July 18, 2010 – July 18, 2014
Four years down, a lifetime to go….One day at a time
It’s so very hard to believe that four years have passed since I pulled my head out of my rear end and began my road to recovery. What’s even harder to believe is that I did not get sober until I was 40, and this is the longest time from the time that I was 12 or 13 that I have been completely clean and sober. Mas quantities of Cocaine, Weed, Acid, Hash…the list goes on and on. There was always some kind of substance in my body but it was the booze that kicked my behind. Like with most alcoholics / addicts, in the beginning I thought everyone was full of crap, it wasn’t gonna work for me, I didn’t need to be there. Believe me, I didn’t go in willingly at first. I was there for everyone else in order to shut them up. My plan was I’d stick around long enough for them to stop being pissed off, then I’d go back to doin’ me. Yes ladies and gentlemen, that was the plan because after all, I wasn’t one of “those people” LOL After seeing that video tape of myself, my attitude shifted and when I walked back in, the only thing on my mind was, “Okay, I’m broke, how do you fix me??” I was WILLING to do whatever I needed to do no matter how hard it was. Recovery works different for different people, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly but it DOES work. For me, once I gave in, it worked quickly. I tried to wrack my brain around why it worked so quickly for me, and both my brother and my sponsor hit me with the same conclusion….They hit me with, “Did you ever stop to think that maybe you were just READY????” Recovery only works if you are totally willing & open minded I had to be completely broken and willing to be put back together. I had to let go of my pride, my ego and I had to learn humility in order for me to not only want help, but to ask for it. Not everybody works a 12 step program, but it was what worked for ME. To say I can’t imagine where my life would be today had I not surrendered would be a bold face lie…I’d be one of two places….Miserable & alone, or I’d surely be dead. There are no Grey areas in between.
I can’t confirm for someone that they have a problem, I can’t “fix” them or take away their demons. All I can do is open the door. It’s up to YOU to be willing and ready to walk through that door. YOU have to put in the work. It doesn’t matter if I have 4 years or 40 years, I could still fall off that wagon at any time if I don’t continue to do what I’ve been doing EVERY DAY, ONE day at a time. I’m not special and I’m sure as hell not cured. But I do have my sobriety, my serenity and my peace just for today. This isn’t something you half-ass, it’s ALL or NOTHING.
There isn’t enough words in the English language to describe the amount of humility and gratitude that is flowing through me right at this moment. I did NOT take this journey alone. I had a huge support system, the fellowship of the program and an amazing sponsor to help me get to this point. My journey is far from over, I’ve got a life time to go….BUT as long as I stay sober I WILL have just that….a life time, one that won’t be cut short due to an alcoholic or drug induced death. I no longer want the “perfect life” I’m quite happy with the simple life that I have been given. The clouds did not part and the angels did not start to sing when I got sober, “Life” still happens, but today, I have the tools that I need to deal with it and move on. I’ve chased away my demons and I continue to participate in the fight. I’ve been given a “Life do-over” and I have no intentions on taking that for granted.
People STILL talk about me, they STILL judge me, they STILL see me as the person that I once was. How they feel about me is none of my business…it is what it is. As long as I know the truth, I’m okay. I’m quite sure there are STILL people on the side lines just waiting for me to slip just to say “I told you so.” Truth is, IF I let them get to me, they win and I lose because I will fall into the trap and do what they expect of me. I’m NOT that person anymore and I don’t ever have to be as long as I do what I gotta do for me. My sobriety has taught me well and continue to teach me on a daily basis. I may be sober, but I’m still HUMAN and I will continue to make mistakes. As long as I maintain my sobriety, my mistakes will not be life altering. I’ve got four years down, a life time to go. It’s an amazing feeling to be in the place that I’m in right now.
With much humility, gratitude and love Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who have helped me on my journey.
July 18, 2014
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist