This is your heart on happiness.

“This is your heart on happiness.”

I am not a poster boy. Accepting that took a while but once I did, I truly began to find my feet. I began to really feel the smile on my face. It became real. At the beginning of this year, I was so filled with doubt, apprehension, and sadness. As if the world around me was made of teeth and I was fresh meat for the taking. A small, entertaining morsel to be devoured and enjoyed in a single serving. I didn’t think it would last. Or that I would last for that matter.

This year has been a year of change. A year of growth and new beginnings. And within the gathered days I found in me a strength and power beyond any I could have ever imagined. A steadiness in complete contrast to the emotional and financial parabolic flight that was my existence prior. Floating numb and weightless in my head and in my heart, I was lost to the beauty of the universe, and it was lost to me.

My feet are planted now. My roots, taking hold. Grasping beneath them the hallowed earth and taking in the fusion energy of the sun. The gift, a traveler, 93 million miles from home. I don’t recall this feeling, because before now, I had never truly been here to feel it. Never been truly present. If nothing else, all it makes sense now, and in some strange way it had to happen the way it did for me to see it from this perspective. Slow and steady.

People often ask me if it has been hard or if I ever feel like I could go back and “just drink.” If I ever feel like I want to or if I could “keep it in check.” And over the last year I’m sure I have given a multitude of different answers, each one changing with my mood, attention span, and state of mind when I was asked. Now though, I think the sea’s have settled enough for me to finally put it in writing.

It has been everything. All emotions. All things. Very hard at times and at others more beautiful than I am able to do justice to in script. For a while in the beginning it all felt like an hourglass, with me there waiting for it to run out. Waiting to return to the comfortable synthetic dissolution that was once all I knew. A strange and morbid curiosity fell over me and I had to know. I had to know.

I had to go back before I could move on. I understand that this might sound like addict speak but hear me out. I kissed the devil because I had to know that this new life was what I wanted. I had to know that I was in control. That I wasn’t just hanging by a fucking thread, sitting in some rented room with more couches than people, reading regurgitated words from worn out sheets of laminate. I had to have closure. I trusted myself and let go of the wheel. Let’s see if the rig stays linear. Let go to gain control.

It worked. I found no chains in that glass. The last bonds that held me to my old life had broken. It seems a fitting, almost poetic end to me now, to have finished my journey where it began. At the time though, the feeling was surely lost a midst my thoughts of failure. Everything changed again after that. The aching long last finally gave way and for the first time since I became sober I really began to feel it. Knowing there was nothing left for me in the rear view mirror gave me the strength to finally let go of the pain and sadness that had so long held me captive. And with that, I began to heal.

That was 8 months ago now and since that day I have never looked back. Now when people ask me those same questions, I say, yes. Yes could go back and maybe I’d be ok, but I don’t want to. The fact of the matter is this, I can’t have my family, I can’t have my friends, my beautiful girlfriend, my music, my home, or my happiness. I can’t have any of it if I choose to go back. My life in it’s entirety and to some degree, the life of all addicts, is forfeit to dilution and eventually death if we do. And for me, it just isn’t worth it. I’ve seen the shackles, I became the dark, and I haven’t forgot the sting.

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