Celebrated A Sobriety Anniversary By Going To A Narcotics Anonymous Meeting

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"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."
--
The Serenity Prayer

When I was 16 years old, I ran away from home, I dropped out of high school, and I got myself into a whole lot of trouble. I had been smoking pot for a while now, but it wasn't until then that I'd tried what was to become my drug of choice for the next few years. I was introduced to meth amphetamines (aka crystal, crank, speed, etc.) in late 1994, and it didn't take me long to get hooked.

Fast forward three and a half years. I felt my life falling apart. I had done many things that I had regretted, and I had realized that I'd let drugs ruin my life. I went to the thrift store I used to work at to talk to the one person I knew I could turn to at the time, William Kendall.

I remember this day like it was yesterday. I weighed 129 lbs. (nearly 50 lbs less than the weight I am now). I was distraught and stressed, and Will suggested I go to a
Narcotics Anonymous meeting. I was very nervous, so he made sure I did not go alone. Although he couldn't go with me, Kim Hebert did. I cannot thank either of them enough for putting me on that path that day.

It was a Monday. That was not the end of my drug use. I relapsed but eventually, after many meetings, I did stop. The last day I ever used was July 18, 1998, so I celebrate the next day (July 19th) as my first day of being clean from drugs and alcohol. I was clean that day and the day after that and the day after that and so on and so forth all the way to today. That's 4,748 days taken one day at a time.

Because I started trying to focus on school and work, I stopped going to meetings. Even though I try to keep the steps and traditions in practice in my life, I have not celebrated any of my anniversaries by going to a meeting. I decided that this would be the year I would do that.

On the 200th day of this year, I am both amazed and humbled by the incredible support I've had for thirteen years. Not only do I believe that Will and Kim saved me back then, but every single day, my wife, my family, and my friends have made my life worth living.

I don't have many pictures of myself back when I was using, but the one I've posted above comes from that time period (the other folks in the pic are really amazing people). Even though I don't regret what happened because it's made me the person I've become, it is a constant reminder of what I could lose if I went back to that. I'm so grateful for what I have in my life, and it's totally worth fighting for, even when the battle is with myself every single day.

"Just for today I will be unafraid, my thoughts will be on my new associations, people who are not using and who have found a new way of life. So long as I follow that way, I have nothing to fear."
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