The Quit Drinking app had registered every month as a cycle of 30 days, so while I had officially stopped drinking on March 1st, 2022, I would receive my 9-month sobriety badge on November 24th, Thanksgiving. The anticipation was like an electrifying current buzzing through my veins. I was on the cusp of a new beginning, a transformation that had been a long time coming. I had so much to be thankful for. My heart swelled with gratitude when I thought of my wife, Brenna. She had endured the worst of me and still managed to believe that I was destined for so much more. I marveled at her unyielding faith, her patience, and her love. In her eyes, I found a reflection of the man I wanted to be, and that fueled my determination to grow and change. My daughter, Alenna, was another beacon of hope in my life. Her existence had breathed new life into me, filling my once dark world with brilliant colors and newfound purpose. Her infectious laughter and innocent wonder reminded me daily that miracles were possible, that a fresh start was within reach. I was thankful for my family and my team, my brother Angel, Zo, Cheez, and everyone else who had been a huge part of my story. The more I put together the outline for my life’s story, the more I saw how important their involvement in my life had been. These were the people who believed in me when I was unable to believe in myself. They saw potential, ambition, and talent even when I was at my lowest point, consumed by addiction and despair. With sobriety now a part of my identity, I felt like it was my time to give back to each and every one of them. I wanted to become the person I was destined to be, so they too could live their dreams alongside me. It was time to leave behind the shadows of the past and embrace the light of the present and the promise of the future. I’ve been to hell and back, and lived to talk about it. I’ve stared death in the face and have seen the world through the eyes of my soul, yet here I am, happy, healthy, and extremely grateful for everything that has ever happened to me, both good and bad. Each struggle and victory had left its mark on me, chiseling away at the rough edges until I emerged as the person I am today; the person I’m supposed to be.

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