I'm Jake, have 19 days clean, and I call it my first real attempt at recovery, because before, it was either to satisfy my family, a girlfriend, a job, or whatever the cause may be; but the reason wasn’t me. This time getting clean is for me, and at the same time I’ll be helping my wife and newborn daughter. I want my daughter to grow up with a positive male role model in her life, while showing her that you can overcome anything that is put in your path. She’ll see the strength within me and our family when she gets older, and the desire of the person that I want to be. Therefor, she'll become whoever she wants to be once she’s older, too! I want to be that shining example and lead the way for her. But it truly starts with me.
The difference between last time and this time is that I’m plain out exhausted to my core of getting my ass kicked by this disease. I’m sick of that desperate and broken lifestyle I was living in active addiction. The most sickening part of it all was the lies and deceit, and as a person I'd become utterly disgusted with myself, what the disease was doing to me, and those around me. The things that I could say and do to those people I held closest to my heart were more than wrong, and I wanted to change, get out, and do everything different than living life on a one-way street. What I really want, and what makes it real, is that I want the happiness that others have in long term recovery.
What’s really different this time is that I truly want my daughter to know that there will be potholes in life, but there is a way to mend the hurt and become whole again. I want her to see that I’ve overcome such hardship and that if she ever needs someone to set that example, that anything can be done or achieved through hard work. She is my blood and soul, and we can do this as a family, together. Heck! I am doing this for her too, that has a point all in itself. Right?
I realize quitting drugs is the main thing. But, I now understand that I need to live my life in sobriety by bettering myself and becoming comfortable in my own skin. Becoming comfortable in my own skin, this time around, means being able to hold my head up no matter where I am, who I’m talking to or about, and feel the self-worth of being called dad, brother, son, or husband. I really don’t want to be scared of who I am, realizing that I want to be there in the morning, because I am worth it. That’s something I’ve never done and I've never knew how to do, but I feel that I’m putting actual effort into it this time. And that effort to me, different than last time, looks like doing the recommendations people in recovery give me, going to as many support groups as I can, following up with IOP, and the hugest one of all is admitting when I was defeated and personally checking myself into rehab. I did this for myself to be better for my loved ones, too. This time I’m actually going somewhere and trying my hardest instead of putting a band-aide on it with Suboxone or going back to dope again. I know going back to dope could sound easy, but the reason I won’t just for today is because today I’m happy, today I’m clean, and today I’m able to smile that much more with my daughter; while seeing her smile back at me!
Being 19-days clean and sober, working hard on recovery is a huge feat. Each day is a miracle. But, if I had to say to someone newer than even I, or someone still struggling it would be that if I can do it with a huge freaking smile on my sober face, than anyone can do it too. And this may sound like an easy answer, but in reality, you just need to make that first step in asking for help, admitting you can’t beat it alone, and that you’re open minded and willing to do whatever it takes to get that life that you truly deserve. I know just for today I’ll be clean, and I hope that you are too. This helped my recovery as much as I hope it helps another.
To conclude from my favorite comic book, which helps keep me on the road to recovery, I’ll leave you with this…
“Why do we fall? So we can pick ourselves back up!”
-Alfred from Batman Begins