"I felt lost, like I didn't have a purpose"
Not sure where to begin really, so I guess I'll just start... I started drinking about 12 years ago. I guess it started normally enough, but around 2 years in, it had spiraled into a beast of its own. It took over a lot of my life without my realizing it. I had become a sort of a ghost of my former self. I was becoming unrecognizable. Things that I used to enjoy, love, and appreciate, at some point came second to my addiction to alcohol. No matter how much damage it caused, I became stuck in its hold. I could slowly see myself destroying different areas of my life. It was like I was tossing sticks of dynamite on all aspects of my life. It didn't matter what I was damaging; my health, financials, personal relationships, my soul and spirit....I spent the better part of the last 10 years being consumed not just by the drinking, but what eventually became depression and anger...I felt lost, like I didn't have a purpose. What was I doing?...Well, I don't know if it was cosmic force, higher power, or just something that happened, but, because of my love of Deftones music, which started about 17 years ago and has been with me through some of the hardest parts of my life, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Buckle Up For Chi. This movement, this campaign, whatever you choose to call it, has been an immensely positive support in my life since it first began. Thinking a lot about Chi and the day he passed. I never really thought it would be as emotional as it was, for someone I never got to meet in person, but it was. Since his death in 2013, I still continued on the path of drinking, becoming worse yet. Eventually, by a miracle, I managed to get to the point where I was so sick physically, mentally, and spiritually, that I was tired of looking at the person I had become. I knew I had to change. Not just for my family, but for myself. No matter how many times my family had begged me to stop, I couldn't seem to do it. Then, just a few short months ago, in August 2016, something happened. I felt like I had hit bottom and I had to change. My spirit was so low and I knew if I kept on my path, that I would die. This is how Chi has directly impacted my life. Thinking about his humble spirit and nature. The way he treated and interacted with fans. His work in trying to help homeless teens...All these positive things he did, helped me to begin to have a different path of thought. I needed to do the next right thing. That first thing was to work on getting sober. So now, here I am, just shy of two months without a drink. I didn't think that would ever be a possibility. And it has been a struggle. Recognizing that I have an obsession that may always be there. I may always have to fight to stay sober. But I keep coming back to the thought of Chi and doing the next right thing. For me, that next right thing means to be a better person, to help others, when and where I can, to help spread positive activity to others, even if I may not want to. And even though I still struggle with anger, depression, and I am scared that I could lose to my obsession to drinking, still, I think about Chi...I look down every day at these bracelets I wear on each wrist. At first, they served the purpose to remind me to buckle up every day, but over the last two months, they have taken on a new meaning for me. Every time I look at them, they serve as a daily reminder to do that next right thing, even when I may not want to, even when I may be having a rough day, even when I may be struggling...Chi reminds me to help...Chi reminds me to be positive...Chi reminds me to spread love...For that, I am immensely grateful. Because of the way Chi has impacted my life, I can and will continue to do the next right thing and by doing that, I hope that in some small way, I can pay respect to the man that Chi was and the attitude he carried. Thank you to Chi and thank you to this group for being my daily reminder to carry on and keep fighting. I appreciate and am honored to have been introduced to this group and to be able to help spread the message and awareness...Thank you so much Chi....OneLove!