Wasted Life? I had been asked once how many years I had wasted on my addiction and alcoholism. If I had to answer according to the worldly view- the years of addiction, and all that lead up to it, along with the actual active alcoholism and addiction, itself, I'd say that the answer would be about 35 years, which is what I was lead to answer that particular day. The active physical addiction was about 15 years. I was 35 years old when I got sober. The initial answer in my mind was, "it wasn't wasted", but I went along with it due to the situation. I would answer differently today, too. To clarify a bit- I never felt comfortable in my own skin, nor did I know who I was. If you look up the actual definition of sober, it is to physically abstain from a substance or behavior. Then there is sober-minded, which means "to treat truth seriously and to have a healthy doubt as to our own understanding of truth." It also means "to dwell in God’s presence, turning our minds away from the things that make us stumble, and to turn toward Him, instead." I didn't have this prior to and during my physical addiction kicked in, if that makes sense . Now, back to this wasted life thing. I really do not believe my life was wasted. I do believe I was totally lost, and I acted out with so many things- isolation, eating or lack of, worry, people-pleasing, and the list goes on, but the last straw was the use of substances to alter my mind and body. I do believe I needed every last drink and every last drug to get to where I am today. I don't know why, and I don't know why some of us make it, and some don't. But I'll be darned if I let THAT go to waste. I do know that I did do some good through my life (maybe with the wrong motives, but I did), including the animal rescue, to name one. And that brought Bella to me. It brought Gerri and Lilah to me, which all aided in me getting sober, and lead me to my faith. I was also given a story- or many- as we all are. Anything we have or go through can be used in this world. Even me stepping out into my vocation this past year... I was able to speak to a class on that, to my surprise. But the alcohol and drug use, yes, was a waste in so many ways, but it also is a part of what I did, which made me who I am. But it's not what I do, today. It all may have prolonged me getting to where I am today, but I got here, regardless. I can think of a few stories that are similar. 40 year journey that could have taken 11 days- sound familiar? It got me here, today. And "here", to me, is that I now have Christ in my heart, and I am stepping into another part of my purpose in life. And I do believe part of my purpose, along with just trying to do good, grow, and help others, is to share my story; my thoughts, and our lives... in hopes that it will help enhance someone elses', prevent something, or whatever else someone may get. Even if just one person benefits, then the job is getting done. Nothing is wasted. Everything is made beautiful in its time. This photo was taken at sunset at Popham Beach in Maine back in November. I really hope to get back there. It is such a beautiful place. Popham Beach, Phippsburg, Maine, 11.8.16 Please contact me for prints or for use of the photo. Feel free to share. Enjoy!