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Five Years Sober And I Am Still Standing, “Picked The Weeds And Left The Flowers”

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Wednesday, 12 September 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News

drug addiction and sobriety

Sobriety offers the opportunity to experience life with clarity, presence and an inner sense of security that is second to none.

Life seems to be illuminated, pure, heighted, comprehendible, effortless and exciting, just by its very nature. You suddenly know just what to do at any given time. It almost seems as if you are psychic.

It may sound cliché, but it would be accurate to say that colors seem brighter, particularly with regard to nature. The green leaves of a tree suddenly seem to further come alive in the bright contrast of the blue hue of the sky.

The cotton-like white clouds stand out more. Suddenly you look at clouds long enough for them to appear as if they are moving.

The feeling of sunlight against my face, or on the nape of my neck is like none other.

Simple acts like walking through a residential neighborhood, in the evening, listening to the sounds emanating from lighted homes, while gazing at the stars in the sky is particularly pleasant, not to mention a first.

Quite honestly, when I was suffering from addiction, I never seemed to have enough time to do anything, not to mention time to reflect on the beauty of the ocean, or the subtleness of fresh air after the rain.

These days, I really listen to music. In fact, every time I listen to Tiny Dancer by Elton, my eyes tear up, and I have even wept listening to that song, and many others. Each time, it feels good, cathartic, cleansing.

Who knew that I had a range of emotions and could feel them. Yes, I can handle feeling emotions, without resorting to alcohol and other substances to mute the pain.

These are the free, small gifts of sobriety.

It is amazing to wake up happy for no reason other than the fact that I one is alive and have another opportunity to achieve a goal one has set for himself.

I wake up with anticipation of great things to come, not dread or worry about how I will accomplish acquiring my next batch of pills.

I no longer wake up in the night, lying in bed, worried or thinking about regrets…ruminating for hours and hours.

To be honest, for the first time in my life, I easily fall asleep happy, grateful and appreciative. I don’t even need sleep aids. I was never this happy even before I became an addict.

And, I feel young again. Despite being young during my addiction I always felt quite old, much older than I really was.

Now, it is the opposite; although quite young now, as well, I feel even younger because I am a sober man. I feel beautiful, remarkable and amazing just as I am.

For the first time in my life I feel like I matter and that I deserve to take up space. I have something to contribute. These feelings are major gifts of sobriety, just as tangible as cash and prizes, of which I have gotten some of as well.

I have a wonderful life. Today, I have an amazing job that coexists so well with my life. I feel Blessed to be sober.

Jonathan S.

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism please text or call us now. We want to help you.

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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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