Through The Eyes of Chad

My journey living with HIV, Addiction, Loss and Hope

Gratitude & The Start of my Addiction

“Life is not about you, Your life is about all of the people around you. Your life is about all the people you can touch. All the people you can impact. All the people you can influence. All the people you can love. All the people that love you. That is how you source your life from the people around you. From what you can do for those around you. That is what your life is about. Walk around like that and watch you how your life changes. When you care more about other people than you care about yourself.” 

This is a quote by David Flood.  One of the gifts I was given when I came into recovery, well even before I finally became willing to do something different, was the gift of gratitude.   All of my life I never understood what gratitude was. I was unhappy at my core.  I thought that being successful and making a lot of money would bring me happiness.  So I worked a lot, I worked two jobs, I went to school all at the same time.  All of those things never brought me happiness. In fact I was burning my candle at both ends. When you add it life skills I never gained such as the ability to deal with my emotions, the ability to be vulnerable and not be destructive, and acceptance of myself, it was the recipe for disaster. 

Sometime around December of 2008, I made a very conscious decision while drinking to reach out to someone I knew used crystal meth.  My sole intention was to not feel what ever I was feeling at that moment.  That goal was accomplished. Little did I know that I had unlocked the door to a  journey that would burn down everything I had built, everything I thought about myself, and would be the catalyst to immense pain and destruction as well as closing the door on friendships/relationships that had been in my life for more than a decade.  

The year of 2009 brought total destruction, but it also brought things I never knew I could experience(for better or worse). I for the first time in my life felt courage to say what I thought, what I felt at least in the beginning.  I was never a skinny boy and in the gay world at that time especially in California that brought a lot of judgement and so when I started to lose weight, I started getting this attention from people who never even saw me before.  Now I know that this surface attention  probably was for the worse, even though to me at the time it felt for the better.  It reinforced why I should continue doing what I was doing.  

(To see David Flood speaking about Acting with Dignity and Respect check out this link )

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