The last time the author could say he was two years clean was in 1978, when he was fourteen years old! He had fourteen years clean at that time; his whole life up to that point, and he was disgusted by the mere thought of using drugs or alcohol. What happened, and what does two years clean even mean to a forty-seven year old man who has lost nearly everything to drugs and alcohol?
Constantly being the “new kid” after moving four times and living in four different states between 1971 and 1979 resulted in low self-esteem and poorly developed coping skills. Drinking and drugging slowly became his escape from the lonely sad feelings of not belonging. He relied on them increasingly over the years, and they became his crutch even though he never even realized this until his world imploded in 1999. That is the first time he entered a rehab, Brighton Hospital, and it was there that he attended his first 12-step meeting.
He really felt like he didn’t belong in a drug rehab or the 12-step meetings he attended, but he was in and out of these places often as he continued his self-destructive ways for another ten years. He wanted to stop, but he didn’t totally surrender or completely do the necessary work in order to find lasting recovery. He did half measures, but could never fully bring himself to his knees. Character defects such as pride, guilt and shame stood in his way, so he kept digging himself deeper into a hole until he reached his own personal bottom in 2009. This bottom led him to prison as a habitual substance abuse offender, bankruptcy, his second divorce, and many other unpleasant consequences. It also led him to complete and total surrender to Jesus Christ, our Lord, and this spiritual awakening resulted in him being transformed by the renewing of his mind. The 12-step meetings he’d attended over the years guided him to the Lord, but his own desperation and honest humble desire for a better way of living finally caused him to open the door and let Him in.
So what does two years clean and sober mean to this man? It may just be one more day, but it means a lot of things! It means that every day for the last two years he has put recovery and God first in his life and lived by God’s will, not his. It means he has successfully found a way of living and coping with life on life’s terms without using drugs or alcohol. It means he has hope for the future and faith that his Lord and Savior will provide for him whatever it is that he needs. It means he can share his experience, strength and hope with others in an honest effort to help them overcome the demons of addiction. It means he knows the solution and is living in it every day. It means that lasting sobriety can be found through Jesus Christ, our Lord. All you have to do is stop digging, surrender completely, and “let go, and let God”!
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; and they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
You, too, can mount up with wings as eagles, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint! You, too, can find lasting recovery through our Lord. God bless!