Is THIS Freedom?

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“Friends and family, picnics, boats with proud owners, celebrating through the rivers. Fireworks crackle and boom loud enough to make the heart skip a beat. Swimming. Laughing. Loud, upbeat Music. Food. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! Then, over time, the energy shifts. The whole attitude changes. Drunk driving, fights, accidents, arrests, and overdoses. That transition is occurring as I write these words. FREEDOM. A powerful word. Yes. A true honor and privilege not available to all individuals on this green earth. So, I humbly ask each of you to search your hearts. Think about what “freedom” means to you…..

….Got it? Write it down. Later, after you finish reading this, reflect on that.

So, I was on a boat on the Monogohala River today and everyone around me was enjoying what they felt was their definition of freedom. Me, however, I did a lot of watching and reflecting. I did not watch to judge. I watched to analyze. I came to conclusions galore but only some of you will understand. Those of you that DO will empathize, deeply. It’s all a matter of interpretation and perspective.  Initially, when I boarded the boat with friends, although I’m 3.5 years in recovery, I entertained a detailed fantasy and recollected the feeling of that alcohol traveling down my throat and into my stomach. The slight burn. The repetition. The adrenaline. Glorious. So magically spectacular. The substance being snorted up my nose, circulating so beautifully through my veins. Again, starting off burning, ending in electrifying results. Then, my little glorified journey down memory lane was ABRUPTLY intercepted. “More isn’t enough.” I said to myself. At that moment, I laid in the water on my back, looking up at the sky and trees, feeling the warm sunshine on me, and I smiled. A real, true smile. A moment of clarity. A moment of life better than any I ever experienced high and drunk. The movie reel is always the same with holidays. The book isn’t even worth reading anymore.

I am home now. Currently, I lay on my couch and pet my dog. The booming of fireworks and laughter is replaced with sirens and drunk yelling. Freedom? God bless America. Many say that but few realize that America is in real jeopardy. Brave soldiers fought wars so that people can get obliterated, arrested, and injured? THAT is the reality. THAT is the direction of the human race, not just here in the USA, but in every nation. I am honored to live in this country. I am blessed to be a predecessor of such courageous warriors who fought and some even lost their lives for me to have the ability to freely speak as I am now. What I’m saying is, why is it so accepting to celebrate in such a selfish way? Why is it so socially acceptable to get violently intoxicated? Why is it promoted? Why is it expected, embraced, applauded? What have YOU done for your country? For humanity? Of course, a piece of me wishes freedom had the same meaning it did to me 3.5 years ago. So carefree. So self-serving. But, thankfully, that has all luckily changed.

I am a man. I am a citizen of the incredible country called the United States of America. I am an addict. I am an alcoholic. I am a sinner. I am a son, brother, nephew, cousin, uncle, Godfather, and grandson. I am a speed and strength trainer. I am a weight lifter. I am a musician. I am many things but one thing I am mostly is… grateful. Life has changed and I passionately announce, it’s changed for the better. Anyone out there reluctant to change and battling aggressively with the seemingly undying urge to maintain the common, popular “freedom”, let me tell you this. I have never been more free than I am at THIS moment. You are never truly free until you know yourself, admit your faults, and work on them. You may be feeling cursed and chained but although it may look as though others partaking in popular behavior are having fun and that they are free, in actuality, they are chained souls struggling to achieve normalcy and peace. I drove home from my 4th of July festivities and watched the sun set. The colors never looked so amazingly vibrant in all my life as they did tonight.

In conclusion, remember, freedom may not be what you think it is. It’s definitely not what you thought it was. It may not be popular. It may not be supported. It may not be welcomed but if you continue on a spiritual and personal journey, you will see, every joy, beauty, and that feeling of acceptance and peace are naturally given without drugs and alcohol distorting your reality, Yes, my friends…. that is free.”#BzBe13