Rock n Roll Rebel

So I'm reading Steven Tyler's rock n roll memoir, Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?  For those not in the know, Steven Tyler is the front man to Aerosmith.  Yeah, go figure, a lil rocker like me interested in a rock n roll memoir.  I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book, I devour books, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart.  It is creatively written, bounces over the place, and yes, talks about the drugs and alcohol exploits of the band and himself.  Not that I'm crazy about that, but I can relate on many levels.  Whether you have millions of dollars or not, addiction knows no boundaries.

But as I reflected today on this, I began to realize a few things, and yes, I just had to blog about them!  I've had several people say I need to write a book.  I did want to at one time, talking all about my addiction, the exploits, the struggles, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Kinda like this book.  But I've changed.  Amazingly, the change came in a conversation with my Dad and Mom as I was talking about the testimony I give at Celebrate Recovery.  It'd been changing, I began to talk more about recovery, how I got there, what I do to stay sober, instead of the past.  They said something to the effect of it's time to put the past in the past and move forward (paraphrasing obviously, but you get the gist).  When I speak to the newcomers now each week and give a mini testimony I say something like this:

My name is Paul and I'm a grateful believer in Jesus Christ and I'm in recovery from drugs and alcohol and codependency.  I grew up in a small town called Fort Worth Texas with two wonderful parents and a brother.  They stressed two things, God and education, both which I had a passion for.  In high school I learned about something called alcohol.  When I graduated college I moved to Illinois and my addiction took off.  The party scene, drinking my problems away for the night, then drugs.  My soberiety date is May 26th, 2002. And then I go into recovery.

Short and sweet.  And I say what I want to say.  The rest of my speech is about recovery, my journey, meeting Ginger, etc.  I like it this way.  Because here is a fact I learned.  All addicts have stories.  Most are similar and when they get to newcomers 101 they don't want to hear my stories, they want to hear how to get into recovery.  I mean how do you stay clean and sober.  I know how to be an addict, they say, how do you be a recovering addict?  Sure, I have some that come up and say, have you experienced this or that, and I'll happily tell them.  But the past isn't as important as how I am moving forward.  And honestly, writing a book that rehashed all the bad memories (like this book) would only, in my opinion, open up old wounds.  Yes, I've explored some of my past in this blog, to help others.  But my focus has changed.  Doesn't mean I won't explore my past, but it won't be center stage.  Recovery and God should be.  Just my two cents.  When I do talk about it, I want to make sure I have a purpose, a hope, a light, or should I say pointing to THE LIGHT.

And I got to thinking about my Dad today.  My Dad is my hero.  I picture him younger in jeans and a white T-shirt, leather jacket, a rocking rebel.  Wonder why I love to wear jeans and a white T-shirt!  I can imagine how my Mom swooned over him as Ginger swoons over me.  Let me get this out, Ginger hates my rock music.  She's a pop girl, my lil dancer.  But when I pick up that air guitar and dance in the living room, she can't stop laughing and those eyes...Can I see my Dad doing that?  I'll let that be my Mom and Dad's lil secret!  Now, my Dad is my spiritual mentor, and, well, my Dad.  God speaks to him, through him, and he loves me unconditionally.  And he is still my hero.  It was due, in part, to God's wisdom through him that I am where I am today.  And my marriage is modeled after my Mom and Dad's.  I always wanted a girl who looked at me the way Mom looks at Dad.  Well, I got it.  But I digress, there is a bit of a mystery with my Dad.  I know enough, and through his past he's given me wisdom.  I like it that way.  And I try to lead as he leads.     Dad has taught me about God and in that aspects of recovery I never knew.  I have others who've taught me recovery, from drugs and alcohol, and even codependency (enter Mom and Dad on this one too!). 

Quite a bit of reflection I might add.  When I get into the "blog zone", the words just seem to flow.  As my soberiety birthday comes closer later this month, I've had a chance to reflect just how far God has brought me.  May 26th, 2002, my life began.  It has been a journey of ups and downs, of struggles and victories.  I've had moments of tears and unbelievable joy.  I've seen God do things that could only have come from Him and only He could get the glory.  More importantly Mom's prayer was answered.  She asked God to do whatever it took just please don't take me.  I still get choked up writing this.  But you know what, He answered.  He did what it took and now Mom calls me her walking miracle, and because of the mercy of God, I am....

A very grateful Baa....

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