I got sober when I was 22 years old kicking and screaming. I had been using a lot of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and alcohol. Referring to people who went to 12-Step meetings, I remember telling a therapist in the depth of my addiction and despair that I would never allow myself to become one of those people. You see, like most folks in the world today, I had no idea what was actually going on in fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and the like. I also had no conception of what the 12 Steps actually were. All I knew was there was a group of people who had given up their drugs and their drink and I did not want to ever be that.
Unbeknownst to me, I was about to hit the jackpot because the 12 Steps set me free of my addiction and the path of yoga launched me into a life so rich that I could not have imagined it in my wildest dreams. What I had imagined for myself as a person without drugs and alcohol was so far from the reality of the situation. There is freedom and joy and raucous amounts of fun in sustainable, longterm recovery, but I could not imagine a life beyond the one I knew.
It took examples of victory for me to believe that it was possible to live without drugs. And not just to live, but to live amazingly well. These examples of victory came in the form of other people walking the same spiritual path. I heard their stories as they spoke of the transformation that had taken place within them. At first, I pondered whether I even wanted such a change to happen. Then, I wondered if it could happen for me. Now nearly 24 years later, I can stand as proof for another Human Being that victory is indeed possible.
Next week, I have the honor of teaching a three-day Yoga and Recovery workshop to 20 teenagers at Newport Academy in Litchfield, CT, a holistic healing center for teenagers with mental health issues.
The message of joy will be one of the first communications they receive.
If you are in recovery claim your victory today. It’s all we have. It’s all anyone has. And it’s more than enough.
PS – The Recovery 2.0 Online Conference starts Friday. It is Free, amazingly informative, joyful and and about as much of a celebration of victory as one might ever hope to find. If you have not already done so…Sign up today.