Time goes by so fast, and I was done wasting time, I have been on a mission ever since and I myself, cannot even believe I am even here. I have been through so much in my life already and it really is made for a movie. Well at least a Lifetime movie but it was crazy, nonetheless. I am in a completely different place in my life right now and that craziest part about my life now is how much I have accomplished in such a short amount of time. Over Forth of July weekend I was sober for the first time in a long time. Last time I was clean over Forth of July was 2016 and before that we are looking at about 2004. So, with that being said, it was quite the accomplishment, and it also marked my seven months clean date. This still does not sound like a lot of time to me considering how much I have done in the last six months. That first month, I was sick as fuck and was pretty useless, but since then I have been on a mission.
I never would have thought I would be in school for Psychology and have the SoberSteveRecovery Podcast, but as great as both of those things are they do not compare to the rest of my life that I have created for myself. The job I have and the people I see on a daily basis are just good, honest people that only have my best interest at heart when we are together. Rebuilding relationships with my family and some old friends has really been a huge part of finding balance in my life. I attribute most of my success to the relationship I have built with myself and by that, I mean I just have really taken the time to figure out who I am, what I want to be, and how I can or will get there. I have really been able to look deep inside myself and analyze what my weaknesses have been. It is not an easy task to look deep into your past and analyze yourself. It is so easy to analyze others, but when it comes to us, that is another story. I recently told my therapist that our talks are great, and it has been really nice having someone to talk to but if we are going to get into the things in my life that really bother me than we are going to have to do less talk about what is currently happening and talk more about what already has happened to me. The trauma I went through as a child and throughout my life has never been dealt with in a proper way. I have always self-medicated and taken my coping mechanisms into my own hands and we all know how that ended up. Talking to my therapist about what is happening in my life now is helpful and effective so we will still have our check in and if anything, crazy is going on I can talk about it, but it is really going to be more helpful long-term to discuss the things that have been bothering me since I was four years old. Those are the underlining reasons for why I continued to use drugs after I attempted to get clean so many times.
It does not help that life is accumulative and continues to compile life on top of life. Which for us just makes dealing with things that much harder. It really is crazy because the more I did not deal with what had already happened to me, the more new things continued to happen to me, and it just made everything exponentially worse until I found my escape. I never knew how much my life had taken a toll on my self-esteem and self-worth until I saw what my life had turned into after so many years of chronic heroin use. I was just a shell of my self and never really knew how to escape the trapped life that I was living but I never gave up trying to find a new way to live. It really was years of repeated trying and relentless attempts at beating detox and trying to find a way not to use through “The Obsession”. I was always so sick every day, and I was willing to do anything to finally get clean. I had clean time in the past, and I was able to get clean so many times, but it really was so hard to stay stopped. It was because I was not doing any work to help overcome my reasons for using and every time life became too stressful or something bad happened, I would cope by using. I remember I relapsed after my grandmas passed away early in 2016 and that led me into one of the worst years of my life based on some of the things that happened to me and the trouble, I got in. Dealing with the lost of the most amazing person I have ever known was really hard for me and all I know is that she would be really proud of me now. My lasting memory of my grandma is Christmas Day 2015, which I was sober for so I will always have that. The next worst relapse for me was when I was not granted custody of my son at the end of 2018 and by February of 2019, I overdosed for nine minutes and was given the max Narcan dose the paramedic can give before I woke up. Thank goodness I lived in a small town at the time and the police were able to reach me fast enough.
I saw the body cam video which I have talked about before in my writing and on my podcast so I will not go into all the details. But for me that was a turning point even though I had relapsed after that. I saw that video and I wanted to get control of my life and I was going to try as long as it took to get to where I know I can be in life. I was always pretty smart even though I was one of the youngest in my class, and I never had an issue with working hard. It was just always an issue of what should I be working hard towards. I thought that most of my life was such a waste of time because I was enthralled in the depths of addiction and seemingly had no way out. I lived a life on the streets that most people could never even imagine. I know that a lot of people go through tough times, and I know that there are countries whose whole population live worse than I ever did on the streets of Milwaukee. But for most people who grew up in the outer city, suburbs, that I did, they could never imagine some of the things that I have seen and been through. I panhandled and was basically a bum all of Spring and half of Summer of 2015 until I was arrested for stealing textbooks while I was on probation already. Stealing and panhandling while trying not to die on the city streets Milwaukee. If anyone knows Milwaukee, it is a tough city, and if you are living on the streets, it is a really tough city.
I never wanted to end up a panhandling bum, that was never my goal in life. If you asked me in fifth grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said a football player. Not a bum, or a heroin addict or someone who wasted everything good that had to offer. I knew that I was always sort of destined for more than I was doing. The only thing about destiny is that there is still work that must be done before anything will ever come to fruition. I do not know what my future has in store for me just yet, but I do know that if I keep going forward and continue to chip away at my goals, then the sky is the limit and everything I accomplish will because of me and my hard work, from living on the street to wherever I make it to. It will be exciting to see what comes of my life, but I already feel like a success story, but the success has just begun.
Life is what you make it and I wish I understood at a younger age about how fragile time and life is. As well as I wish I understood that no one is going to give you anything in life and unless you are born a Saudi Arabian Prince then you are going to have to work for everything that you want in life. Going through life without direction is how I got lost in the first place, so I will always be working towards my goals and always have my future with my son on my mind when it comes to anything I do and any decision I make. I only get him three hours a week on Thursdays, but he is on my mind 168 hours a week and he is the focus of my mission. Created a life for myself that creates the best version of me for him. That is what it is all about, connection and creating a life worth living, which is my focus every single day.