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My recovery's leitmotif -- in my personal life, my relationships and my career.

  click to read Staying Off Crystal booklet

When I left San Francisco for Seattle in early 2006, after four difficult and tumultuous years of the 24/7 party that is Gay San Francisco, I had reached a point where I lost touch with my ideals in life, love and work. Though I had been lucid enough to have asked for help and to have planned my escape from San Francisco, I hadn't a clue how I'd find my way, once more, and regain my sense of self and of respectability.

Seventeen Months Later.
Six-months of short term disability benefits. Daily workouts, bike rides, dog walks and sleeping in. Sobriety. Support groups. New friends. Old friends. Meditation. Therapy -- desperately needed. Two 550+ mile California AIDSrides. A new bike. Mom's cooking. More therapy. Recovery groups. SOS. Seattle Counseling. Greeting the skeletons in my closet. Five weeks of job hunting. One interview. IRS, who? Welcome to the Seattle City Council. R'approachement.

Q My journey through recovery and rediscovery, though only 17 months old, has borne more fruit than I had ever hoped for in so short a time period -- particularly since I've been working for less than 12 months. In these short 17 months, which seem a blip in time, I've re-established my career in public service, been appointed a member of a public policy planning body, resolved six years of tax issues, learned to better love and trust myself and learned to cry and to feel my emotions.

Perhaps most importantly, I've engaged in humble, though confident, self-examination to address my own shortcomings, to apologize to those I had hurt or neglected during my partying years, to make good on my financial and other commitments and to finally confront the incest/guilt/shame issues I had been avoiding for over twenty years.

No part of this journey -- neither the peaks nor the valleys -- has been easy. None have come naturally. None have come without internal conflict, trepidation or fear.

Without the baggage of crystal use, however, the journey has been more balanced and steady. I've seen things more clearly and I've approached these challenges (and my demons) with a greater sense of courage and urgency. As I progress through my journey, its path has shifted and progressed more organically, more naturally than my "Type A" personality would have liked. The path, though, feels more real, more normal and becomes more enjoyable by the day.

17 months after changing every aspect of my life -- friends, drug habits, drinking habits, city, state, job -- I'm in disbelief at the magnitude of my life's improvement. Sex is better. Sleep is better. Relationships are better. My closest, oldest friends have welcomed me back into the fold of love, care and friendship. I love my job, again. I'm healthier (and thinner!) than I've ever been. No more pasty, sunken cheeks. Melanin. Self-care.

Narcissism, once more. :)

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