A point often comes when sharing my story that I’m overcome with the sense that I seem to be glamorizing the behaviors I’m recounting. Or, worse, that I’m telling my tale a bit too wistfully. While I hold few, if any, regrets, I neither celebrate nor condemn nor long for nor disavow these periods of my life. I embrace them as a part of me. But, make no mistake, my alcoholism and drug use led me down some very shady paths doing very stupid things. I’m not the type to wish I could do anything over again but, given the chance to be an observer of an alternate sober history, I think I might.
Throughout my fifth year of sobriety I had been overcome with a malaise I couldn’t shake and couldn’t quite define. The calm, comforting feeling of contentment that had followed the initial highs and lows of early recovery had gone. I had the sensation that I had beaten this thing—the more immediate benefits had become commonplace—I was beginning to take my sobriety for granted. I was possessed by the idea that I deserved more for my efforts and success. I’m certain I had asked (myself): “What do I get next? What now?”