The best thing that has ever happened to me
On this day in 2010 I found myself on a couch at a mates place with little to no idea what I had done for the previous 24 hours, with the last 16 hours being complete blackout, still drunk, and with the hangover sickness closing in fast. I managed to find my way home to an empty house, my fiancee had left me because she couldn't take another night not knowing if I would come home, worrying that she would have to go to the hospital again, or worse, a cop shop, or worse, the morgue. I raided the medicine cabinet and found an oxycontin and shoved it down my throat, it was a slow release tablet, one that would "last" for 16 hours. I didn't care, I needed something, anything, to put off feeling, feeling anything. Before it had even made it to my stomach a realisation dawned on me: I was an addict alcoholic.
This was not how I wanted to live my life.
I began to take stock and it wasn't pretty. I was 28 years old and my biggest achievements seemed to be establishing myself as an integral part of the Western Sydney underground hip hop scene in my late teens and early 20s, then all but dropping out of the scene, then being a drug dealer connected to bikie gangs, then working in Australia's most violent nightspot while high and drunk, then working 9-5 as a slave to the wage in a job I couldn't stand that was going nowhere and I knew it. These were the things that I held as indicators of my place in this world. A junkie criminal rapper in dead end employment. Where did it all go wrong?
I had my first drunk, not drink, drunk, when I was 9 years old. I was regularly getting sauced by the age of 13 along with other substances. Every so often I would blackout and when I came to, nobody wanted to know me. Apparently I was an arsehole in blackout. And guess what I did to block out the shame of being this arsehole while in blackout?
The drink and the drugs took me to worlds that I should not have been in, took me to places I should not have known and showed me things I should not have seen. It began as a way to party with friends, but as it progressed, as it removed, as it destroyed, it could only end with me being alone. It could only end with me being broken. And it had to end.
So here I was, the 1st of November, 2010, reflecting on my life and where I went wrong. I'd known it since I was a teenager, I'd known it my whole life. Everyone, friends, family, counsellors, people on the street, everyone told me I "drank too much, did too many drugs". Everyone. And I gave them the finger. But here I was, alone, listening to everyones' words said with my voice.
I drank too much, I did too many drugs.
My passions, martial arts, writing and music, all suffered immeasurably. I hadn't recorded a new song in years, all my writings were self congratulatory bullshit about my criminality. I never wanted that to be my music. My lyrics were deep, thought provoking, cerebral, not angry for the sake of anger, bolstering a false pride in living a thug's life, but that is what they had become. I had deluded myself. My martial arts had suffered, I would have focus for a few months, sometimes just weeks, after a blackout where I would be contrite about my actions during, I would commit to a routine and when I was committed, I would find I progressed rapidly. I would reward that progression the only way I knew how to reward myself. And that reward would destroy whatever progress I had made.
I landed opportunity after opportunity and laid waste to them all.
So I decided to quit drinking. It was a decision I had made in the past, but had kept an asterisk next to it, *but I'll smoke pot when I need it. This always lead to more of the same. So instead of just quitting drinking this time, I quit all substances that could alter my consciousness.
Two years ago today marked the beginning of my life. A life where I now help charities to raise much needed funds, a life where I write intellectually on topics that are still dark but provide an insight for hope, a life where I am progressing in martial arts slowly but surely, a life where I face all my problems, all of my many, many problems, standing tall, head on and with a fucking smile on my face, a life where I am respected, a life where I am revered. A life where I reward myself with more of my life.
I am stronger than ever. I am proud of who I am.
Two years of sobriety is the best thing that ever happened to me.