The beginning of a season that is known for its promise of growth and revival also happens to begin just 4 short days after my Birthday. Spring is very symbolic to me. Being a Chicago native, I have always associated my birthday as a guarantee that the hells of winter were over. Daylight saving time ends, the Easter decorations come out, and for me it’s the true representation of the new year. Whenever something begins, obviously something ends. It’s not until then that I can truly reflect on the year past.
This time last year spawns some of the worst memories I have. I can pin point my birthday as the day I totally lost control of my mind, emotions, and any normalcy I could have possibly known previous to that. This time last year, I was emerging as a true and blue, everyday meth user. It wouldn’t be until October that I truly got a handle back on my life.
Up until this point I have had a hard time reciting “days sober” based on the fact that not one day has been truly “sober”. I smoke weed daily as a choice, to self medicate my ADD and anxiety, and spark my creative energy. I also chose to drink socially because alcohol abuse was never my problem. I never liked to drink even when I was 21. Drugs have always been for me. Now, I am proud to recite that number. That number reflects a lot of days that I have removed myself from the sick cycle of life I was living. Today I see that I could be dead. I even more easily could be infected with HIV, and in the face of this reality I have to wonder how is it that I survived?
So today marks 162 days off hard drugs, away from the lifestyle. It’s 162 solid days of sleep every night and food in my stomach. I’ve made it to work 162 days without calling in as a crack head. In only 162 days I have gotten a new job and achieved so much with my new position, gained the respect of my peers and family and most importantly lived as the role model I want to be for my nephew. I’ve been thinking clearly for 162 days off Zoloft proving which each new day I was never depressed, just felt oppressed. Everyday brings new battles but for the first time in years I feel hope. I feel like me. Less hate and more respect for what I can call my life.