Ryan Donnelly's Blog

Finding Yourself After Getting Clean of Opiates

A few moments in your life stand out. Moments that will never leave the memory. They either are life changing, traumatic, or sometimes they have no meaning at all and you can’t figure out why the hell you remember it. I want to share a moment that I will never forget. The moment I found myself.

About a week after I came home from the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center of Manhattan, I was up early around 4:30am. This was the norm during this time of my life. Didn’t sleep much and would awake with this burning desire. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do yet but I knew I should be up searching for it. At this time, I was living with my father in Whiting, NJ. Due to some criminal charges pending and awaiting to hear from the courts, my family felt it necessary to keep me out of the public and to get some time out of rehab to get acclimated. It was a very tranquil time of my life. Had the opportunity to soul search and figure things out. My future was up in the air and the people in my life were watching me like a hawk to see what my next move would be. At times it felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders due to the terrible things I did to those I loved. I worked really hard on letting go of my past and understanding that I wasn’t that person anymore. That my life now has to have meaning, not to just coast on a one man roller coaster. I had a choice, I could easliy go back and grab some pills and start all over or I could create a life I’d be proud of, I could fight the urge to fall back.

I started writing very early on in my recovery. Actually documented the whole ride. Didn’t have many people or friends to talk to so I would gravitate to my writing. One particular morning, sitting in my father’s home at his desk while he was asleep I grabbed my notebook. I put on some music and started writing. Clawing and reaching deep inside myself to figure out who the hell I really was. The drugs had wiped out my desire to progress, to reach, to live. And as I sat there writing something started to happen. The more I wrote about my experience and the more I shared my feelings, the more things started to make sense. I WAS DONE JUDGING MYSELF. I wrote the truth of what was going on in my head and heart. What I wanted out of life and my burning desire to do something. What was this “something?” I turned on my father’s computer and started to put my thoughts down. I decided, If I’m done judging myself, who gives a shit what anyone else thinks. So I started this blog. Writing and seeing it on screen made me realize that I had control of the next post. My chapter one had started. My new life had begun. The future hasn’t been written yet and what comes next is up to me. It gave me a reason to be accountable and to make a life. I found myself writing my days, my thoughts, my story. The beauty is, the story goes on because I am in control now. The story goes on till I leave this earth. So I believe that George Bernard Shaw got it right when he said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” So start creating your life today.

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