My Sobriety Date is May 5, 2018.
I decided to get sober because my life got progressively difficult due to drug and alcohol use. So, I left my home in Indianapolis to seek help with my sister in Long Island. Two days later, I began a 100-day journey of detox, rehab, and extended care at Mountainside. Mountainside was a godsend and transformative experience for my recovery, and holds a big place in my heart. Through my recovery, I was able to think clearer, became stronger, and felt more comfortable in my own skin than ever before.
After my treatment, I left Connecticut for Indianapolis and lived in a sober house for almost two years. The continuing fellowship, life lessons, and connections to AA were good for me. A few months ago, I moved out of the sober house and was ready for my own place in a beautiful historic neighborhood. This was my first time living solo since 1979, but I didn’t feel alone. I prefer my new neighborhood to the elitist suburbs I once lived in.
I did not just change my address; I began to question my prior life. I filed for a long-overdue divorce two years ago after 38 years of marriage. I realized the same fear and self-doubt that fueled my addictions also kept me in the marriage.
I also realized my career also did not match my values. I worked in architecture for 38 years and owned a design and build company. But, I feel more enthusiastic now creating public artwork. I began to explore art in a new way during my time at Mountainside. I made banana sculptures and used found nature fragments to express my new awakenings in recovery. Fast forward to today, and I finished my first big public art urban intervention project. The project places street signs on bus shelters around town and sends mindful messages related to my new experiences and understandings of recovery. My next project is creating a large-scale sculptural garden pavilion, and I couldn’t be more excited.
The Mountainside program runs deep in me still. It dwells in my art. I go to meetings regularly, sponsor others, and have many friends in the program. I’m walking along a much smoother path. I have a better relationship than ever with my kids and grandkids, and my sister says she got her brother back. She’s right! I live in the here and now, and I’m trying to make the world a better place by making a better me.