Tuesday, February 9, 2016

   This post was originally a Facebook post, from Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2016... I put it here cos I felt it was important, and also because some people just "don't like Facebook" ("...boom...") Anyway, here's an epiphany I had:

I had an epiphany earlier. Let me explain:
My late father & I bonded over NFL football when I could still count my age on one hand. I've always had an athletic mindset. I subscribed to Sports Illustrated off & on from 1977 to 2007. I played 4 years of football in high school, where I rode the bench. I know plenty of insignificant football trivia. I am a diehard New England Patriots fan, & I'll probably ALWAYS love the game. Football has been, and probably always WILL be a source of joy & happiness to me.
That said, I watched only the first five minutes of Super Bowl 50. The rest of the night, I was @ two 12-step group meetings. One was at my sponsor's house, the other was a few miles away. My epiphany was,  that my recovery has GOT to be the MOST important thing in my life, or else it won't work. I've GOT to put it before EVERYTHING else... my relationships, my family, my transition, my friends... even my beloved NFL football. If I don't make it THE MOST important thing in my life, I could find myself back out there using again. I don't want that to happen.
In football, if Ur team doesn't make it to the playoffs, or to the Super Bowl; there's always next year. There's always another chance for Ur heroes to give it all they have... to prove that they're the best.
But recovery is different. I have this one chance to give my recovery... my LIFE... EVERYTHING I have. I have to do the right things, surround myself with the right people, & make the right choices to give myself the best shot @ a better life. One of the choices I made tonight was to put my recovery before football. I feel I chose correctly.
Today, I didn't drink or use drugs. I'm VERY happy about that!!! But I didn't do it alone... I had the help of my sponsor & a few very good friends, who helped keep my head in the (recovery) game. I'm grateful to all of them for helping to teach me the true value of both my recovery, & indeed; my LIFE.
When I played football in high school, I wanted to quit. My dad pleaded with the coach (who was my cousin) not to let me quit. My dad was probably the best friend I'll ever have. I love him dearly & miss him terribly. I'm taking his first name (Matteo) as my last, to honor him; when I legally change my name. (the hearing is Friday, March 4th @ 1:30 pm) He never let me give up on myself, & I believe he would support me & my transition. He would urge me to keep fighting... to give 110% effort, in my life, my transition, & my recovery. He told me that if a person did something before me, that I should be able to learn to do it at least as well, if not better... & all I had to do was try.
I'm not going to give up on myself.
I see people with lots of clean time, who have found a new & better way to live... CLEAN. I want that, & I'll GET it !!! It'll take a LOT of work,  & a LOT of meetings... but One Day At A Time, I WILL GET to where (& WHO) I wanna be.
I'm WORTH the years of effort it's going to take to get there! (Just that thought might be the biggest epiphany of all; what with the huge self esteem issues I've battled all my life...)
It's late in the game of my life, & I've made a few bonehead plays that cost me a few points. I'm down, but I'm not out. I just hafta get my head in the game, give it 110% effort, and play to win the game. The comeback starts NOW.