Learning to live….

Voice of Recovery from Addiction

Learning to live….

My life today is not perfect by any means, but it IS better than it’s ever been.  I am comfortable in my own skin and with every day that passes, I’m learning who I am. I’m no longer driven by fear, pride or anger and I’m learning to appreciate the second chance I have been given.  The road that I was on for many years was a road to nowhere.  I was heading to my death with every bottle I drank. I often think back on those days and I am shocked that I am actually still alive.  I have no liver or physical health problems that are connected to my massive intake of alcohol and I don’t have “Wet brain”  God must have been watching over me long before I believed that there was one. When I got sober, the only thing I thought I was going to get out of it was “sobriety”. I was gonna learn how “NOT” to drink.  I wasn’t prepared for what actually happened.  Now I know this didn’t happen over night, but in my mind, it seemed like it did.  I not only learned how to not drink, I learned how to LIVE and enjoy every aspect of it.  I suddenly found myself laughing more, playing more and enjoying everything I did……It was is I was “reborn.”  I had a new found freedom I never knew existed. I wasn’t only free from the bottle, I was free from fear, demons that held me down and free from the person I once was.


It was strange and even a little scary to me at first because it was completely new to me.  My life had been full of nothing but Cos, madness and mayhem.  All of it started at a very young age so that was the only way I knew how to live.  Sobriety has given me a life, one without the dark clouds that had been hoovering over me since the age of twelve.   When you’re so used to living one way, change can be a terrifying thing.  I admit I fought the changes at first, after all, I was a creature of habit. I had to ask myself what was I missing?  It sure as hell wasn’t the misery, it wasn’t the bottle or the blackouts. I dam sure wasn’t missing the hangovers or losing people I cared about left and right.  I wasn’t missing the way I’d been living for years and years.  So what was I so afraid of?  Of course I finally realized that it was “control” I had to let go of in order to move forward. I had to stop trying to control things and let things progress as they should.  I had to live in the real world because living in “AJ’s” world had never worked out for me before.



As you can see from the above pictures, I still have the ability to get off the chain, but in a whole new life.  Fun no longer consists of getting shit faced and passing out, hurting people and feeling disgusted with myself.  Fun today means living life to the fullest.  Like with most alcoholics and addicts, I thought that my life was gonna be boring once I got sober. I couldn’t go out and have fun, I was gonna have to quit my job, I was gonna be unsocial.  It wasn’t long before I realized that those foolish thoughts couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, it was the complete opposite. Minus the booze, my life is full, peaceful and holds much more meaning that it ever has.  I don’t miss the partying at all nor do I miss the crazy scene that came with that. Not because I can’t drink, but because I’ve grown up and found other things that are much more important.

I’ll admit in the very beginning, when I would hear people talk about how much better their lives were when they took alcohol out of the equation, I thought they were full of it or at the


very least exaggerating a whole lot. To my very pleasant surprise they weren’t at all. It was everything they said and much much more. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t imagine not drinking, not partying and not being in the lime light.  Today I can’t imagine my life with it.  Don’t get me wrong, not all of my party days were bad, there were quite a few fun times, I have no desire to want to recreate those times.  I would much rather live the life that I have been blessed with today.


June 30, 2014
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist

5 thoughts on “Learning to live….

  1. Great post my friend. I’ve never been a big drinker but I have completely destroyed my life with heroin and anything else I could melt down and shoot up. I admire all of you ex drinkers for your ability to avoid taking a drink. For me, I can’t accidentally run in a Wal-Mart to see a six pack of heroin sitting on the shelf. All of you who have been able to kick the sauce have had many temptations right in your face. Especially in a drink it up society accepted by the majority. Great job sticking with it and your ability to hindsight the past you once lived is not so easy. My mind many times subtracts all the bad out of my past so it shows itself as a fake life of fun and carefree living. I have to really focus at times to realize just how deep the he was that I was standing in. Thanks again.

    • Dustin John:

      It’s not only us drunks to can kick it. There’s no difference between alcoholic recovery and addict recovery. They are both the same. Sometimes we have to change people, places and things in our sobriety, but no matter what your addiction, it can be over come. Being a drunk or an addict is definitely a life sentence, it’s something we never cured from, but it does’t have to be a death sentence. I totally understand your “My mind many times subtracts all the bad out of my past so it shows itself as a fake life of fun and carefree living” comment, ” I justified absolutely everything I did for almost 30 years. Feel free to hit me up in my inbox if you’d like to talk about this in further detail. Hold your head up and take it one day at a time. ❤

      • I have a hard time finding other blogger’s in-box’s. Ill be brief. I agree that alcoholism and addiction are the same thing. I was just pointing out how much more broad alcohol triggers are present. We live in a culture of legal and social acceptance of booze. I admire that an alcoholic can avoid all of that. For me, I don’t have to worry about family members getting together for the 4th of July to light fireworks and shoot up heroin. Ex-drinker’s have those kind of situations arise. I hope that makes sense. 🙂 Thanks for your response and your willingness to support a fellow addict. Have a great fourth of July my friend!

  2. I agree, because alcohol is socially accepted, the problem is less likely to be noticed. The funny part is, once the obsession is gone, we don’t have to avoid it. As long as I stay away from that first drink, I’ll be just fine. I don’t really even think about it anymore and I travel all over the country performing in clubs and it doesn’t phase me. My program is strong thank god. As for supporting a fellow addict, you’re very welcome my dear, we all suffer from the same problem. I actually sponsor quite a few addicts. I am an addict as well but I identify with alcoholic because I put the coke down 7 years ago with no problem, it was the alcohol that absolute broke me and kicked my ass…LOL I wish you the very best of luck in kicking your addiction. Remember, you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to with support, faith and willingness. I’m here if need me. ❤

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