This week’s post is written by Louis Grassi, who is a musician, writer, and recovery coach. You can learn more about him at his website Calling All Addicts. And be sure to follow him on Twitter and learn more about his music on Facebook. His blogs and posts are insightful and inspiring. Thanks for all you’re doing Louis!
The Treasure of Now...and Then
By Louis J. Grassi
When I look back on the years that I used, I always, always think of that chunk of time in my life as wasted. I figured it was just lost, and that I so frivolously "booted" it all away. Of course, I didn’t progress or grow mentally or financially, and I only alienated myself further from my immediate family and friends. Many faithful AA members will actually add up the time that they used and automatically deduct it from their real age. There is this theoretical consensus among members that we are same age when we stop drinking and drugging as when we started. I do see the logic in that. In that time, you don’t grow at all--I know I didn't. Up until almost two seconds ago, I viewed my “druggy time” as wasted time.
However, I was cleaning my room up a bit earlier today, and I found the Daily Reflections book that my cousin gave to me. Here’s what it said for the date of 1/28:
THE TREASURE OF THE PAST
Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worth while to us now. Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have–the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them.
– pg. 124, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
This quote, from both books actually, showed me that I need to appreciate my past. I’ve really been coming to learn this notion lately. I can’t discount the fact that I used. I need to acknowledge the fact that I used drugs, and I actually need to be grateful for that time. Why? Because if it wasn’t for all that time spent getting high (thus anesthetizing myself to real emotion), stealing, being in withdrawal, lying, cheating, deceiving, etc., I really wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today; that's in a place of contentment and recovery.
I do wish, geographically I lived away from my father in all honesty. We just don’t see eye to eye, and I don’t think we ever will. It’s getting harder for me to be around him. In spite of this, I am basically thankful I’m a drug addict-in-recovery, though. I know it sounds crazy, but I am. I'll always be an addict, but as long as I stay clean, I'll also always be in recovery, and I'll always be thankful.
And that's okay.
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