And welcome to The Void is Gone blog.
My blog is simple, yet very rich in unconditional love for any alcoholic or addict who is still suffering. The focus of my blog is to share with you my personal thoughts and feelings on alcoholism through my stories. I’m not ashamed of being an alcoholic. And I can say like many alcoholics before me, that I too am a grateful alcoholic! My life has been altered for the better in so many ways due to the result of surrendering to my alcoholism. The disease of alcoholism and addiction continues to be misunderstood by many people in society. But I’m here to tell you that recovery is real. – This is why I’ve created this blog.
“By the grace of God”, I’ve been able to grasp the miracle of recovery and be able to live a life that is truly happy, joyous and free. I haven’t been able to do what I’ve done in my recovery without the help of the people in the programs of AA & NA.
It is my goal, through increased faith, that you too can find what I’ve been given so freely. – A new life through sobriety!
Monarch butterflies are just the start of my writings that will encompass a multitude of feelings, thoughts, perspectives, suggestions, reflections and lessons of what I’ve experienced in my life as an alcoholic. I invite you to “Like” my Facebook page and follow me on this journey of what it was like before the storm, during the storm, and most importantly after the storm of my disease of addiction.
The monarch butterfly is in memory of my father who passed away August 1st, 1998 at the young age of 58. He passed from a massive heart attack and died laying next to my mother. He was the rock of our family and I never thought I could continue living life without him. Today, I find myself standing on my own rock. The one I never knew could be so strong.
So let’s begin this journey of what it’s like (for me) to understand that, The Void is Gone.
I was married in 1999 to my first spouse. We decided for people to be given a small triangular box that held a monarch butterfly in memory not only for my father, but the loved ones that have passed in our families. Our guests then opened the boxes to release the butterflies when we exited the church. What happened was amazing to say the least! Monarch butterflies are able to recognize one another and will group together in the air. This is exactly what happened outside the church. The bridal party and all the guests watched in awe and amazement as the butterflies gathered above the crowd. Soon after the photographer wanted to take a picture of the two of us. We were positioned further away from where people were watching the butterflies. The photographer positioned my ex-wife where he wanted her to stand and then motioned for me to stand by her side. What happened next was utterly amazing and a sign that my father was present in our lives at that very moment. A butterfly came out of nowhere and landed on my brides torso just below her heart. The photographer couldn’t believe it as his jaw dropped. He yelled quietly, trying not to scream with excitement about the opportunity to capture the moment. He told us to be very still. We started to take pictures and soon realized the butterfly wasn’t going anywhere. We were able to move for different poses without the butterfly leaving her side. “I know”, it was my father saying, “I’m here, I haven’t left you to be alone. I will be here in this form when you need me. Just call my name and I’ll be by your side.” It was a moment of happiness and sadness I’ll never forget.
I’m not a doctor, LADC counselor, Psychiatrist or Psychologist, and I don’t try to pretend I have a “cure” for what I have. But I know one thing that I am, an alcoholic.
My blog is dedicated to my mother who went through so much with me during my use of alcohol. To my wonderful daughter who is my world. And to my beautiful wife who has been there for me through my early recovery, the smiles, the tears, and happiness of my recovery up to this point in my life. You are the love of my life!
– Derek L, Sober date – June 5th, 2009