It’s late night on May 24th 2014; I am in bed, bruised and battered both on the inside and on the outside . Why do I feel so empty yet full of pain? Why am I alone with no friends? How did I lose the love of my life and why is he out with someone else? Why am I broke and car-less with nowhere to go? At that moment it just clicked like a light turning on in a room that has been dark for 28 years. Alcohol linked all my bad experiences together like a tight leash keeping me down. At that moment, I started to write on my iPhone. I thought to myself, why am I writing on my phone? I felt like shouting out to the world what I had just realized. I am an addict!
Things had started to unravel around me, but it was only when I hit rock bottom internally that I knew with every cell in my body that I needed to change. So I grabbed my laptop and created my first post, Day 1 sober. In the past, I would admit to others I had trouble with alcohol, but I never believed that I was an addict. It was hard to feel like I had anything to do with that word; it made me feel ashamed and embarrassed. However, I felt like I was doing the right thing by coming to terms with my addiction. The First major sign that I was on the right track was that the first post I wrote on my blog, Sober is the New Black, was on May 24 2014. I noticed a few days later that I created the blog on May 24 2012. Exactly two years before my first post. I needed two more years of drunken stumbles that landed me in court to finally write about it on my blog, and in that way start coming to terms with my addiction.
Addiction runs in my family and at a young age I saw what addiction can do. When I was a kid I told myself I would not end up like my parents but it seemed I was on that same path. I’ve been in and out of sober livings, relapsed a bunch of times, but this time it was different because I was able to separate the real me from the mental disorder. That voice in my head that spoke in my own voice. It knew what to say to get me to the bar, or what to say to hurt me. That was the voice of my addiction. I was confused, wanted to change, felt guilty and ashamed. Once I had realized that I was dealing with a mental disorder , I was able to stop that voice dead in its tracks. I wanted life to change, I wanted to love, to feel love; my body was suffering from the side effects of Alcohol abuse. I was so depleted inside I had nothing.
I always loved writing. When I was young I had a poem published, titled “ I am a short 7th grader that’s meant to be on stage”. My childhood involved all forms of abuse, neglect, sexual, physical, emotional. I did not think I was capable of anything great yet alone becoming a writer. Even with my home life in chaos I excelled in English. In high school, I was in English college prep classes but around that time I started to drift off into drugs, partying and being influenced by the cool kids; Trying to fit in with others. Searching for validation that I lacked at home. Weed turned into cocaine that lead to booze.
Writing is such a powerful healing tool. I take out all the pain and hurt from my past that I buried with booze and turn it into art, in the form of blog posts and poems and one day a series of books. Sobriety brings freedom, allowing me to have a clear mind so I can find my own voice. It keeps me focused; it gives me a purpose. One of my biggest dreams is to use my poems to help someone out there who is struggling with addiction.. I want to live my life to inspire others. Let others know that a sober life can help you attain dreams that were once unimaginable. You just have to find a program that works and heal. I also want people to not feel ashamed of being addicts; addiction is not who you are – it’s a disorder that you live with. It should not define you or your capabilities.
I am now 179 days sober, and have learned more about myself during this period of time than in the past 28 years. I will be in constant healing and recovery. Not towards perfection but to be whole. Creating deep love for myself, I now see my addiction not as a curse but more as a blessing. Addiction forced me into recovery so I can heal my past. Addiction caused my spiritual awakening. Maybe a higher power knew I was strong enough to break the family cycle so my children won’t have to suffer and I can now use my story to help others. Maybe, just maybe, one day I can help my family break through their addiction. Sober is the new Black.
Latest posts by Adolfo Vasquez (see all)
- Sobriety Through Poetry - May 1, 2017