When I first entered recovery 25 years ago I just wanted the pain to stop. I had no real plans beyond that. Just stop the pain.
There were no grandiose ideas about getting back into the business world. Once more becoming a top salesman. Having a nice apartment. A great income. A sports car. A relationship. None of that. It was about escaping the painful life I was living. That was all.
But after a few months in a halfway house I knew I had to do something with my life. I had a young daughter to provide for. Back child support to pay. Amends to make.
But I wanted to do more than make a living. I'd done that most of my life. But it didn't keep me sober. I needed to have meaning - a purpose - for being alive.
And I needed to do something that was compatible with my recovery. A former employer had hired me back and was paying me survival wages. But my heart was no longer in the corporate realm.
So I decided to start a small recovery program on the side. Maybe a few houses with fifty or so beds. Sort of an avocation to keep me involved with what was - and is - important in life. Living sober.
And I bring this up because a client gave me a card a few days ago - thanking me for starting TLC. It was a nice card, containing gratitude and sentiment. And I appreciated it. It sort of portrayed me as self-sacrificing, as more giving than I was at the time.
But the truth is that I started this program to save myself. And it has worked - I've stayed pain-free and sober 25 years.
The fact that others also got help over the years is an additional blessing. An unexpected result of a drug addict trying to escape the cycle of pain and misery.
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