my freedom and offers so much more without the fear or uncertainty of the pit returning.  That fear so many have hidden in the back of
their program and their thoughts, do you? 
I will never ever disrespect
myself when I maintain my relationship as opposed to just having an
acknowledgement. One does not love or care for themselves if they do or place
themselves in harms way, cut and dry! 

     Leaps and bounds
of growth, sunshine, and lollipops I can not promise, though it may happen for
you, for myself the compassion and love I feel today even when life is not
turning out the way I would chose  has
been such a reward far beyond anything I could of imagined or at the time
believed I deserved.  Today I see and
feel the truth that addiction
continues to attempt and must hide from me if it is to get me back, that I am
loved unconditionally, forgiven, and accepted exactly as I am today and have
learned that I always was.

  • 2 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • hello and welcome. thanks for sharing. i love reading about how you've changed over time...mainly your perspective.  growth is important and the journey is full of opportunities for sure!

    you are loved unconditionally and forgiven...and worthy of an amazing life....sounds like you are keen on that!
  • @vince... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing with us. What a wonderful post! I hope to see you around here more often! :)
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