15at50

Tom Leu | 17 December 2017 | Recovery | 0 Comments    | 226 Total Post Views

15 years and one day ago today, I was out of control, and at an all time low. I’d been drinking regularly and heavily with increasing frequency and quantity for nearly twenty years since I was a teenager. And like a lot of people, it was all fun at first. But eventually, my excessive drinking and partying (which I later learned, helped me to be comfortable in my own skin by avoiding the very reasons for my discomfort in the first place), had turned into fun but with consequences, and eventually into pretty much all consequences at the end. It was a very dark time. Something had to change…

Initially, I thought those “things” that needed to change were everyone and everything outside of me. Those people, places, and things that caused me pain, pissed me off, and wrote me off … everyone and everything except me… but as I learned from others who felt what I felt, understood what it was like, and most importantly, were there to help, it was actually me that needed to change all along. No other person, place, or thing was ultimately responsible for my feelings, choices, circumstances, and behavior. It was me and only me… that was the first great revelation that recovery provided. It was then I was finally able to humbly rebuild my life from the perspective of a victor, not a victim. For me, I learned that I no longer needed to choose alcohol and drugs to escape… to numb the pain, to mask feelings, to run from fear, and to basically hide in plain sight…

Today, I get to enjoy a more fulfilling, but still challenging life working at all the various endeavors that I love. Whether it’s photography, music, radio, or writing and speaking about communications and recovery subject-matter that I’m so passionate about… none of it would be possible without my sobriety. Yeah, life’s still hard, real hard sometimes. I still make mistakes. Many. I still get down, but I’m never out. And honestly, at times I reminisce about how the booze used to work and temporarily transport me out of reality and into fantasy land. You know, to “take the edge off” a little. But that’s just it… that edge that I used to choose to avoid back then, is the very thing that helps me grow, helps me get better, helps me learn how to handle what life throws at me today. Embracing the edge is what gives me the edge so-to-speak. This is the second great revelation that recovery provided.

Today, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the recovery community that has helped me past and present. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my message, not to be self-serving, but to hopefully be an encouragement and inspiration to someone else, even if just one, who may need to hear that it is possible to overcome and rise above any vice, device, addiction, or distraction that ails you. There is another way, a better way, and that new way can begin today…

So today, I’m 15 (years sober) at 50 (years old in January). Hard to believe. 2018 will see the intentional launching of my recovery-focused work in earnest (#15at50) on this site, as well as over at my TOM LEU business page on Facebook here www.facebook.com/tomleu2  (I’d greatly appreciate liking and sharing that page if applicable for you or someone you know). I’m stoked, but I’m also scared because I’ve been procrastinating this for years. Why? Fear, plain and simple. Fear of being rejected. Fear of ridicule. Fear of being misunderstood. Fear of failure. But as I’ve also learned in recovery, facing fear is a necessary and positive thing. Doing it scared is a good thing. That which we avoid is oftentimes the very thing we must face and embrace. And so be it… today is a good day. 

Thank you,

Tom

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