This is my Story

I want to start my very first post by sharing one not so small secret with you.  I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that typing the very first character of this blog is giving me all of the feels!   You see, it would have been easier for me to sit on the other side of my screen typing away about how I am a music loving, unapologetic dancing wanderlust who enjoys exploring the world.  I would share with you how traveling has opened my mind and elevated my thoughts to dig deeper into the meaning of life. I could have started  this story by telling you how many great taco's I have eaten while exploring a cities both close and far from home. Maybe I would have started by sharing that I am finally financially secure enough to afford a well prepared meal by a brilliant chef in a nice restaurant.  I could have even shared with you how wonderful my friends and family are even though it wasn't always like that.  It has been those people who have pushed me to become more successful personally and professionally.  I wouldn’t have been lying or even stretching the truth about my life if I only wanted to stop at the surface of my story.  Although not a lie, I wouldn't have been describing in any way shape or form just who Jesse is. Jesse, me, well, I am much more like the character Shrek than I am the person described above. My story and life is much more like an onion as Donkey would have said to Shrek. I am a quirky, fun-loving, outgoing individual who is comprised of many layers. Like any story, the more layers you peel back the more you really get to know someone. Sadly, for me, none of the things I described above has always been a part of my story. The story of me, well it both starts and ends on 4/16/14. That is the day that I walked into my very first AA Room. I have a story that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and yet one that describes the simple pleasures in my life like a good cup of coffee. This would be a good Segway to cue Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happyness: This part of my life… this part right here, this is called “Happyness.”

        Hello, I am Jesse, an Alcoholic.  A 27-year-old strong willed, former pathological liar who was both broke and broken.  A lost and lonely individual who had pushed everyone and everything out of my life including my family.  At the age of 25 every single aspect of my life revolved around having a drink in my hand. I had convinced myself that in order to succeed professionally I needed a drink to network. If I wanted watch a ball game or even make it through a meal I needed not just 1 but several drinks. Personally, I didn’t know if I would ever find love, maintain a meaningful relationship or even find a girlfriend without constantly refilling my drink of choice for the evening. To say I was powerless over alcohol at this point of my life was an understatement. As AA would say: “A man doesn’t know what he knows until he knows what he doesn’t know.”

        What I know today is that while I will always be an alcoholic, alcohol no longer needs to control my life. I am proud that I can admit I have a problem because unlike the 25-year-old me, today, I know there is a cure for my disease. Today, and just for today I am happy to say I am living life to what I perceive as my own happiness! For me, I want to share my story on how I stay sober and how I got to this point in my life.  It is my hopes that someone out there that is on the same path that I once walked finds a bit of comfort and hope in my story.  The brutal truth of my story is that for years I hated who I was, where I was going and who I had become. The sad part of my story is that the 25-year-old me didn’t know how to ask for help or where to look for guidance. I knew I had a serious problembut I didn't want to admit or even know where to get help.  If you are that person reading this I want you to know there is hope. If you don’t take anything away from my story or want to continue to follow my own pursuit of happiness I hope that you understand that I am just a normal individual. I am no more important or have a hidden secret on how to get sober.  While my story may be different from all of my friends that I share an AA Room with we are no different or any more special than you!  I hope that you understand that while it doesn’t always seem like life is worth pushing forward I am just one of many examples that you can live a more fulfilling and happier life no matter how far down the path you think you are. I start and end my day with one common goal. M goal, it is simple.  I just don't want to have a have a drink for today.  If I can remember to do that it is only then I can work on all of the other funky quirks that makes up Jesse. From the way I walk to the way I hold my fork I am uniquely me.

 My mannerism most would say resemble a bad version of Matthew McConaughey. I am not ashamed that I’m not a very good salsa dancer or the fact that I still struggle at holding back my tears. For me, these are all reminders to myself that I still have so much room to grow.  It is a reminder that I have many more things to explore in my life. I am not perfect nor will I ever be but each and every day I have a new opportunity to be a better version of me. If I only shared with you all of the great things that have already come into my life since my last drink it wouldn’t be fair to you, me or the person struggling today. My story, my blog, and the purpose of this is to remind myself that if I continue to do the right things in my life then I can continue to live a crazy, wild, fulfilling lifestyle that I am choosing to live.

Everyone’s road to recovery is different but I have found that pushing myself to travel, enjoy new music, try different types of coffee, and explore new foods while opening up to new people in thoughtful and meaningful conversations it helps me cope with my addiction.  My life could probably be summed up best by the conversation Will Smith had with his Son in (The Pursuit of Happyness) “Hey. Don’t ever let somebody tell you… You can’t do something. Not even me. All right? You got a dream… You got to protect it. People can’t do something’ themselves, they wanna tell you that you can’t do it. If you want something’, go get it. Period.” Admitting that I was an Alcoholic at the age of 25 was a humbling, terrifying and shameful moment in my life. Looking back I probably rightfully had a lot of doubters that didn’t think I could overcome my old habits. A lot of people probably thought it was just a phase and that I would be back to drinking my life away in no time.  Fast forward two years later I am proud to know that there isn’t anything that I can’t do if I want it bad enough! My Motto: No one can do you like you can!

        While I still fall on my face trying new things, fail daily personally and professional I no longer hide behind the bottle with my failures. I am proud to say that for today and today only I can honestly say that nothing can hold me back. Today, acknowledging and facing my addiction head on I have already overcome the most challenge thing I will face for each and every day.  My story started almost 20 years ago with a very small idea, like inception. You see for almost 20 years this idea, this virus, a disease grew inside of me shaping and carving out a long and lonely path that I walked down for many years.  My story, well, like AA I hope that you Just Keep Coming Back. I want you to learn about me and what I see, do, eat and explore to cope with my addiction.