3 years ago today I checked into rehab. I haven't touched drugs or alcohol since, and I don't miss them.

It's easily the best decision I ever made.
I'd be lying if I said I don't regret not getting help sooner or better yet, never starting at all. I wasted so much time and money, and did some pretty awful things.
But I do my best to not live in the "what if", and to stay in gratitude. Plenty of people die or fuck up way worse, often irreparably so, or never stop the cycle at all.
The brief time of hardship I experienced marked me indelibly. Not knowing if or when I'd eat next is a feeling I'll be able to recall like it was yesterday for as long as I live. It makes me grateful for every ounce of luxury I have now, every day.
None of this was guaranteed. I may have stopped getting high but it could easily have been a much longer and more arduous climb back to some level of normalcy.

I could easily have died from the overdose that ended up being the catalyst for my paradigm shift.
I should by all rights have lost my job before I went to rehab. I was on leave for months but not taking the steps I should have to get care. They kept me on, and ended up paying for inpatient treatment in full.
I've been promoted 3 times since I went back to work, paid down about $20K in debt, and got myself a pretty decent apartment. I've made amends with some of the people I wronged. Every day, even the ones I was having a hard time, has been a gift I never thought I'd have.
Looking back into that hellscape of a past is almost like looking at someone else's life. I know it was mine, but the thought process I had, complete with faux victimhood and reams of entitlement is so repulsive to me.
So when I have those moments of regret, thinking how I could have saved myself sooner, I remember what a stubborn fuck I was & laugh. There's no way. Basically, I lucked out with the near-death experience. It's been my talisman ever since — a beautiful gift wrapped in ugly paper.
Here's to many more years of sobriety. Toast for me if that's your thing, and I'll raise my glass of fizzy water too.

To gratitude.

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