On Monday, I celebrated six years of recovery. The 12 step fellowship I attend defines “being clean” as abstinence from all mind or mood altering substances, so when I talk about being clean it means from street drugs, alcohol, abuse of OTC/prescription drugs, etc. Six years may sound like a short amount of time to someone who has never dealt with addiction, but when I decided that drugs were destroying my life I was in very different circumstances than currently. While this post can (and will) go hand in hand with a post about mental illness, I also felt the need to express that this is a particular part of my identity which I consider slightly different from other mental illness.
As is tradition around a milestone like this, I am going to share the bit of my story that I tell when speaking at detoxes and treatment centers.