I’ve always been a frequent flier on the climb toward higher; little did I know I was only born hardwired for being inspired.
I loved getting high. I loved escaping the confines of my brain, altering my reality, being in euphoria, experiencing connectedness and breaking free of my identity. I loved expanding beyond the limitations of my ego. I loved slipping out of the shackles of my mind; transcending its ideas, thoughts, feelings and experiences. I loved every second of being high, every moment of being something other than me. The challenge was really more so that I could just never get high enough or stay high for long enough. Crashing back down to the ground – often with a loud thud and a shattering of fragile glass lives around me – well, it was the crashing down part that was really the ultimate problem, not the being high part.
I now love being inspired. I remember the first time I was inspired in recovery. Like, the first time I was really, really inspired. I had heard people talk about these things called “spiritual awakenings” and would envision some angelic figure shrouded in bright light with feathered wings popping out of each shoulder blade. I would get this picture in my mind of some sort of sage in a robe who had been spoken to by God on a mountain top and I would instantly disqualify myself as a candidate for such an experience. I didn’t even know where to find a mountain top in Philly, and I didn’t own a robe. But then it happened. I was asked to speak for the first time at a 12-step meeting, and after stumbling around for the first few moments, I experienced my mind breaking away and something bigger begin to take over and course through my veins and my entire being. It felt like I was high; the energy, the excitement, the freedom; the timelessness. I was filled with inspiration, I WAS inspiration, and in this inspiration I found myself higher than I had ever been.
When it was all said and done, I realized that I had experienced the first major awakening of my spirit. I recognized that through service to others, I could act as a vehicle for this amazing energy that some call God, others call Buddah, some call their higher selves and others call Allah. I awakened to an understanding that the ultimate high I had searched for my entire life was that of being inspired, the high of being in spirit rather than trapped in my ego and my mind. All of the previous attempts to alter the chemistry of my brain with as many and as much of this substance or that substance were really just misguided attempts at getting to where being inspired takes me. To be inspired is to be high. I was born to be inspired, and even if you haven’t experienced the search to return to that state though illicit substance misuse, you were born to be inspired too.