New Year, Same Me Please


This year, I experienced freedom for the first time. Freedom from addiction, freedom from shame, freedom from toxic relationships, freedom from self-loathing. I have grown a lot this past year, more than I realized I could grow. I have matured in many different ways. I set boundaries to protect myself and to respect myself. Last year, I was in a deep depression. It had been merely 4 months since my life was turned upside down. It had been only four months since I stopped drinking and self-harming. It had been only four months since I was in the mental hospital. It had been only four months since I was kicked out by the person who I admired the most. In this past year, I had a lot of growing up to do. I had to learn to rely on strangers to stay sober. I had to learn to let go of people, who I did not want to let go of. Too many times I found my worth in my relationships and what people thought of me. Now I know, what people think of me is none of my business. I just have to keep doing the next right thing and putting one foot in front of the other. I can live without the affirmation of other people. I can live without a substance to numb me when I am feeling emotions that are not pleasant. I can allow myself to feel and process those said emotions.

This past year, I had to let go of the relationship that meant the most to me because I realized it was toxic for me. This man that I looked up to like a father abandoned me when I needed him most. No matter how many reconciliation meetings we had, we were still broken. It took a lot of maturity to just let him go. I looked to him for my worth and for affirmation because I couldn’t love myself. I attached myself to him. I wanted to be like him. Finally, I got closure on the relationship. I have no resentment towards him anymore. It took time, but I learned to forgive him by praying for nothing but blessings for him.

This past year, I had to learn what it meant to live a truly sober life. I had been clean from drugs and alcohol for two years prior my relapse, but I was not really living a sober life. I still had the traits of an alcoholic/addict. I was selfish and self-seeking, but did not realize it. I did not realize the people I harmed by drinking and I ruined some relationships because of it. I was living in self-pity. I have learned to live selflessly. I have learned how my actions affect other people.

This past year, I balanced sobriety, recovery from depression, working, and being an MDiv student all at once. I took on a heavy load that I did not ever image I would have to. I had to make tough decisions. I had to learn to accept the hand that life delivered me. All this is growth and learning is thanks to God. If I did not rely on God through all of it, I would have fallen flat on my face again. I do believe God allows us to have more than we can handle so that we learn to rely on Him.

With all that said, the person who I became this year, I want to stay. I want to continue down the path that I am on. I want to continue being a person who loves himself. I want to continue to give forgiveness and love unconditionally like Jesus did. I want to continue growing and maturing. Then one day down the road, I will able to see somebody who is in my shoes and be able to share where I came from. Maybe one day, my story will be a beacon of hope for somebody.