As I am sitting here at my desk, reflecting on the past year, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude. To remember where I came from and to look where I am now is just a miracle. Just to know the fact that I have not used any drugs or alcohol in 230 days is a miracle in itself. But to look back on the journey that I had to take to get to this point is pretty crazy. So much bad and good have happened in the last year that it is extremely hard to even sum it up. I am very blessed to be able to write that there has been a lot more good than bad, though, especially since May 16th, the day I got clean.
I believe New Years is supposed to be a celebration, so I am not going to focus in this blog on the negatives of the past year. All I am going to say in regards to before May 16th, is that it was a blur. I don’t really remember any of it, just picking up dope from my dealer and getting high in the hood. I think I might have overdosed at the beginning of the year and made a couple trips to detox. I may have spent some time homeless. I don’t remember if that stuff was this year or last year, though. When you are a heroin addict for five years, everything that happens just combines into one huge, blurry, mega-day.
This is a celebration; a day for me to celebrate the man that I have become. I will not focus on my past, but I will also NEVER forget it. First of all, I think it is impossible to forget some of the stuff I have seen with my eyes and put myself through. Secondly, to forget everything I went through is to set myself up for failure. I have to remember where I came from. It makes me grateful for where God has brought me today. God does perform miracles if you let him. I know, because he has performed one in my life. When I surrendered and became willing to change my life, I opened the door to God’s plan. He has a plan for all of our lives, and to put our will in his hands is to open the door to plenty of blessings.
Freedom from active addiction is a gift. I never thought of it like that because I thought it was impossible for me to enjoy life without drugs. I had to be high to do anything. I had to have heroin in my system to feel normal. On May 16th, I got sick of that death sentence and put my life in the hands of Jesus. When I did that, I went from a heroin-addicted, homeless, stealing junkie, to who I am today: the real Aaron. The real Aaron has a heart for other people. The real Aaron has a passion to make a difference in this world. I have now started this outreach to help drug addicts and to help our youth live a Godly life in a crazy generation. I write blogs and journal every day to try to spread hope. I am a great father to my almost-three year old daughter. I am finally a decent brother and son. My family members trust me today. My family members let me live in their house today. I work with the youth group at my Dad’s church. I have a beautiful girlfriend who has never touched a drug or drink in her life (isn’t that crazy?) who supports my recovery and loves me for who I am. The best part that I have been blessed with, though, is the fact that I now have a relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After years of doubt and feeling betrayed by God, I now wake up every morning and put my trust in Him. I have never had hope like I have now.
You know, one of the best parts of my sobriety is the fact that I can be around my family and look them in the eye. I can see them with joy in their life now. My parents aren’t constantly living in fear of my death. We are moving on, proud of each other, and building our relationships each and every day. My dad told me last week that he found something in his filing cabinet. In my active addiction, he was certain that I was going to die any day and he started writing and saving notes about my life. He figured that when the time came to prepare for my funeral, he was going to be in such grief that he wouldn’t be able to comprehend and share information about me, so he was just going to give them the notes he had been preparing. I am so grateful that I am not putting them through that kind of pain any longer. My parents are actually proud of their third son now.
Now that I wrote a little about what I have overcome and accomplished in 2013, I want to focus on the New Year that will be called 2014. I do have a New Year’s resolution. My resolution is to forgive myself. One thing I have trouble with is forgiving me for the things I did to myself and put my family through; forgiving me for putting myself in crazy situations, for almost killing myself and for embarking so much pain on such a loving family. I have started the process of forgiveness, but I know that I still have quite a ways to go. I also know that something of that magnitude is not going to happen overnight. I didn’t create the situation right away, and it is not going to get fixed right away, either.
Anyway, how was 2013 for you? I sincerely hope that anybody reading this had a lot of good moments and a good year, overall. I don’t believe it is possible to live for a year and not go through any heartache or pain. Life is hard and we will all have hard times to deal with, but God promises to be right by our side through all of our troubles and comfort us at all times. No matter what we do or what we may go through, the Lord never leaves us. For seven years I ran from God and lived a life of chaos, but God never left me. He was always right there with me, waiting for me to finally surrender and let Him guide me. And there is no better feeling to look back on a year and say, “I trusted in God, and look at where I was, compared to where I am now!” God is so good. This has been the best year of my life, by far. I will never forget where I came from, and I will never stop giving the glory to the one who got me where I am now!