Hello, um so a friend of mine, Lucy, made a video on her channel recently I will link it below, if you have not seen it, please watch that first. It is a video about alcohol and substance abuse, and that is something if you’ve been around for a while in my business, um that’s something that you know that uh personally, I’m living through I wanna start off by saying, uh, very proud of Lucy. Very happy for her and all of my love in the world goes out to people who are accepting and working on get better and stuff that’s something that universally I appreciate in people There was something that she said in her video that, um, that struck me personally She said that she looked on YouTube and the internet for videos of people talking about substance abuse or addiction or alcoholism and she couldn’t really find that much of them That caused me to go back into my personal YouTube channel and find that it has been about a year since I’ve talked about this stuff and that’s something that, you know, it’s fine, I’m not like, upset with myself at but I do think it’s something that publicly it’s important to check in every once in a while For those who do not know I am sober, I have been in recovery for substance abuse issues for four years, about six months at this point and it is something that even though, yes I am quite a few years into this process it is something that I fight every single day of my life There is a perception amongst a lot of people in your day to day life That if you’re doing well, or if you’re doing okay If your life is moving forward in a positive direction um, then you’ve beaten your problems that your problems are just over with they’re not there anymore that you’ve solved them and you’ve fixed them With many things like, um, like mental illness like chronic mental illness but specifically with substance abuse it is something that just, it doesn’t go away, um, with time it doesn’t go away with time When I say literally every single day is something that I’m fighting I mean that, every single day it’s something that I’m fighting and while it has gotten easier over the years I don’t think it’s gotten easier because it’s gone away I think it’s gotten easier because I’ve gotten stronger over that time I made this video to remind people like Lucy and others that, while substance abuse, addiction, alcoholism, all of that can feel very, very, lonely it can feel debilitatingly lonely at times You’re not alone When you are sober, either by choice or by medical necessity sometimes it feels like you are separate from the world that you live in that you are not able to participate in the society in which you live especially as a young person especially maybe as like a college-aged young person it can feel incredibly isolating You really have no idea how much alcohol and partying culture is everywhere until you’re not able to participate in that fully I like to think of it as just a certain specific need that I have that sometimes people aren’t able to meet that sometimes the world isn’t able to meet and that I generally have to meet for myself I’ve lost friends, um, I have lost significant others I’ve lost a lot of people due to my insistence that my sobriety is number one first and foremost, my biggest priority in my life. There’s a lot of people who will, uh, claim that there isn’t actually a problem, and they feel like, they’re like “oh no, everybody’s like that” but um, no not everyone is like the way that I’m like. When it comes to anything about yourself, whether that’s the best parts of yourself or in this case, the worst part of yourself, um, you do not have to justify that to anyone, despite them thinking that you, um, may need to do so. I sopped answering specific questions about my addictions, um, because of that reason, because, uh, because eventually what happens is people feel the need for me to tell them specifically what went wrong and what’s going on because in their mind I have to prove to them that I am an addict enough to be able to label myself as that. So another thing that this video is accomplishing; reminding you that you’re in charge of that kind of stuff and you know yourself better than any other person on this planet. Something that is a very, um, important pillar of how I view other people and their situations and something that I really try to put into practice in regards to my empathy is um, is the knowledge that everybody is going through something, everybody has stuff it is useless and it is completely misguided to try to compare your struggles to the struggles of other people, either in a positive direction or in a negative direction. Whatever you’re going through, whatever you’re feeling, whatever’s happening to you you’re allowed to take ownership of that and you’re allowed to take steps to move forward in the way that you see fit. In the way that makes you feel like you’re taking the best steps that you need to take. For me, sobriety is key to all of that. Sobriety is like the absolute cornerstone of like my entire life, without that I don’t know what else I would have, I don’t know if I would have anything, to be honest. It’s just that important to me. With any kind of process in which you’re making yourself better, or you’re working on stuff within you, um, it’s important to remember that progress isn’t a straight line. And a lot of people like to champion the notion of “it gets better” that over time things will resolve themselves, that over time things will improve, and uh I don’t discount that at all, but I don’t necessarily believe that it will get better. um, I believe that a lot of the time you are the one that gets better, um, not it. I think you get better. Four and a half years ago the idea of uh spending a week sober the idea of uh being vulnerable and open about my feelings the idea of confronting all the things that I’ve done and the people that I’ve hurt in the name of uh selfish desire to, uh, numb myself to the world that would have been unheard of to me. Absolutely unheard of. Now, it;s a lot of what I do on the internet, um, that kind of vulnerability, that kind of radical moving forward and knowing of yourself and being open and accepting when you make mistakes, that has become who I am entirely, four and a half years later. I’m still an addict. I still go to parties and freak out and have to leave early without telling anyone where I’m going, I still hide in the bathroom, uh, in tears shaking because I want something that I know will eventually kill me. I still do all of those things. It’s still something that’s a part of me, but I’m living with it. It’s who I am. I truly believe this from the bottom of my heart, if you know yourself, if you know who you’re about, not only that, if you know who you want to be. If you know those things and you put work into your life, and you always move forward you know head down just work and move forward, I truly believe that things will work out in a way that maybe you didn’t expect, but in a way that you can look back and be proud of. I believe that, like with every fiber of my being. It’s necessary for me to believe that. Whatever is happening in your life, whatever’s going on, it will resolve somehow. It is going to have a resolution and you have to decide how you react to that, you have to decide the work that you put in, you have to decide the way you live your life, the kind of person that you are to those around you, um, you get to decide all of that. Some things we don’t have control over, but the things that we do have control over is um is the kind of person that we are. And, um, and that’s something that regardless of your issues, regardless of your situation, regardless of whatever’s going on in your brain um, that’ll carry you through. It will. It has to. because it will. *laughs* 100% I know that. That’s what I wanted to talk about today, um, I hope I made sense. I may- I maybe rambled a little bit, I tend to do that when I’m talking about things that are really important to me. I love you guys a lot, and um, I’m gonna get off of here now and I will see you guys next time on Monday. Hope everybody here in the US had a wonderful thanksgiving last night. um, if you’re not in the US just hope you had a great Thursday. You know… just a really good Thursday, a really wonderful Thursday. I’m gonna go, and I burped, I love you, bye.