The Power Blog: Recovery is Possible by Tom Messplay

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Power of Humans blogger Tom Messplay shares the final piece in his multi-part series chronicling his battle with alcoholism. In this hopeful and inspiring post, Tom provides an update on his recovery. We thank him for bringing to light a disease that affects millions.  For the first posts in his series click HERE.

The Power Blog: Recovery Is Possible by Tom Messplay

I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to say in my final post.  I finally decided to go with what this blog is really all about. I have been writing for a website called “The Power of Humans” and writing in the “Power Blog.” I thought my final post should reflect the theme of both of these. This blog is not about me. It’s about everyone who suffers from addiction to any substance. It’s about conquering something that you don’t even think is possible, something that is diminishing much of the joy of life. It’s about inner strength, determination, personal achievement, taking control of one’s life. It is about the power of humans. I am just an ordinary person. I don’t have super powers or anything that others don’t have. I am just one of millions of others who found themselves in trouble and needed to change their life for the betterment of themselves and those around them. I have met so many others who have done the same thing I have. It’s about reaching deep down and garnering the strength that everyone has but may not realize its existence. We all have it but sometimes we underestimate what we are all capable of achieving. We just don’t know how to bring our inner strength to the surface. Sometimes as with me, circumstances just demanded that I had to achieve more than I thought I was capable of achieving. I told myself for years that I couldn’t quit drinking. But on the morning of May 15, 2015 I just didn’t feel I had any choice but to finally acknowledge that alcohol had gotten the best of me. I knew the fight of my life was ahead of me.

Being an alcoholic effected the way I thought, acted, and felt. Alcohol destroyed my motivation, and drained my energy. How could I be motivated when I spent a third of my day waiting to feel better from the alcohol in my system from the previous night, another third of the day thinking about when I could have my next drink, and the last third actually drinking. I found myself doing only the things that I needed to do and not doing what I really wanted to do. The loss of motivation ultimately eroded my self-esteem, and confidence. It wasn’t even a conscious thought and I didn’t even know it was happening. It’s just the way I became. It was my new normal.

I can recognize the effects of being sober on my mind and body. I’m energetic, motivated, feel good about myself, more focused, and feel like I have a new purpose in my life. During the recovery program I was told continually the only thing that mattered was me and my recovery, nothing else mattered. I did realize that it is not all about me anymore. It’s about how this experience will make me a better person and how can I impact others so they don’t take the same path I took. I will look for opportunities where I can make a difference.

The main things that I had and continue to have going for me is an excellent treatment program and an amazing support system lead by my wife Kitty and accompanied by my kids and their spouses, and my 14 grandkids who provided much needed enjoyment. Additional support from other family members, friends, co-workers, and my employer were all extremely valuable. I could not have gotten to where I am without them. All are critical in my getting and remaining sober. With all their continued support I will continue to move forward in my recovery. I am truly blessed. I know so many have much less than I do and I pray for them every day. Their journey must be so much harder.

 

Symbols of my Recovery

Messplay symbolsThe items in this picture mean a great deal to me. They help me remember where I have been and what I have accomplished. The top one is my recovery date and I wear it around my neck every day. The one on the right is the stone I received when I completed the first part of my recovery program. The one on the left is a Sobriety Blessing Ring that was a Christmas present from a daughter. The bottom one is the Serenity Prayer that helps me greatly. There are others that I have picked up along the way. I could not include them all but they all represent various aspects of my recovery.

Many times in recovery I felt all alone. I should have known that I was not alone.
Messplay FootprintsI hope this blog has been informative and even helpful. I hope my writing this helps someone else take the steps to recovery, or provides a glimpse into what a loved one may be experiencing. I am not a professional counsellor or an expert on alcoholism or addiction. What I am is an expert on my alcoholism and my recovery. I certainly can help encourage someone to seek treatment and to be there to listen and provide advice from my perspective. If I can be helpful to anyone please reach out to me at tmessplay@yahoo.com. I will gladly do anything I can to help.

Many people have told me that I inspire them by sharing my experience which I hope I have done and will continue. You never know who you will meet in your life and how they will impact your life. There are two people who inspire me to be a better person.  I have to acknowledge Neil Willenson and Joe Dean who have inspired me by their service to others. I can only hope to come close to what they have done and continue to do.