The last holiday season I was living alone with my dog and had just left low-cost unstructured SLE months prior. I was not doing anything with my life and after I relapsed I was getting high and falling into a deep hole of self-pity, shame, and guilt. Guilty that I was not able to fully cover up with drugs like I could in the past. I wasn’t at the point where I felt I could say sobriety is the best gift.
I was miserable and stringing along my girlfriend, who was the last person who loved and cared for me, telling her I was sober and looking for work. For Christmas, I drove up north to spend a few days with her on Christmas. I was also selling her my truck, and I planned to use that cash to buy her gifts and to go to my old stomping grounds, The Tenderloin in SF, and get as high as I could the whole time. I even found a guy on craigslist who I met with on my way up to the Bay Area to buy drugs and stay high until I could get more.
I had already broken her heart and her trust with my last relapse, and then the constant getting high but telling her I was sober then getting caught in a lie and breaking that trust all over again. I would find out later that this was my final chance to show her I was ready to get sober again and be the man that she fell in love with. I had given her false hope; she would find a stash of drugs in my suitcase a few days into my trip north. She was broken and upset, and all I could do was keep getting high to not deal with my shame and guilt and the reality that I may never see her again. The drive back down to LA on New Year’s Eve was long, and I just wanted to go hide out in my place and get high, so I didn’t have to face my reality. I just wanted to use until I died at that point.
But luckily I ended up in New Life House, and I am now surrounded by people who love and care for me and me them. I know that I am doing the right thing and am striving to be a better person every day this holiday season. That was not the case a year ago, I was selfishly filled with fear and self-pity. I am able to give now and not just take, I don’t have as negative of a view of the world and of people as a result. This change of character and perspective is the greatest gift I could ever hope for. I’m so blessed to be sober this Christmas and have the support group that I do today as a result of coming here. This Christmas will be the best one in a long time, and I’m so grateful for my new community and my sobriety.