7 Years Ago Today

I bottomed out on a 2 year relapse. I had just lost about $250k, foreclosed on one home months before, no rent paid on the current home, cars were about to be repoed, and the bank accounts were overdrawn. My soon-to-be ex wife was packing her and the kids belongings.

I walked into my first meeting in years and immediately knew I should’ve been going all along. I felt like I woke up from a long dream to nothing but destruction as far as the eyes could see. Then I realized I caused it, I set off the grenades.

I remembered the life insurance policy, so I drove around to find the perfect place to kill myself. I felt like a burden, a boat anchor, and useless. At least I could do something positive.

I called my sister to apologize and started crying. She dropped the phone and started crying hysterically. My brother-in-law picked up the phone. He reminded me that people still needed me and wanted me around. He kept repeating the names of family, and kept asking me to not kill myself. What he did worked.

The next day, my business partner and I parted ways. Luckily, I got to keep the clients, but they weren’t happy and the business had no momey. That night I went to a meeting and asked someone to be my sponsor. He said he could only temp sponsor me because he had a lot going on. Felt like a gut punch even though it wasn’t about me.

I tried to kill myself again a few nights later and this time ended up in the ER. Miraculously, they didn’t place a 72 hour hold on me and released me the next morning. Still got a $26,000 bill a few days later.

I came home to an almost empty house. That night, I went to a meeting. Then another the next day. And another the day after that. Sometime in there I decided that I would do whatever it takes to get better. I kept going until I had gone to 90 meetings in about 80 or so days. After a week off, I went to another 90 in 90.

Fast forward to today, I go to meetings once a week. I was just elected as the Chairperson of my region’s 12 step Intergroup. I sponsor a handful of amazing, strong people. I’m grateful to be in a 5 year relationship with a beautiful, loving, gracious, and supportive woman. I slowly turned the business around, kept most of the unhappy clients, and found more. I finished my MBA program last month. I’ve settled most of my debts. One of my clients, an angel investor, has offered to inject cash into my business for growth. I meet with him next week to finalize the arrangement.

My partner just congratulated me with a kiss and a big hug. She asked me how it feels. I said I feel like I’m wrapped in bubble packaging. Life is still life, I get knocked around, but it doesn’t hurt nearly as much. And I’m not hurting others anymore. My temp sponsor is still my temp sponsor today. He keeps telling me he can’t sponsor me for much longer.

It’s not perfect. My partner and I have our speed bumps. I owe a ton of child support and alimony that I’m whittling down. My addiction resulted in supervised visits with the kids for 4 hours a week, and I can only afford one visit a month. But we play online games together every weekend, and I go to every school function and birthday party.

Every day I better understand my value and the value of others. My recovery program is how I maintain my value. How I treat myself and others is recognizing value. Life may cause suffering, but I try not to add to my and others suffering. I no longer judge others who cause their own suffering. I recognize and understand where they are in their journey.

Maya Angelou said something like do the best you can until you know better. When you know better, do better. That’s what I set out to do every day.

I hope this helps someone. It works for me, and I have no special talents. I just park the cars here, and there are so many gifted people around me. All it took for me was to stop trying to do things my way and decide to do whatever it takes to do better. Simple but not easy.

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thats awesome, congratulations! thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

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Super post, thank you for your share. Congrats on your 7 years, you are inspiring. :confetti_ball::birthday::confetti_ball:

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Thanks for sharing with us, Neal! 7 years is so amazing!

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Man it’s dusty in here. Awesome post. Congrats.

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Thanks for sharing your recovery with us!

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Well done , great share , meetings make it easier wish you well

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Amen to that.

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Thank you so much for this! I’ve been sober for 2 year and almost 2 months. Reading this kind of thing helps me keep going.

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If it wasn’t for crusty old farts, the youngsters would have no reason to roll their eyes.

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That is amazing!

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Thanks for the message of hope and faith

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Pretty awesome!! Congratulations!! And I have always loved that quote from Maya Angelou.

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Great share great time great person!
Nice one!

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Man, huge congrats!

I know what you mean about not being anything special. I’ve been doing it for over 2 and a half years and there isn’t anything special about me or my recovery either. I’m stubborn, that’s about it. I said, “fuck this, I’m done,” and meant it. Like, really meant it. And here I am!

I love what you contribute here, on your sporadic visits. Thanks for taking this journey with us!

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Reading your post was awe inspiring. I salute you and thank you for sharing such a heartfelt message.

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Love your story. Thanks so much. Huge congrats. Trying to live by the Mary Angelou quote myself.

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Thank you!

I lurk almost every day and I get too engrossed in such great posts. Then I feel like I’d just repeat what’s already been said. Then sometimes I’ll start a reply and get sidetracked, and see it the next day when 20 others have responded. I’m still a hot mess.:laughing:

Congrats on your 2 and a half!

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Man, I’m in the saaaame boat. Progress, not perfection. I hate that saying because it’s too true.

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Wow! Amazing!