Self Denial

Mickel Melendez
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

For most of the time of my drug and alcohol use, I was always in denial, never proclaiming that I was addicted to the lifestyle and the poisonous skills I learned to deal with pain.
No one in my family was into doing drugs but they did drink a lot. In high school I would be a student-athlete Monday through Friday evening, and then it was "turn up" time. Heavy drinking and smoking pot consumed most of my weekends.
After I graduated, I found myself alone most of the time with no friends. I didn't have the same support and it was time for me to grow and fly but I had not been practicing that. Previously, I spent most of my time consuming alcohol and smoking weed.
I began to feel depressed and I was being ushered into early adulthood, being a student athlete and work overwhelmed me to the point of depression.
Seems light but for me it was like anyone else in an unusual situation where I didn't have the light to navigate through these problems and that's the meat of the matter.
I did not have the proper guidance to work through what I thought were complex problems. All my life, I've been taught to drink the pain away, smoke the pain away, and I was deceived. I was in darkness and in darkness did I become comfortable. I continue to exit through situations all by altering my mind and things became more difficult in life. I still didn't know how to deal with life properly, or did I? Because I already been through bills stacking up and the scrutiny but I kept denying and denying that alcohol was the issue.
When I got locked up, I decided to stop denying it and accept that I had an actual problem. And through my higher power and AA I was able to hear some of the most influential speeches, stories and jewels. The one that I felt the most was "introduce the fake you to the real you".
And when I started to understand that me under the influence wasn't the real me. I showed that to the real me and I started to feel better. I started to look better. I started to eat better. I started loving myself. I loved who I was over the old me. Even though there would be times where I'm tempted to go back and be like the old me because it's comfortable I always remind myself that before I die, I want to leave behind a legacy of a man who went through hell and back and made it to to stand strong and help others.
The most rewarding thing I took from this is the gold is refined in the furnace of adversity.