The Pain of a Dual Diagnosis
February 14, 2017

Revealing Passions Through Recovery

By Michael Leggiero

I remember as a child I was always drawn to the creative aspect of life, mainly visual and audio arts. Whether it be fashion, street art, music, or dance. But due to social stigmas and the fear of not being accepted by others, these passions got lost somewhere down the line. Growing up in a society that too often judges those who think or act differently than others made being true to myself and my passions difficult. I often wonder, now being clean, if I would have stayed true to who I am and put my energy into the things I love, would I have avoided the chaos and destruction that stemmed from my drinking and drugging? If only I didn't worry about how others perceived me, where I would be today?

" It wasn't until I was completely abstinent from drugs and alcohol that I could tap into my creative juices once again. "

We all grow up having passions, some of which we are afraid to show to others due to our own fears, doubts, and insecurities. We might feel like we are different due to these certain passions and the fact that we are addicts and alcoholics adds to that feeling of being different. Our passions often times just come natural to us. Imagine working for someone who chased their passions all the while having burning passions of your own, and not being able to fulfill them. It is my belief that this feeling creates a void inside of us that will continue to leave us feeling restless and discontented. Instead we fill this void with drugs and alcohol. Our innate, natural passions have been suppressed by our using. Underlying issues have caused many of us to feel inadequate which in turn can deter us from chasing our dreams. The disease of addictions will leave us feeling imprisoned, unable to conjure up the creative thinking we once had.

It wasn't until I was completely abstinent from drugs and alcohol that I could tap into my creative juices once again. At first, I started to write in a poetry/rap form. It enabled me to express my thoughts in a fun and creative way. One of my biggest passions is fashion. I love to express my uniqueness and my individuality. Regardless of whats perceived as acceptable socially, I'm willing to do what I'm passionate about. Before, I'd never be willing to go outside of the social norms. This gift didn't come by spontaneous combustion. I had to work on myself to achieve freedom from self imprisonment. I had to be free to be truly passionate. The freedom I gained by 12-step programs allowed my emotions to invoke and spark the creativity that was bottled deep inside my soul. The process of recovery has taught me to dig deep, and just when I think I've dug deep enough I must dig deeper. It taught me to stay true to myself. My ongoing change of ideals, views and perceptions has helped me grow tremendously as far as fashion, style and music goes. Having a conscious contact with God has also gifted me extreme faith and belief in my myself. By trusting in God - I begin to trust in myself, leaving me in a beautiful place in which I am free of fears, doubts and insecurities. It is of my belief that I would be selling myself short if I did not chase my passions after being blessed with the miracle of recovery.

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