Hi I’m Griffin and I’m an addict. An addict a word that I would not want to define me but addiction is just a tiny part of my experience. With recovery the words that really defined me are honest, humble, unique, aware, proud and love. I say love instead of loving because love is not just a word to me love is everything. I became aware of this realization during my time in treatment which was the beginning of my journey as an addict. I woke up one day with a brief moment of clarity that I could best described as divine intervention. With no ultimatum, court orders, children or spouse and a group of codependent enablers with a seemingly endless supply of drugs I came to the realization that I wouldn’t make it to my 25th birthday. My 24th birthday was coming up in a week and I said there has got to be more than this. I was meant for more than this so I decided I was going to go to a methadone clinic which is so funny now but seemed legitimate at the time. So, I picked up a phone book because I still didn’t have a smartphone and called the very first methadone clinic listing. Here’s where weird divine intervention comes in. I told them my situation and they put me on hold for a while then transferred me to a treatment center.
They said they can have me on a plane that night and I said what about tomorrow because procrastination and hesitation came so natural to me as an addict. The next morning I was on a plane from Knoxville Tennessee to Atlanta Georgia. In the time it took me to get from one terminal to the other, I missed my flight and was given a standby ticket so after a two and a half hour layover the next plane fills up and I am told it will be another 3 hours. Fear and withdrawals kick in so I try to bail and scramble to get a flight back to Knoxville. While I was making phone calls, the boarding door opened to a TSA officer and an Air Marshal who were escorting a drunken Russian man off of the plane. My name is called and I was given his seat. So, my transition from an agnostic atheist to a devout believer went smoothly as this 100% proof that a higher power exists. No, but it’s enough for me. When I got there I was scared and didn’t know what to think. I met so many people and each one has a part to play in my recovery but a few stood out. I met two men in particular that were a vital part of my process.
They kept me from quitting when it seemed too hard. They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and loved me when I hated myself. I’d like to think or hope I did the same for them. They were a major milestone in my so-called enlightenment. I feel the need to express this because we live in a world that seems to divide, classify, segregate and distance us from one another. We were from three completely different religions, not denominations but historically clashing religious backgrounds. We came from different cultural backgrounds, different nationalities, states, countries and different socioeconomic backgrounds. However, we share the same pain, the same disease, the same demons and through that same weakness we became bonded by love. That’s when I realized love conquers all because such vast differences of an overwhelmingly materialistic physical realm became so easily non-existent in our spiritual realm.
I’m a proud Christian now and I pray to Jesus Christ but I do not limit God’s greatness to just the man-made confines of Christianity. I’m comfortable in saying that if I was born in the Middle East I’d most likely be a proud Muslim or Jew. If I was born in Asia, I most likely be a Hindu or Buddhist. If I was born a Native American I would praise the creator. My God is love. There is no such thing as Christian love, Jewish love, or Islamic love. Love is love and to me love is everything. I was so excited to come home and felt ready. When I came back to Tennessee I was hit by reality. There was no sense of home. I struggled with depression of the past and anxiety of the future. I went to meeting after meeting and doctor after doctor was on a cocktail of antidepressants, sleep aids, mood stabilizers and energy drinks. I was so uncomfortable here I felt drawn back to Florida where everything once seemed perfect.
I came back to Florida and I had a beer. I felt it was seemingly innocent at the time but made me feel so conflicted. When I came home, I drank more for about a week and then I shot heroin one time. I woke up the next day so sick with a splitting migraine. Then it hit me. Where was the love I once grasped? Where was the God I found? The answer is they didn’t leave me I left them. Fortunately, they were waiting for me during my turmoil. I lacked acceptance. You see God and love can seem so appealing by themselves. Acceptance is hard and change can be excruciating. I didn’t just further educate myself on boundaries, CBT, codependency and loss/grief. I opened my mind. I did things differently. I proceeded to get off all medications and change the way I thought.
Then I let go and let God. I embraced acceptance and change. I started loving myself not in the love is something you do sense but more love is a way of life. I no longer belong to the right or left but both sides and every point in between. I no longer think of myself as a human being acting spiritual but as a spiritual being acting human. I felt at home again. Well, I’m not considering this world home I’m just passing through. But my spirit is at peace this moment in time on this plane of existence. I’ve accepted my past. One of my favorite artists once said what’s done in the past has passed it makes no sense to remove it, the power that it has is only in which that you give it. I know my nation isn’t as decent as the people in it. I learned to try to see the good instead of the evil in it. That stuck with me.
I self-examine through daily meditation and prayer. I’ve lost my desire to use and gained a desire for growth. I acknowledge my character defects and spiritual shortcomings and put one foot in front of the other on a quest to correct them through acquired wisdom and a constant renewal process. I give 100% in all I do not for the company I work for or for the money they pay me but for myself. When times get rough I tell myself I’m built for this weather. Everything you’re ever going to need is inside of you. I will not only make it through whatever challenge I face, I will come out stronger wiser and better than I was before. I’m honest, humble, unique, proud and love. I will sometimes fall but I will never quit. Learn who you are through knowledge of self. Learn what drives you through your higher power.
Build your character and be humble and be honest. Accept and love yourself. Motivate yourself and motivate others to be the best they possibly can and to never quit. Let go let God. Fake it till you make it and keep coming back. This is just a tiny part of my story.
Just know if you’re reading this I love you and you’re worthy and you can do this. Thank you God and thank you for the blessing of treatment I received.
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