Any journey through recovery will have a few twist and turns, a couple of bumps in the road, but then again what fun is a flat, smooth, paved road anyways? I want to explore, meet exciting and engaging people, order imaginative new food, taste delicious mocktails around the world, not sit at home and live a dull, flat, paved road life.
Before my last drink my life probably could have been summarized as never a dull moment, but not because I was off doing epic things with my life but because no one ever knew what Jesse was going to do next. I would routinely escape into my own darkness, drink away my insecurities, order drink after drink until I found it difficult to string together a properly formed sentence.
My life was pretty epic on the surface, bars every night, but my reality was extremely dull inside. I couldn't remember what I did, ate, whom I had a great conversation with, I was living a life of race car that had no gas, it was meaningless.
Today, more than three years in recovery, I have challenged myself to never take my foot off the gas pedal. I want adventure into the great unknown. Spark up conversations with strangers. Share a cup of coffee with the person across the table. Hold the door, not for the first person but the group right behind them. What once would have bothered me to know that I was about to be the last person in line, I now use as an opportunity to chat with six new friends while ordering my food.
For anyone that has ever struggled with an addiction issue, insecurities, their story, I can only speak for myself, but I didn't start living my life until I started owning my life. Not always easy, but a race car with fuel is way more fun than one parked. OWN IT.
Getting uncomfortable isn't easy. Taking that first step towards the unknown is scary. Engaging in that first conversation is terrifying, but giving up my last drink was impossible. Then I did it again the next day and the next, and today I have given up my last drink nearly 1,500 times.
When I chose to set a personal goal to travel to 50 states in 50 weeks, I was honestly terrified. I didn't know how I could financially afford it. Where I would sleep, eat, I sold everything all because I believed in one thing. I knew that if I added just one more day to my sobriety, then I had already overcome the most challenging objective that I would face that entire day.
In my mind, as long as I owned my story, stayed sober, prayed to my higher power, well, everything else would work itself out, and it has. Often bumpy, sometimes hot, sometimes cold in the van, I've had to skip a few meals, and fallen flat on my face a few days, but I've stayed sober. More than all, I've explored, met new people, tried new food, marked off bucket-list item one after another, and for me, this journey is just getting started.
With each new state I travel, each new person I meet in recovery, I continue to grow as a person. With each new day that I stay sober, it gives me the opportunity to have one more day to help another friend take first steps towards recovery.
If you would like to support my journey or to help provide aid to our communities' most at-risk and vulnerable citizens please check out my page at www.sobervoyager.com and follow at: @sobervoyager and @adrforall