Today there was a buzz in the air – an excitement that can only mean one thing. It was the last day of school. As students poured out of classrooms and danced down hallways for the last time until August I couldn’t help but feel sadness that it will be the last time that I see them. As the school became empty, and my classroom sat in silence – I began to reflect and ponder the last year. I thought of the last time I felt the way I do now.
It was one year ago today that I had my last hurrah. It was a special day. It was a memorable day. I did not realize it at the time but it would be the last day of my marriage as I knew it. One year ago today my wife (now ex-wife) found out everything. But before she discovered who I really was, we spent the day together hiking and discussing life. We talked about our girls, our extended family and our friends. We talked about our future. It was a beautiful day and for most of the day I forgot that I lived a double life and soaked up all that I could with the woman I had married 10 years earlier.
The days and weeks that followed May 25, 2015 were a blur but what I do remember was the fear of the unknown. After hitting bottom, I didn’t even know how to begin to pick up the pieces of my life. Looking back I am so grateful. I had some amazing and supportive friends in Korea that prayed for me, cried with me, fed me and loved me. They sent me off not as a villain but as just another broken sinner whose goal in life is to become whole again. I owe them so much and I would not have made it through the final weeks in Seoul without them.
Then I think back to June and July and the unending support from my family. My Mom and Step Dad welcoming me back with open arms and allowing me to stay with them until I figured out my next move. Once in Nashville, I knew no one but my sister and brother-in-law and they did not hesitate to let me live with them for a few months as I searched for a job, an apartment and a car.
Of course I have to remember the first time I stepped into the rooms of recovery. Man was I scared. I was so scared I shared everything to everyone because I didn’t know what else to say! I was so eager but so clueless.
Over the last year, my life has turned upside down, taken some unexpected twists and turns and has leveled out a bit in parts only to be turned back upside down again. I have resigned from a dream job, abandoned a country that had become home, left my two girls behind and found a new home, a new job and recovery all in a matter of months. I took a job in August only to find out in May that I would not return for a second year. I took on a second job in February and at the moment it appears to be my primary source of income for the summer.
One year ago my life was chalk full of uncertainty. A year later there is still a great deal of uncertainty.
However, the difference in how I live now versus then is astounding. I am truly another person than the one who kept all the secrets. I am still sick but the healing has transformed me nonetheless. I am still tempted but am connected to a power greater than myself so that resisting those temptations is not only possible but is actually do-able.
I am not living a perfectly sane life with no feelings of resentment, fear, and selfishness. I still struggle with selfishness, fear and resentment on a daily basis. But unlike a year ago, I know how to surrender those feelings to God. I know that I cannot obsess over them. I know how to live a sober life.
“I may never be a completely sane person, but at least today, through my sobriety, I can choose to NOT be insane.” – SA member at tonight’s meeting
When I reflect on the last 365 days, I am grateful. I am so grateful that God had a better plan for me than I had for myself. My plan was to remain an addict and keep it hidden for the rest of my life. God’s plan was for me to find healing and recovery. He knew I needed to come to Nashville. He knows where I should go next.
So May 25, 2016 has come and gone and I’m still very grateful. I am grateful to be an addict that is on the road to recovery. As an addict I appreciate the small victories. I notice the progress that is being made. I am aware of others hurting around me because I recognize the same illness and pain inside myself. I have a heart to help others that are also hurting. I am learning how I can be useful to others.
I am grateful for so much and I never want to take this year for granted.