Today is Memorial Day and we are celebrating the day clean and sober. That may sound rather simple, but the meaning to me is still a big deal! I continue to stay grateful for getting another day without using any substances. We know where the path of addiction led us. We also know the ultimate destination if we keep using. Memorial Day is observed for soldiers in the military but also can be for those in recovery fighting a different kind of battle.
Memorial Day is an American holiday, honoring the men and women who died while serving the US Military, as well as those who are Veterans and current members of the US Military. However, I also pause to think of all those that have died in the battle of addiction. Every one is a soldier in their own way, fighting for something. Those dealing with addiction are faced with a lifelong battle of surrender. Hats off to us for not giving up on ourselves and each other, especially, those that relapsed and have the courage to come back, surrendering once again. We are stronger than we realize!
Getting clean was never in my plans, but as my life continued to become more unmanageable, I was left with no choice. I kept asking myself, “what do I have to do to arrest this addiction?” So, the war against myself began and I was terrified. How will I learn to continuously defeat my mind and self-will? My sponsor replied, “more will be revealed Skyler.”
A memory I hold close to my heart on this day is my friend Joey R. This August marks one year that Joey has been gone. Joey fought so hard, he had 20 months clean and the disease had him convinced that 1 bag would not harm him. Now, I will never again be able to hug Joey at home-group and never be able to see his big smile, from that 1 “harmless” bag. I can never say that without starting to cry and begin to miss him. Sadly, that was his journey. I kept asking myself, “Joey what happened, why did you not reach out?” However, this war is so much bigger than any of us. This is a battle we fight and unfortunately must lose some “soldiers,” along the way. Rest in paradise Joey, you will not be forgotten.
Let’s take some time today to remember all the soldiers lost. We can also reflect the courage we have to keep fighting our addiction and being brave enough to surrender. We at Genesis House are so proud of you and believe in you!