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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

Name: Mark Wilson

Age: 64

Sober Since: 11 / 02 / 1981

Sober For: 37 Years & 355 Days

What it was like?

from 17 to 27 I didn't draw a clean or sober breath. I was in excruciating psychological fear and pain that I did not understand, that was with me from early childhood, that only alcohol and drugs seemed to numb. I felt I was serving a 'life sentence', and had to go on living no matter how terrifying was my life, even while getting a degree, married, having a job, maintaining appearances - I lived the quintessential double life. I felt 100 yrs old, tired and sick, and I saw only a frightening, corrupt and cruel world that mirrored my tormented mind. I literally had no idea what had a hold of me let alone how to free myself.

What happened?

Intervention which I made only a half-hearted attempt to deflect, followed by treatment, outpatient, aftercare and who knows how many thousands of meetings over almost 38 yrs, and how much love and support from how many thousands of fellow travelers. But especially the three wise men appearing in my life as if out of thin air, at different times, bringing to me love and support and mentoring and sponsoring in exactly the form I needed at exactly the right time. God only knows where I might have ended up absent these three and so many more to a slightly lesser degree. I have never broken the ties to my anonymous fellowship which as been the surprise and gift of my life.

What it is like now?

Happy, joyous and free. For at least the last 12-15 yrs of this journey I have known a New Freedom, no longer afraid of life or people or myself, with endless clarity, energy and appreciation for life and the gifts it brings. I don't give fear and pain even 5 minutes of my day in which to sink their claws in me - they once owned me. For me the torment and suffering continued for at least 20 or more years of my early sobriety as I faced, felt, dealt-with and healed huge gaping holes in my heart and all sorts of false premises rooted in my mind. But I faced them as fearlessly as I could inspired by my brothers and sisters facing their lives. Now I am living the dream that is promised if we are willing and persistent. I don't count my belly button years as my age, rather I count my sober years which is when life started for me....I am almost 38 and just coming in to my life and truly relish each moment.

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