‘I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation …’
I used to have a horrible reputation in life.
In fact, there was a time when more people disliked me than liked me. And I’m confident now in saying that the great majority of them had good reasons for feeling that way.
Now, you may think that after five years of sobriety and working on being a better person, that would have completely changed.
Well, yes and no.
No one is obligated to take a second look and change their mind
In my opinion, the biggest struggle by far in becoming a better person, or trying to be, is that a lot of people won’t give you a second look.
I can tell you right now that there is virtually no one left that I see regularly from the tight-knit circle I had when I quit drinking.
There are the true friends who have stayed through the thick and thin, yes.
However, there are many that decided to peace out and never look back. Apologies are accepted, but don’t change circumstances. Forgiveness is given, but without hope of time to take action for amends.
People get to choose not to want to know the new you.
And the new you just has to accept that.
But many of your loved ones will
With any change in life, especially if it’s quite contrary to how you’ve been living, people will have doubts.
When it comes to an addiction matter, you’re asking the same people you’ve consistently burned to extend their hand to you again without fear.
That is a very, very hard ask ⏤ and it’s important to always remember the real weight of that request.
However, the longer you stay consistent, the longer you commit completely to being a better and different person, you are actively shrinking those doubts.
Because simple words now will never make up for actions you took in the past.
Only new and more positive actions can make up for past, selfish actions.
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I promise you it is worth it
After five years of sobriety, I’m finally at the point where those closest to me never question whether or not I’ll drink. They know I won’t.
And instead of coming to people looking for help, people have come to expect that I’ll be ready and willing to lend a hand if they come looking for it from me. Because that’s how I choose to live. That’s the person I like to be in people’s lives now.
Yes, there are still people out there who will only ever know me for who I was. And that’s perfectly okay. They don’t owe me another chance. They already gave me one.
But to many others now, I am someone new and different and in ways a positive force in the situations I find myself in.
I haven’t changed everyone’s mind about me, and I never thought I would.
But I put in the effort and changed the ones that were most important to me.
And that’s all the victory I need.
Maybe that’s all you need too.
There is Help
Vivent Health offers fentanyl test strips, so that users can determine the presence of fentanyl in other substances. For more information, call 262-657-6644.
Kenosha County Public Health also offers free training and supplies of Narcan, a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/KCNarcan or call 262-605-6741.
The Kenosha County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resource Center may be reached from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 262-764-8555.
The Kenosha County Crisis Hotline operated is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, at 262-657-7188. Kenosha Human Development Services operates the hotline.
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As a result, please consider signing up for a one-time or recurring monthly donation to sustain our efforts at https://theuptownobserver.com/sponsor/.
Inside the Mind of Daniel Thompson (podcast)
EP 14: Do what you can – Inside the Mind of Daniel Thompson
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