When I made the decision that I was tired of being miserable and I wanted help with desperation of a drowning man, I admitted defeat. And what was so hard about that evening in San Marcos, Texas in February of 2013, was that for the first time in my life, even though I had failed at life for the past two decades, was admitting that I was a failure. And that feeling of admitting, is why I am sober today.
I didn’t realize it at the time, however today I know that I must fail and accept that failure in order to move on in life. I was holding on to some false notion that everything I was doing in my disease of addiction was going to somehow work out. But once I let go, it left room to not only learn from my mistakes, but to heal.
Yesterday I realized that I am still holding on to things in my life that I have failed at. For example when I first started my podcast, Keeping it Sober, my goal was to be the number one podcast on iTunes for the recovery genre, which I am far from. However I never admitted it myself, so I was never able to change what I was doing. Admitting that I failed, doesn’t mean I have to stop podcasting or rip it off ITunes, all it means is now I can look at it, and learn from what didn’t work, improve on what did work and now how I can I make it better.
Failure is a good thing. Without failure, we don’t have an opportunity to learn. Without admitting failure, I would absolutely not be sober right now. So what are somethings, projects or goals that you have failed at, but are still holding on to? Admit defeat, accept failure and learn from it so you can move on in your life and recovery!
I’ve got a brutal work schedule the last week or so. Working 6 out of 7 twelve hour days has got my mind in shock! So our kid is home after graduating from the Marines. It was an awesome experience to be a part of, and I am so proud of her. We have had our battles, (me and her) and she has definitely and literally seen the worst in me and my addiction. I would say out of the 3 girls, she got the worst of it. Not that the other 2 didn’t suffer any neglect. My youngest I lost at a carnival when she was like 4, she will probably be scarred for life, and even though she is just 11, she is like her mother, doesn’t forget anything, especially if it’s of my decision making. The middle kid, well I was just flat out was never there for her. No excuses, I was never there. I’m still not there for her. My goal is to stay sober and be ready if she ever needs me for anything. But the truth is, there are a lot of people she can call if she needs something, before she calls me. And that’s something I’ve accepted.
In recovery I’ve realized that for somethings I can never make up. In some people’s eyes, I may never be a good father, son, brother, husband or friend. I may have done to much or to little. But I have also learned that even though I have accepted that, I don’t have to dwell or live in it. I can only move forward, make amends when I can and most of all stay and live sober to be ready for when someone I’ve hurt while in my addiction, may need a hand.
So my schedule is a little bit spun around now that I’ve moved to days. I constantly check my phone to remind myself which days we are on! However now that I have more time to do stuff on my days off, I do have less time to blog if that makes sense. So here’s a quick reminder of why we do the things we do!
At least once a week I make time to read blogs and social media post with all whom I’ve connected with over the past years. And the theme on my “Newsfeed” this week seems to be about addiction and relationships.
On their own, addiction and relationships can take a lifetime to understand. However both together, is an entire other “monster.”
When my addiction finally caught up to my relationship with my wife, our marriage was already pretty much destroyed. The final step was her packing up and leaving, again. I didn’t fight it either, I wanted to be alone to use and drink as much as I wanted. I wasn’t hiding it anymore, or at least I thought I was not hiding it.
Although my marriage did somehow survive, I don’t have any answers.
However I do remember the moment when I finally realized that I could not fix my addiction and my marriage at the same time. I had been in treatment about 2 weeks. Complaining and crying about my broken marriage to anyone who would listen. I wanted my marriage fixed first, then “I promised” to work on my addiction. I was getting no where. No better off than the first day I admitted to rehab. Then I heard something that I had been hearing since the day I got in. But I never really listened.
“God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I can not change..”
And just hit me. I can’t change or fix my marriage. I had to let go. I had to work on myself, no matter if my marriage was over or not.
Some day I am going to interview my wife and let her talk about what it was like and how and why she held on. However today, I’m just grateful and blessed to have her and the kids still in my life.