I’m 40 now. Most people say I look more like 30. I’m grateful to God for that. I guess all the meditation I do and the spiritual place I’m in now sheds some years off.
It’s almost been three years since I first started experiencing a shift to living in a higher vibration. April 27th, 2010. I’ll never forget that day. I had been living a lie in my life at that point and doing nothing to help myself heal or grow spiritually. I was heading down a dead-end road. My life was consumed with addictions and obsessions towards people and things I couldn’t have. Most of my time back then was focused on trying to be with this one person named Ralph. I met him in AA and my path turned much darker the more I spent time with him. I had tried to come in between him and his wife and came close to relapsing on alcohol after many years of sobriety.
Before that day, and before Ralph, there were many men that I obsessed about and was codependent with. My life pattern always seemed to be focused on having the best possessions, whether they were people or not. I existed to have what I didn’t. Sometimes it seems unreal that this pattern started at 17 years old with a guy named Anthony who I became best friends with in high school. As my life went from high school to college, it became one name after another that I was co-dependently obsessed with. And amongst all those names and obsessions, I also became addicted to alcohol and drugs. I don’t remember most of the people I chased after during the five college years I had at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Most of the time during those years at RIT if I wasn’t studying, I was partying or chasing after someone.
The only memorable name at RIT was a guy named James. I give credit to that friendship to helping me see that I was struggling with my sexuality. The first spiritual shift in my life began on June 11, 1995 when I turned 23 years old and quit drinking, drugs, and cigarettes. To this day, I have not relapsed on any of them and I give credit to God for that.
Sadly though, on my path of self-discovery with my sexuality and my life, once I found sobriety, I couldn’t face the inner pain that arose. I realized that the drinking and drugs, and the obsessions and codependency I had were all covering up the inner truth to me. I felt alone. I had always felt alone.
Both of my parents were addicted to alcohol and drugs. My father was bi-polar and my mother battled depression as well. I don’t remember much in the way of unconditional love and happiness as a kid nor does my sister. I also hadn’t had any real friends for most of my younger years until I had meant Anthony. I was always the tall dorky kid that was picked on. I was always on the outside wishing I was in the in-crowd. And to make matters worse, I was molested by a 45 year old man who was the diving coach for the swim team that I was on when I was only 12 years old. All of this had surfaced emotionally for me when I had put the drinking, drugs, and cigarettes down.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to when I was 23 and had just found my sobriety and talk to that broken kid that refused to work through all that inner turmoil and loneliness. I always hear the phrase that everything happens for a reason. I guess I wasn’t ready to face that pain as it took me 13 years to even look in the mirror and realize I was that same broken kid inside that had never been truly loved as a kid.
What happened instead between the June 11, 1995 and April 10th, 2010 was a blur. A blur of names that I thought I loved. A blur of jobs that I thought I wanted to be at. A blur of money that flew out of my pocket. A blur of possessions that never made me feel any better. A blur of pain that I had learned how to numb what was already numb.
Kirk, Lester, another Kirk, Hugh, Edgar, Larry, Charlie, and then Ralph were the progression of just some of the names of men that I thought would make me happy and instead brought me more pain and sadness. I became spiritually numb on top of everything and thought I’d like to follow in my parents footsteps. My Dad had commited suicide in October of 1996 and my mother had fallen down the stairs drunk in February of 2005 with a result of the breaking of her neck and an instant death.
I travelled the world, bought a bed and breakfast and subsequently lost it as well. And I kept running into the same pain everywhere I thought a geographical move would cure. It was in the Boston, MA area that I finally had to face me.
That day came just before April 27, 2010 when I was so addicted to having to be with Ralph that nothing else in my life mattered. None of my friends. Not my sister or her kids. And not even God. One day I prayed. I prayed for God to help me go through whatever it is that I need to go through to heal from a life of hell.
God has been answering my prayers for the last two and a half years. It was on that night in April of 2010 that I developed serious sciatica and numbness in my left leg slowing me down from the perpetual spinning out of control that I did daily. The athlete I once was slowly deteriorated as my left leg stopped being able to function like it once did. I tried to continue living in the craziness of my life as I always had with that pain, except the pain got worse the more I lived in it. I developed prostatitis and then severe Fibromyaliga.
Even after dropping Ralph out of my life, the pain wasn’t great enough for me and I went through one more major downfall. A very long 16 month life with this Harley rider named Mike. He was a drug addict and my life soon fell so low that I questioned whether it was worthing living in all the pain I was in. That questioning landed me in the mental hospital and that was the lowest place I had ever been in my life. It also became a catalyst to a rise out of that darkness.
It didn’t happen immediately, as it took me until April of 2012 to remove him from my life as well as all other toxic people, things, possessions and more out of my life including a guy named John who had been doing to me what I had done to so many others for years. He was addicted to me as I had been addicted to so many other men. None of it was spiritual. None of it was healthy. None of my life was health when I hit that day in April of 2012 and I started parting ways with everyone and everything that separated me from serving God.
It’s been 9 months now and I’m still in a lot of physical pain. That hasn’t changed….YET. It will though. I know it will because I have God at the center of my life. Spiritually I feel so much better on most days and mentally and emotionally I have been having more positive upbeat days then downtrodden depressed filled days. It’s just a matter of time before the physical pain starts lifting.
God has brought into my life a partner who I love dearly. We have been together for almost a year now. I hope to spend my life with him but I know that I only have today and I do my best to love with all my heart and not my mind now like I used to.
I know I could go on with so much more about where I’m at but I have an AA meeting to get to as it is a big part of my life right now. I try to share my experience, strength, and hope to others daily now and I live for only one reason, to serve God and spread His messages. Ironically, I ran from God (and AA) when I got sober having only had short moments throughout my 17 years of sobriety where I felt close to anything I would deem a higher power. I never pursued AA when I got sober other than for an occasional social moment or a potential hook-up. When I finally decided to give 100 percent to AA and the 12 steps, I found that God has always been there for me waiting for me to give up on the spiraling out of control that I did for most of my life.
I’m not religious. I’m not all about AA either. I’m about serving God and whatever path God sends me on. Right now it’s AA and I need to run as my meeting starts at 6:30pm.
Peace, Love, Light, and Joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson