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As Long As You Are Alive You Can Start Over Again

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Tuesday, 11 December 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News

Addiction Sobriety

Friday, December 14, is a significant one year anniversary in my life.

Keep in my mind, December 20 marks 3.5 years of sobriety for me so it is not my sobriety date.

Nevertheless, December 14 is equally pertinent for me, as it was the beginning of a new resurrection of sorts.

Had I known that I could live this remarkably I would have relented much sooner, and spared myself so much pain.

With that said, it is a day that I will never forget, as I would later learn that what would be required of me was as necessary as air is to breath.

It is not only too draining, but too long to discuss in detail, what preceded the decision that I made on that fateful day mentioned about. Besides, despite the facts being too long and too draining, I am just willing to be that transparent.

I will say that I suffered something no less than “torture” as a child and as a result I have never been the same. Also, torture, is not my word.

In fact, it is a word that a psychiatrist used to describe what I experienced.

Just to emphasize, the psychiatrist of record, a learned medical professional trained to be objective, wept and cried as he learned of my trauma.

Fast forward, in my late teens and early twenties I started to experience acute and gross anxiety, flash-backs, concrete, palpable, visceral fear, angst, and debilitating panic attacks that brought me to my knees.

I kept going though, because I thought, “I am strong; indestructible.”

Meanwhile, by the time I graduated from law school I was a nervous wreck, grossly underweight, clinically depressed, and an addict/alcoholic.

Fast forward……after moving cross-country, then to another state….a staged intervention on my behalf, rehab, Alcoholics Anonymous meeting after Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, an ocean full of tears, and tons of turmoil, I quit my job at a law firm, broke up with my boyfriend, stopped driving, and practically became recluse, all while sober.

My friends were scared for me, and I was forlorn, nothing but nerves and bones……

On December 14, desperate to emerge from my misery and feel better, I sat in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, a close friend by my side…..reticent, apprehensive, incredibly thin……I resembled a refugee in disguise.

Demure and wallflower-like, I sat there soft-spoken, nearly whispering….”I am in pain…….psychological pain, physical pain, I am unraveling, frightened; I cannot eat, I feel hopeless, desperate, burnt-out, no good, unwell…..I cannot go on like this.”

She listened…shrewdly, yet compassionately; we talked for hours.

Before I knew it, I was walking out with a prescription for Paxil.

Still afraid, but like a child, I filled the prescription as directed…..right away too.

I still remember swallowing that first tablet, hoping for a change right away, later on observing a slight change in my behavior….looking for signs of affirmative change, as I lied in bed day after day waiting to feel better.

I am not sure when I first felt better… was gradual.

Suddenly, one morning I just woke up and I did not feel dread, I did not want to cry, I was no longer ruminating for hours and hours about the past and what went wrong.

Before I knew it, the color had returned to my life.

Meanwhile, I kept going to meetings, and obtained a new sponsor, and I kept taking my tablets of course……I was getting stronger and stronger each day.

The glass was looking half full instead of half empty.

I had a voice after all and I was setting boundaries. I was laughing and smiling as well, sincerely in fact.

My sense of clarity developed more and more each day.

I bought new eyeglasses, started wearing contacts, bought beautiful clothes again, my personality returned, and obtained a job doing what I do best, writing!

Oh, I registered for the California Bar Examination, and I will be sitting for it in February 2013. I am enjoying studying for the bar. Perhaps if I had taken Paxil in law school I might have enjoyed the subject-matter more then.

I am returning to myself again. I am taking my power back, as I have grabbed the wheel of my life again!

Make no mistake, God continues to direct and guide me, but I certainly am steering the wheel.

During this time I have literally learned to breathe through stress, frustration, joy and all the other emotions, rather than run away, sleep and hibernate.

I cannot say that I would not need Paxil had the atrocious things that I experienced not occurred; perhaps I was born more sensitive, or maybe the trauma caused it.

I cannot waste time wondering about it; the inquiry is not worth my time.

Finally, I have a life worth living, and I am determined to live it in the MOST MARVELOUS way that I can. Wild horses could not drag me away from the joy I feel!!

You see, on December 14, 2011, I had reached such a spiritual, not to mention psychological bottom that I had no choice but to have a “come to Jesus moment.”

Today, I no longer feel trapped and captive, and I am enjoying making up for lost time. Life is beginning to make sense to me for the first time.

I am back in the saddle and I am getting stronger each day. I am excited about the future.

If you or someone that you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, please call or text us.

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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