Six Years And Counting!

RecoveryYesterday marked six years that I have been clean & sober, and while I don’t really make a big deal out of it myself, I know the significance is the fact that other people in recovery can benefit by realizing that change IS possible – one day at a time.

When I was incarcerated from 1998 to 2004 in various correctional facilities in upstate New York, I started going to many Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Gamblers Anonymous meetings because I was so disappointed with myself and upset over getting arrested for robbery, which I knew was a direct result of my past addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling.

However, I had reservations about whether or not I was actually going to remain clean once I came home a free man, and, sure enough, about 18 months after that day finally arrived, I did suffer a relapse.

Fortunately, though, I woke up on the morning of Wednesday, October 31, 2007 (the fact that it was Halloween was a mere coincidence), and decided right then and there that I had enough of my destructive lifestyle, and finally wanted to change!

I am proud to say that I have not only refrained from using since then, but also amended other aspects of my life for the better as well.

My temper is under control, I think things through first, rather than acting out impulsively, I don’t litter, I always have a smile on my face, and perhaps, sweetest of all, I continue to spread the message of recovery to those who are still sick and suffering.

It may have taken a very long time, but I now realize that I am not responsible for my disease, but am responsible for my recovery.

Obviously, I can’t turn back the hands of time and undo the pain and aggravation I caused myself, my family, and so many others, so the next best thing is to try and be the most honorable person possible every single day going forward!

In closing, one final point I want to stress to all of you reading this right now is that, regardless of how you are feeling inside, NEVER keep things bottled up.

Either talk to someone in person, reach out on the phone, or at the very least, write down your feelings on paper.

And continue to be the role model you have become for so many people – even if you are not conscious of this fact yet yourself!

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About gman18

I came into the world on October 18, 1961. John F. Kennedy was President of the United States. The film West Side Story was released, and would go on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Major League Baseball was celebrating Roger Maris of the New York Yankees, who hit a then-record 61 home runs that season. I was an excellent student, although a bit of a class clown too. I spent a majority of my time playing sports, but fell in love with newspapers, which was how I was initially introduced into writing and storytelling. While attending Kingsborough Community College from 1979-1981, I served as editor-in-chief of the school's paper, and then joined the staff at Long Island University's Seawanhaka for my junior and senior years. At L.I.U. where I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism in 1983, I was also a selected member of Sigma Delta Chi, as well as Who's Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges. My last year in college included an unpaid internship at WCBS-TV, Channel 2 in New York City, where I learned so much about the television business. Upon graduation, I landed a job at the network, starting as a news clerk for The CBS Morning News with Diane Sawyer, and also weekend shifts for The NFL Today with Brent Musburger. After quickly rising in the ranks to producer, my life suddenly went on a downward spiral due to addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling, which ultimately led to nearly six years behind bars for robbery. My time incarcerated gave birth to my first published book, Jew in Jail, which tells my true story of how I finally decided to deal with my addictions and turn my life around, all the while under the toughest conditions imaginable of being a minority in the prison system, forced to fend for myself. Writing Jew in Jail - as I was doing my time - allowed me to become very introspective, and realize that I could help others in similar situations of being an addict and/or living with low self-esteem. Today, I still reside in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York, where I am working on my next book project, continuing to promote Jew in Jail, and always helping other addicts through my motivational and inspirational speeches, and one-on-one consultations.
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4 Responses to Six Years And Counting!

  1. Thank you for sharing. . . you give me hope. And a huge congratulations on 6 years! That! Is! Awesome!!!

    • gman18 says:

      You are so very welcome, Karen, and thanks for your inspiring feedback.

      As addicts, we can accomplish anything we put our minds to, including staying clean & sober one day at a time.

      Thanks again, and I wish you nothing but continued success on your journey!

      Gary

  2. Reblogged this on TheBrokenVessel Speaks! and commented:
    Good friend of mine who has recently celebrated an important milestone!

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