It’s been awhile since I’ve written, and I sincerely apologize. Life has been all kinds of h ectic. On top of preparing for a big show in Kansas City and all my regular madness as far as classes, sponcees, the radio show etc…I recently lost my mother unexpectedly and had to go back home for another funeral. In the almost six years that I’ve been sober, I’ve been to six funerals. All of which were people close to me. I made it through them without so much as a thought of drinking. That’s true sobriety. Knowing you can get through anything no matter how bad, and you don’t have to pick up.
Even after all this time, it still amazes me how I spent most of my life coping with things that disturbed me with a bottle of whatever and that was my way of life for over twenty-eight years. As hard as old habits are to break, here I am dealing with life on life’s terms and no longer search in the bottom of a bottle for the answers. It amazes me that picking up is no longer my very first thought when the shit hits the fan. Even when life shoves me back into a corner, today I know deep down I’m gonna be okay as long as I don’t pick up. I know I can survive anything life throws at me, as long as I don’t pick up. I know my life will continue to move forward……as long as I don’t pick up. NOT drinking has become just as second nature to me as drinking was. That is the miracle of recovery and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for it.
In the beginning of the recovery process, we are still very much full of anger that we have to be there, we’re doubtful that it will work, and we’re terrified of change. Every thing can feel like a chore. In spite of all that, as long as you remain open minded and willing to go through the process, eventually it stops feeling like a chore and it becomes second nature. There is a sense of freedom that comes with sobriety that is difficult for me to explain in words one can understand unless you’ve been there. I used to listen to people talk about this peace and I can remember thinking in the beginning that they were all full of it. I couldn’t imagine going through life without my liquid assistant to guide me. Today I can’t imagine life with it.
God willing, I’ll be celebrating six years of sobriety in July. For the first three years, I was kinda waiting for the newness to wear off and half expected my old ways would sneak back in and take over. I’m no longer waiting for that proverbial shoe to drop. Today, drinking is not an option for me. My life literally depends on it. Life takes on a whole new meaning (even when it’s not perfect) when you’re living a sober life style. I mean that in a literal sense, life actually has meaning. ANYONE can not only get sober but STAY sober. Trust me when I say it may not be an easy road to travel in the beginning, but it’s more than worth it.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist