In active addiction, my slogan was “Being alone in heaven is harder than being with a girl in hell.” In early childhood, I could not imagine a world without girls. I used to be ridiculed for playing with girls instead of boys. Who cared, as far as I was concerned; I enjoyed playing innocently with girls.
But gradually, that innocent childhood joy turned into a deep and miserable swamp. Tragic, tragic, tragic. As I grew older, lust would rob that childhood innocence and bring me misery instead; inner joy turned to a rotten shell, attractive on the outside, but inside was foul and full of torment.
I sought comfort rushing from one person’s embrace to another’s but my body, heart, and soul ached with pain and emptiness. Worst of all was the spiritual torment, my soul full of pain and rebellion.
But in my descent toward the abyss, I happened across a little nook one day which very quickly became a refuge. I found friends there who were wounded the same as me, but they were happy and dancing and there was a deep light shining in their eyes. It was so strange to see people who had lived in the shadowy grip of lust happy now and dancing free. It turned out to be the sobriety anniversary party of one of the fellows and, for the first time ever, I laughed and danced, free from the effects of lust.
I was amazed at the joy of it; that freedom from the shadows was possible, that joy was possible. The spring inside me which had dried for such a long time, began flowing again. In my early recovery days, I had little enthusiasm, no spirit; they were just words. But then, miracle of miracles—I was living the joy that night. I was laughing without restraint, without showing off, without anxiety; laughing from the depths of my heart. And there was a new light in my eyes too, the light of hope.
Did you ever enjoy drinking a glass of water? Having a nap in the afternoon? A breeze in the morning or the serenity of a sunlit evening? If you had asked me questions such as these years ago, I would have thought you had lost your mind. But if, today, you ponder simple wonders like these, then I say that you have arrived at wisdom. And, who knows, maybe an element of the happiness that comes from the program is that difference between the knowledge of yesterday and the wisdom of today.
For me, the key to happiness is living in the moment. Discovering this truth was a gift from God. Many think that happiness comes from achievement, or from success after the long haul. But today for me, all of my life’s experiences—the good, the bad and the ugly—are grounds for happiness: I do not regret the past nor do I fear the future. I was brought low, to a point where I had been willing to learn, and the program has taught me. I have learned to live with my strengths and my weaknesses; happy to be myself, happy with what I have. I do strive for improvement in all areas of my life and I pray for it, but I don’t sit around waiting for it.
The early wounds are still there, bodily and spiritually, and will always. But I heard somewhere that every scar on an athlete’s body is an adornment. This is true for us too. Every wound on our body speaks of hope for the newcomer; it says that he or she is not alone.
Amin A.,Isfahan, Iran