Alumni Testimonial by Joey W., Origins Recovery Centers
“Yeah, I got a scar I can talk about”, is a line in a song that has had a special place in my heart since I took my last drink on July 21, 2016. Three weeks after I had left Origins, I was at a concert in the Woodlands here in Houston where that very band was playing. It was here that for the first time, in a long time, I not only heard music but felt it.
I remember standing there with my wife and tears started to roll down my face. I had for so many years tried to numb my painful emotions and feelings, that as a consequence of my addiction, numbed myself from the good and happy ones as well. I was overcome with incredible joy. Learning to live life on life’s terms was a challenge the first year because that first year I was learning to feel again.
My sponsor still reminds me I am growing up in public, which is hard when you are raising three kids of your own, but learning to feel again has been the hardest challenge and also the greatest reward. My whole life I had based all my decisions on my feelings, which is why I wanted to no longer feel when I got to Origins. History showed that my decision-making skills were not very good, so I had to learn a new way.
I was blessed to have the desperation of a drowning man. When one is drowning they don’t really care what color the life jacket is. They grab it and put it on. That was me with Step 1. There was no thinking about how I felt about it. That was a gift. A gift I now see from my Higher Power. I am an alcoholic. It doesn’t matter what I think or how I feel about it. It is who I am. There are no emotions attached to this fact. 2+2=4. I don’t have to like that it is 4, and I can want it to be something else. But regardless of my thoughts or emotions, it will always be 4. I will always be an alcoholic.
I have found that there is peace in knowing that truth exists.
I may not feel like praying, or going to a meeting, or even giving up “my” time to work with others. But I continue to do these things based on the truth that for over a year now I have not had a drink. What started off as a simple truth of being an alcoholic, lead to a faith in God, which lead to work to build more truth upon. The more I give to the steps, the greater my foundation of truth is. This has allowed me to live without fear of my feelings and emotion. I can feel sorrow, anger, and pain and not drink. But I can also feel joy, happiness, and peace.
To me, there has been no greater feeling in sobriety than being able to work with others and see them benefit from my scars.
Seeing them come alive and find hope just continues to build upon my truth. The truth that the God of my understanding is greater than our scars.