While on vacation with my family the week of July 4th, I thought of how truly blessed I am — as I often do — and how drastically my life has changed over the last four years, for the positive. However, at one time I just didn’t know what my future would hold, I had hit rock bottom with alcoholism, deep depression and undiagnosed PTSD.
My family has ALWAYS been my top priority and always on my mind. Anyone that has ever dealt with addiction knows of the horrible demons and mind controlling attributes it has. Before my recovery, alcohol was also heavy on my mind. These past few years of vacations without drinking have surely been different and a true blessing. At first it was difficult, to not be constantly drinking while on vacation, then it became easier as time went on.
You see, before sobriety I was drinking so heavy to keep all my emotions, demons and thoughts suppressed. I would sneak to drink behind the camper, or carry in a different cup, because I was ashamed. However, I could not physically stop on my own. I never drank just one I drank two at a time — always thinking of when my next drink would be. The only way I felt normal, comfortable was to drink.
Now as I sit here with my family on vacation, totally sober, I am completely comfortable and loving life. I tell you this not to brag, but to show that it is possible to live life without alcohol. Those that control their alcohol intake and don’t abuse it, that’s awesome, however I know some do struggle like I did. Just know that it is possible to live free of addiction. If you are currently living within the grasp of addiction, as I was, just think of how awesome your future vacations will be addiction free! The memories, time with family, saved money; the list goes on and on.
When I hit rock bottom I laid on the couch for six months in such deep depression I truly thought I would totally get out of the fire service. This journey of recovery is not easy. However, through faith, hope and love anything is possible. I adopted this as my phrase while in recovery as it details what’s of upmost importance.
Faith: in God, myself and the future of a better life.
Hope: never giving up
Love: of God, Family, County/Serving Others