Addiction & Recovery: 3 Years of Hard Work...One Day at a Time

I am forever grateful for every single person and every single moment that occurs while my heart beats at a life sustaining pace.  

December 22nd, 2011 is a day I will never forget!  A day that forever changed my life.  A day which also reminds me that the larger forces at hand have made their decision to keep me here and in my earthly form.  

Many of you who are reading this may relate to the very raw nature and psychological impact of being placed into a helpless and hopeless situation.  For some, including myself, it is...or was an active addiction to drugs- specifically heroin.  In these moments we are so far gone and would never, not for a split-second try to imagine where our lives will be in 3 years.  In these moments we literally count the seconds.  When we are not high, the pain and darkness is all that clouds our every thought.  Our struggle has taken our good, natural human capabilities and turned them into selfish, negative behaviors.  We spend everyday seeking and searching for the one thing that we lean on for happiness.  When we find these things, we then ungratefully put one foot in front of the other and pretend that we are wearing fresh white kicks and that nothing can stop us.  Oh how we danced in front of our loved ones and tried to pretend like everything was good!!  Then the high wears off.. the liquor cabinet is empty..the lights go out, and it becomes cold.  The wind shakes the weathered windows and in thoughts of desperation we begin the battle.  Some can fight and make it to the next day.  Some find warmth with a single hard-fought and begged for bag.  Some lie, manipulate and steal to feed that which has taken over their lives.   Nothing good seems to happen, and so we blame everyone and everything.  Our negative behaviors and heavy use of substances also drains the life out of those who love us.  And even after we have hurt just about everyone around us, we still find a million things to blame for what we are doing and how we are living.  Our addiction has taken over lives...and we think we can never recover. 

Is this you?  Have you been here?  Are you headed here?  Do you know someone who is?  Do you love someone who is?  Are you hanging on by a thread? NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE, I want you to know about two things that I have completely embraced, and that also have the potential to change the rest of your life.   Not only will it change your life, it will also change the lives of everyone around you.  

Sobriety is a gift that is meant to be shared, I now have 3 years and could not think of a better way to celebrate except by sharing what has been the key factor for allowing me to have a beautiful recovery.

GRATITUDE & POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Gratitude is having and using the quality of being thankful and also having the readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness.  Having a positive attitude means being mindful of, and knowingly creating actions that are filled with good intent which may also create either a positive outcome, or seemingly no outcome at all.

You may be thinking, "this can't be it."  Hey, think what you want, just don't think to hard.  If you are looking for proof, look no further.  The proof is speaking to you right now.

If you are wondering how to make this work for you and how I made it work for me well...

OPEN YOUR MIND and ACCEPT CHANGE.  MAKE NO EXCUSES..NONE.  Point that finger at yourself and "GO TO WORK."  BE or BE WORKING ON being grateful and having a positive attitude during every single moment in your life.  When you do this you will start to see little things happening.  WHEN YOU DO see good things happening, little or big, be grateful for them.  POSITIVE EVERYTHING..DO NOT feed into negative energy and behaviors, even the smallest seemingly-minute negative things, and if you do..be mindful and forgive yourself.  In other words say to yourself, 'that was wrong, I won't do it again,' then LET IT GO!  MOVE FORWARD>>>>> ALWAYS.  NEGATIVE People..LOVE THEM..BUT LEAVE THEM.  They need to be left go so they can also find their way.  SURROUND yourself with people who love you and will support your positive changes.  Anyone who does not support your decisions to become a better human being, is someone who also needs to be left go.  If you are going to rehab... LEARN TO FOLLOW THE RULES.  Do what your counselors ask, and absolutely stay away from anyone who will in any way interrupt your intentions to change and become a better person.  THIS MEANS EVERY LITTLE THING!  If you are not supposed to take peanut butter from the lunch area, then do not take peanut butter from the lunch area.  No matter who you are, EVERY LITTLE THING you do is a reflection for the direction you are heading.  Today and every day you can grow and you can also create positive vibrations that will put a smile on that reflection.  I know, I feel it!!

Gratitude and having a positive attitude encompass what it means to be alive and to be a loving, caring, kind, respectful, selfless, and compassionate human being.  We should understand that in the realistic broad scope of things we are not entitled to very much, but we are entitled to be every single one of these.

RECOVERY IS WAITING, CHANGE IS WAITING.

-and it is the most beautiful eye opening experience that you can imagine.  Addicts and those who have found a new way of life have the ability to SHIFT PEOPLE INTO A BETTER WAY OF THINKING.  And not just people who are addicts, but every walking, talking, thinking human being that has yet to find a new way of life.  YES,  my "struggle was real" and like you see in the picture, I have found a way to put all the things that made it real... behind me.  I realize as a human and especially an American, how truly grateful and thankful I really need to be.  I turned my will over to the God of my understanding, and in return our God has shown me the light of change.  I embraced this light and have found in it a purpose that goes way beyond what I used to think life was about.  My purpose is to guide others in a positive direction, and to do so on a small and large scale.

For 3 years I have remained clean and sober from what was a long-time addiction to drugs.  During this time I have been working my butt off to improve not just myself, but also to create things, and inspire others with my story.  By living with untold amounts of gratitude and by keeping a positive attitude, the laws of attraction have brought me many, many amazing people and opportunities into my life.  When these opportunities arose and I realized their potential, I then worked very hard at bringing them to life.  I remain humble and know that every single person that has become part of my journey is a person I am thankful for.  Dance Kandy, Kut-Up Fitwear, CFXS, thefeatherhawk.com and every aspect of my life is geared toward creating moments, events and inspiration, so that other may also come to their own profound spiritual realizations.  And when they do, I will continue to share with them all that I have learned form my own experience.  

For the first time in my life I am at peace, but I will not rest....There is so much work to be done and the time is now.

To all those who are struggling, I LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!  Look inside your heart and let my words take you in a positive direction, together we will have and impact on everyone and everything around us.

-Travis "the Featherhawk" Snyder