Addiction is all consuming. It takes everything, extinguishing the spark that makes an individual unique. Recovery offers the promise of renewal, the re-ignition of passion. Passion is the force that keeps us active, engaged, and motivated to live an authentic life. Passions not only ignite our spirit, but also provide a sense of purpose. Our unique interests, strengths, skills, and talents, all contribute to defining our driving force.
Recovery promises that the fears, doubts, and indecisions of active addiction can be set aside, being replaced with courage, humility, and well-being. Recovery promises, “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness”. Whether it be trying new activities or rediscovering lost passions, recovery can heal what addiction tried to destroy.
We at Emmaus House of Raleigh are honored to play a part in the journeys of our men. As they end one chapter and begin another, it is a joy to witness their passions reignite.
I have wanted to be an artist my whole life. When I was small, I was determined to be an artist or an archaeologist. I focused on art, both in high-school and college. While in high school, I gravitated towards punk music and beatnik writers, i.e. Burroughs and Kerouac. The subculture music and literature was infused with a drug element and I began to equate getting high with being creative, and that is exactly what I did…got high.
I graduated college as an IV drug user. All in all, I shot dope for probably 12 years. I wouldn’t say I was high-functioning, but I wasn’t homeless. I had moderate successes, such as a solo painting show in NYC and being included in several group showcases. Despite the recognition, I did not consider myself truly successful nor was I living up to my full potential. I was basically existing, never thriving.
I put the dope down several years ago, replacing it with alcohol. I was doing fairly-well for a while, but undoubtedly drank more than most. I continued to go through the motions, getting up every day and going to work. Creativity for me had ceased, replaced with monotony. Booze had stifled all my passion for creativity.
About 2 years ago, I lost a close family member. Using the loss as an excuse, I once again found myself pouring booze down my throat 24/7. Everyone close to me was really worried, and for good cause. When it became evident that my death was probable, I finally accepted help.
My road to recovery included four detoxes and one treatment center, all in the span of a year. January 2019 found me living at the Fellowship Home. Although my head was still a mess, I committed to completing what I had started. Gradually, my mental and physical health started to improve, and I began to gain a new perspective.
After completing the program offered at the Fellowship Home, I was accepted into the Emmaus House. In my time with Emmaus House, my mind has continued to heal. I now feel as good as I did prior to my using, a welcome change from the hopelessness of addiction.
What has recovery given me? Recovery has offered me the ability to secure an art studio, in which I enthusiastically spend all my available time. And I am proud to report, I have been offered a solo showcase in what I consider the best gallery in North Carolina. I am constantly amazed at how much better I feel, both mentally and physically. I try not to focus on the amount of time wasted, instead to focus on the tremendous freedom recovery has offered. I am no longer merely existing. The AA Program and the safety of Emmaus House allow me to move forward, leaving the insanity of the past. I have rediscovered my passion for creativity and I am thriving.