Full disclosure: I have no idea what I’m doing – I started a business once…it failed. I’ve been fired from so many jobs it’s not even funny. In fact, the only job I haven’t been fired from is the one I have now – in sobriety…go figure. So what is it that makes me so sure that I should start a non-profit from scratch? How am I so confident? What makes me think CLTIVATE will be any different? Why am I so motivated? (Currently sitting at Amelie’s Bakery in NODA – it’s 11:28pm on a Wednesday, already worked 8 hours at my full-time job, sat in traffic, let my dog out, hit the gym, made dinner, and now I’m here…why do I care so much about CLTIVATE?)
During the months, weeks, and days before I got sober, I was a wreck. The question I kept asking myself was, “what’s the point?” Every time I tried to do “right”, it backfired. Partying and getting blackout was the only solution – I was free to be myself, and if you didn’t like it, that was your problem. I’ll tell you more about those dark times over the next few weeks, but in case you need a point of reference, here’s what my last day looked like before sobriety.
I’ve said this before…I truly believe that my past is my greatest asset. All those “mistakes”, getting fired from jobs, wrecked relationships, wrecked vehicles (I totaled my Volvo in Mississippi on New Year’s Day in 2011…learned how to hitch hike that day), and selfish actions…they all add up to who I am today. If I could go back in time, I’d do it all again! The peace and certainty that I have today are a direct result of my past.
In two years of sobriety, I haven’t had a single easy day. Some days I want to drink, some days I’m depressed, some days I don’t want to get out of bed, some days I’m full of resentment, and other days I’m just sad. But I know what to do now: Pray. Every day that I’ve hit my knees, I’ve stayed sober, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence at all. There’s a special kind of clarity that I get from God, and that’s how I know what’s right. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t – and that’s how I live my life today. This whole CLTIVATE thing…the idea, the mission, the support it’s receiving, and how quickly it’s growing…it’s right. For 28 years, I’ve been searching for my purpose, and now I know: my purpose in life is to use my past to help others. My purpose is CLTIVATE.
There’s a peace that transcends all understanding, and it follows me everywhere I go in sobriety. There’s a certainty in my being, and a passion for being alive. I see colors now, I think kind thoughts, I pray for others, and I am driven. I have a purpose. In summary: It’s a God thing.
If you’re reading this and you’re in recovery, please keep it up. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. Eventually, it’s going to click, and everything will make sense. I certainly don’t have everything figured out, but God does, and that’s good enough for me. If you’re reading this and you have something else going on in your life (we all do), I hope you can find peace in the fact that you’re going through this time for a reason. If you’d like to share your story, we’d love it! We’re going to start featuring people’s stories every single day on Instagram. If you feel led to get involved with CLTIVATE, let me know, and please buy a shirt or donate to help out! There’s a very big (and slightly terrifying) announcement coming up in November, and I’m going to need all the help I can get!