A state of hope, a state of gratitude and a state of being. If you would’ve asked me almost four years ago what these three little things meant, I would’ve told you they meant nothing, because they didn’t. I was broken, the only “fix” to the situation I was in was to continue getting high and use anyone that I can to fill this void that I had for years. I was in and out of treatment for years with failed attempts at staying sober. I had accepted the fact that I was going to die an active addict, I invited it in. Sobriety seemed so far from where I could be, it never seemed possible. I let this disease take over to almost the point of no return. Treatment didn’t “work”, AA didn’t “work, the 12 steps didn’t “work”. I put quotes around “work” because I wasn’t letting it work. I let this disease run so rampant in my life that I honestly didn’t care for the solution to work. Life meant nothing to me. I came to Texas from New York and that’s when my experience of powerlessness and hopelessness began. I was 2,000 miles away from home, by myself, trying to be this addiction but could not let go of my delusions and false belief system. Between getting high, in and out of motels, couch-surfing and my family giving up on me, what hope did I have left? None. No friends, no family, no home, only drugs. I did what I needed to do to survive, I didn’t care who I hurt doing it, even myself. I lost everything and everyone I loved, the only loyalty I had was the loyalty in my relationship with drugs. How can someone whose lost all hope have any ounce of it left to change their life? I asked this question every single time I went into treatment and others tried to help me. I never got the answer until I started to believe that hope can be the tiniest little piece that will grow into everything you have now and more. May 1, 2014 I managed to find this itty, bitty piece of hope on my last relapse, I didn’t want to use anymore, I was tired and I was done. I told myself I will give sobriety one last shot, if I don’t get it this time I will kill myself. That little hope I had has gotten me to almost 4 years sober today. Those four word statements “A state of hope, A state of gratitude, and a state of being” were something I was promised walking into treatment. There was a change, not only in my outlook on life, but internally with myself. I wanted this, I wanted this so damn bad. I would see others laughing, smiling enjoying themselves and I chased it. I did everything that I could to follow the footsteps of those that had attained sobriety and freedom. I was scared and I struggled but I did it. I started to have hope: hope that I was going to stay sober, hope that I would have the best life by trusting God, hope that there is a solution to the misery of this disease and hope that I can do this. They say “all you need is hope as small as a mustard seed” and that has stuck with me to this day. My life has changed in the most amazing way possible. I have gratitude today, for my struggles, my experience and growth. I always ask, if you don’t have gratitude what are you still doing this for? There’s so much to be grateful for and I wish to carry that on to others who struggle with the monster. Gratitude is a reminder to appreciate the little things in life because we as addicts were never awake enough to see the beauty in the world and in others. I’m okay with myself today. I love myself and who I have become, I am at a state of being. “Just be” are the two most freeing words. If you can’t “just be” than what has so much power over you that you can’t let go of? As long as you trust the process, build your relationship with your higher power and know it’s always going to be okay, your freedom will stick as long as you let the process work. We are bound to misery through fear, fear of just being. Today I am grateful, today I am hopeful and today I can just be.
Dana D – Austin, TX