Breakdown Lane | A Personal Journey of Recovery | Part 16 - Tread Marks

The fall equinox began like most others had in the past: cool mornings, frost on the car windows, white plumes of breath dissipating almost as soon as they passed my lips; and warm days, cobalt blue, cloudless skies; and the fall leaves, russet reds, golden yellows, and pumpkin oranges adorned the avenues of the old city.
          Fall is my favorite time of year in New England. With the exception of a warm Indian summer day, the day-time temperatures remain in the mid sixties, the humid heat of July and August a distant memory.

Breakdown Lane | A Personal Journey of Recovery | Part 15 - Walking the Back Roads

One of the best parts of getting sober can also feel like one the worst parts of getting sober. As we each move forward; admitting we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable, coming to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, making a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him, and eventually have to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, it can be both liberating and debilitating at the same time.

Breakdown Lane | A Personal Journey of Recovery | Part 14 - Driving the Straight and Narrow

Over the course of the next few sessions, just as detox time at the recovery treatment center was ending, a couple additional members of the group ‘picked-up’ again, and just like before they were welcomed back with open arms – no ramifications. I didn’t understand what was going on here, but I did realize that if I did falter I would be welcomed back as well. Was that an option for me? Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if I did that?

Breakdown Lane | A Personal Journey of Recovery | Part 12 - An Unfamiliar Road

One of the biggest struggles I had, other than the obvious abstaining from alcohol and drugs while in the rehab treatment center, was coming to terms that I was more like them. I fought the addict in me. It was like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. I just didn’t know which one was which because my inability to see clearly had been clouded for so many years.

Breakdown Lane | A Personal Journey of Recovery | Part 11 - Where to Go From Here

When I first got sober, there was a question I asked myself: ‘Where do I go from here?’ I think I might have learned it before I ‘graduated’ from the recovery treatment center oh so many years ago. Of course this is not to say that over the years the question doesn’t pop up from time to time. It doesn’t always end with that question though; nothing ever seems to with me. I ask introspective questions; sometimes they are deep, sometimes not so deep.

Breakdown Lane | A Personal Journey of Recovery | Part 10 - A New Route

One of the best gifts I gave myself during the early days of my sobriety was the ability to let go and listen to suggestions others made. I knew I didn’t need to do exactly what they did to achieve sobriety, that I had the ability to pick and choose what would work best for me, and that’s what I think has helped me find this new road I call ‘life.’ Sure, there are pot holes, forks up ahead with no signs telling me what to expect, and even the occasional dead-end, but when difficulties happen I’m able to handle them better.

Breakdown Lane | A Personal Journey of Recovery | Part 9 - Checkered Flags and White Flags

As I walked along the sidewalk on that hot, late August morning, my head hung low, sneakers shuffling against the cracked concrete, and my knapsack slung over my shoulder with my partner’s gun in its outer pocket, I came to realization that there was something drastically wrong with this picture.
          Normal people do not live like this.

Breakdown Lane | A Personal Journey of Recovery | Part 8 - Short Stop in the Pit Stop

Just before I’d headed into the warm month of June that year, I’d sat back and really assessed my life. Where I was, where I’d been, and where I thought I was heading. I’d always tried to do this once a year, but getting honest with my inner self had always proven to be a rather elusive prospect. I was prone to skid over issues like slip sliding across ice in the dead of winter. I never broke the surface.

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