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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    2,001

    Default 9 years abstinent (clean)

    Last month, on June 22nd, I achieved 9 years continuous abstinence from one of my many DOC's - crack cocaine.

    While is may sound strange to some, I was one of the fortunate people whose drug use took them to the extremes. I ended up homeless for 8 years as one of those people you see in most major cities pushing a shopping cart and living in an alley. I collected bottles & cans to finance my alcohol/drug use and would occasionally panhandle.

    In 2011, I contacted one of my few resources and asked for help to get off the street and into housing. That was April and I got a room in a SRO Hotel (single room occupancy) in Vancouver's "infamous" Downtown Eastside. I've lived there ever since to maintain my stability and connections to my friends and local resources. Then in June 2011, I smoked crack for the last time. 3 1/2 later, I quit alcohol as well - I had found SMART.

    One of my challenges over the years has been feeling and remembering the intensity of what happens to me when I use or drink. Most of us know the power of our denial when it tells us we weren't that bad or others did worse. Consequently, I CHOOSE to remain housed where I am, even though I could move to other parts of the city, it's sort of the epicenter of the drug scene in Vancouver.

    Anytime my mind goes to that place where I hear things like "maybe this time will be different" (right), you're NOT like them (YES, I am), nobody will know (I will & I'm NOT nobody), all I have to do is look out my window and see or hear exactly what i can turn into again if I choose to use again.

    To further consolidate my sobriety, I became a volunteer in my community at a local clinic and their Needle Exchange Program and a Facilitator for SMART recovery.

    In the last 9 years, I've maintained stable housing, regained my health mostly, reconnected with my sister after 20 years, found financial stability and connection.

    James
    I can't always make it better but I don't have to make it any worse.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,549

    Default

    Hi jwg54

    I woke up this morning and felt lonely and depressed and then...I ready your post. You have totally uplifted my spirits. Thank you for sharing your amazing story and huge congrats to you.

    Best to you.
    q7
    "The central human drama is not wanting the experience we are having"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    2,001

    Default

    Thanks Questor, You're story is also very inspiring.

    James
    I can't always make it better but I don't have to make it any worse.

  4. #4
    Gordon1's Avatar
    Gordon1 is offline SMART Online Facilitator
    Former SMART Face to Face Facilitator
    Former SMART Online Meeting Liaison
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    5,457

    Default

    Thankyou for all you have brought to SMART and the world James
    What got me sober was trying to get sober. Often when I lapsed, picked up, drank, I FELT thoroughly beaten. I thought at that time "there is no hope for me" Yet, when I had recovered from that thought just a little, I thought "I'll have another go!" It was a few little sparks, rather than a flame, that got me here!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    3,340

    Default

    James, as I have said before, I am so very glad you are a part of SROL. You are a source of compassion, empathy, and inspiration. You are a beautiful person and your choice to rejoin the world has made it a far better place.

    Have a great day or at least a crappy sober one
    “Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in her”


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    2,001

    Default

    Thanks LT, I feel the same about you.
    I can't always make it better but I don't have to make it any worse.

  7. #7

    Default

    Wow, thank you for sharing!

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi jwg54 ! That's really impressive, thanks for sharing !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Earth, 21st century
    Posts
    716

    Default

    You've done a tremendous amount of work, both to save yourself and to help others. Thank you for all the helpful posts you've written about the tools. I'm glad you found SMART!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    116

    Default

    Thanks for sharing. That has made me smile this morning.

  11. #11

    Default

    This made my day! So inspirational. You're impressive. Thank you for sharing.

  12. #12

    Default

    Well done, these things can be done, it just takes a lot of determination.

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