A week ago today marks one of my greatest accomplishments: successfully graduating The Next Door’s residential treatment program. In order to commemorate such a milestone, I decided to make a post. Consider this more of a check-in than a full-blown update. It’s so nice to be back in [blogging] business.
It didn’t take much of 2021 for me to realize that I was in a life threatening place. Unresolved trauma and pain was manifesting itself in drinking, drugging, and dangerously reckless behavior. I had the right idea wanting to go to detox, but I decided to pregame with substances shortly before my ride arrived. Not surprisingly, it resulted in an overdose upon reaching the facility, which left me in ICU for two days.
Upon discharge, I was sent to a facility in Memphis called Crestwyn. I had an amazing doctor there, Dr. T, who is one of my Guardian Angels from that night. Had they not given me Narcan, I’d be dead. I was able to detox as comfortably as possible there and after more than a week, I moved on to my next leg of the journey.
I cannot even begin to express, much less articulate, how much The Next Door [TND] meant to me personally. Getting out of Memphis was crucial— and Nashville was somewhat familiar and not too far– so it was the perfect location.
If I had to summarize in a sentence precisely what TND did for me…..I’d say it was the intense work I did with PTSD/trauma, identifying triggers and actively planning how to avoid them and/or what I would do if one presented itself, recovery strategies, finding the right medication, and overall healing. It was exactly the right treatment center at exactly the right time. Furthermore, I am eternally grateful that it was an all-female facility. Being around so many strong, relatable women [who were truly in the trenches with me] was empowering. Much love to my roommate, Kayla Michelle, and the entire Neighborhood 3A crew.
Once upon a time, I thought positive affirmations were ridiculously cheesy. Even now, I refuse to look in the mirror and say them out loud. First of all, it’s more effective in my head. Second, it reminds me too much of Dirk Diggler giving his penis a pep talk in Boogie Nights. However, I have come around to my own sort of morning motivation. Corny and ‘kumbaya’ and this may sound, it actually set a nice tone for my day.
I am worthy.
I am a resilient warrior.
I can do anything I put my mind to.
I am a muhhfckn disco ball.
I am in such a good place right now. Seriously. I haven’t felt this peaceful, light, and optimistic in years. My three mental health medications work wonders for all my diagnoses, I am actively working the 12 Steps [starting the fourth] with my badass sponsor, I am involved with Recovery Dharma, I crave connections with females, I stay abstinent from drugs & alcohol, I’m back on Vivitrol, and am Finally. Doing. Me.
For the first time in my life, I truly feel FREE. I’m not living in the past, anxiously anticipating the future, or being stuck in the present. I’m consciously mindful of where I am in this exact moment. Nothing more, nothing less. I can honestly say I do not give a flying you-know-what about others think about me. What others think about me is none of my business.
Do I want to be liked? Of course. I try to treat everyone with kindness, empathy, and respect. It’s human nature to want others to like you. But if you don’t, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. Truth be told, it’s not even about ‘liking.’ I’m done seeking validation, trying to conform, and avoiding whatever does not serve me well. While I appreciate thoughts and advice from friends with good intentions, I will no longer apologize for doing what works for me. Take that however you will. Yet if you see that as a bad thing, you’re taking it the wrong way.
I’m not about to spew toxic positivity at y’all, but I am trying to embrace a ‘glass half-full’ approach. I’m keeping my side of the street clean and taking care of myself. I know exactly what happens when I stop taking my Vivtrol and medications, when I overextend myself, or when I don’t process my feelings….and the ability to avoid that rests solely in my power. I am beyond grateful for Vivitrol once again giving me my life back and removing the ‘white knuckling’ and ‘battle mentality’ associated with my early sobriety when I do not have the shot.
One more thing…. quite a few of you have asked me when to expect my next YouTube video. I’m flattered that people actually missed the videos on my channel. Because I feel like my audience deserves me at my best, I have to be in the proper mindset to film. Therefore, I plan to film this weekend and edit accordingly. Yes, I’ll actually be using that Filmora I paid for a few months ago! 😂 Expect a new video sometime next week.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,