With recovery, comes everyone’s own stories. Throughout our lives, we may be given a reason that leads us to that road of recovery.
Last year, I faced one of the most tragic events that can happen to a 19 year old. My Mom passed away after her eight year battle with cancer. My Mom never let one day pass without fighting back the strongest she could. Nothing stopped her from doing what she wanted. Right after a six hour chemotherapy session, she sat at my four hour High School Graduation.
Nothing defines strength like my Mom did. The reason I am sharing my recovery story through her, is because her legacy is what inspires me to continue on my own journey. Her death didn’t define the strength I would gain through my recovery, but her whole life did.
A little more about me … I am a student at St. John’s University, and like any other college student, I have my good and bad days. For anyone recovering from a loss or even an addiction, the process doesn’t happen overnight. As a student in Professor Bacigalupo’s English class, a very important thing I learned through the community literature and recovery narratives, is that like recovery, life is one day at a time. There are no promises or guarantees. I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. There was a reason I signed up for her class; I gained more knowledge of what recovery truly means. Recovery doesn’t go for one specific hardship we may face, but for anything that steers us to a place we feel helpless at.
Growing up in Staten Island for the past 20 years, I was never numb to seeing people battling addiction. Some battling addiction with alcohol, some with pills, others with heavy duty narcotics.
It wasn’t until last year that I realized addiction didn’t have a type. I quickly began to understand that addiction was extremely non- discriminatory. Addiction doesn’t care if you are black or white, a man or a woman, catholic or jewish, rich or poor (or anything in-between).
The fear of addiction actually changed my life in a way I would have never imagined. Living in Staten Island, being gay isn’t something that you come across everyday. Even though it is 2018 and there are big movements in the LGBTQ+ community, Staten Island seems to be a little behind the times. This reason, along with a few other personal reasons, kept me from being myself for a good portion of my life.
However, 2017 was the biggest year of my life so far. My crazy, depressed, irrational and preconceived thoughts and insecurities finally pushed me to the point where I knew I had to come out, because if I hid my true self any longer, I may have filled that void in my life with a few easy fixes that made all those feelings and thoughts go away.
Looking back on the past year of my life, I can honestly say that the fear and reality of addiction actually benefited my life inadvertently. Addiction is something that is not new to me. I have been exposed to addiction my whole life, and after taking Professor B’s class, my understanding of addiction was broadened.
Aside from all of that, I am a pretty average young adult. I go to school, work and love to hangout with my friends. As it stands right now, I don’t know where my life is going, but then again, does anyone really know where there life if going?