V/I: Update #2, One Month Sober (again)

I know I’ve been slacking on writing, but it’s because so much stuff happened since my first update. I’ve been living life so hard.

First off, I relapsed with flying colors and crashed my car into a ditch two weeks into 2018. My life could not have gotten any lower… I was literally stuck in a ditch.

After that, I had my ass handed to me by an actual adult. I’ve been living with one of my managers since the beginning of the year. She sat me down on the 19th (at work, mind you), two days after I crashed my car, and said, “If you don’t stay sober, I’m kicking you out of my house. Get your shit together. I’m in charge now.” She refused to enable me, which I realized is something that I haven’t had much of in my life (or when I did have it, I fought it). I surrendered my finances to her, got serious about getting my shit together, and then lo-and-behold, I met a man who makes my soul feel complete.

After crashing my car and getting my ass handed to me, dating went from being something that I kind of wanted to do, to something in the footnotes on the very bottom of my priorities list.

But there he was, and less than a week after our first date, we were official.

I don’t know how to explain it, but I’ve never felt more connected to anyone in my entire life. It’s wonderful and liberating; it’s intimate and passionate. Honestly, he’s not the kind of person that I ever saw myself being with, but each and every day I’m with him, I feel as if I was made for him.

And him for me.

He supports my recovery by staying sober (fun fact: he only knows sober Donaven. We’ve never had an interaction where I’ve been drunk or high, and I hope we never do). We challenge and motivate each other. We accept each other for all of our flaws (and trust me, we’re experiencing more and more of those every day). We see each other as beautiful and this relationship as something worth fighting for.

It sounds crazy, I know. But I think I’m dating the man who I’m supposed to be with… for like, ever.

Oh, and once I presented the facts, he totally went vegan.

We’re moving in together within the next two weeks and I could not be more thrilled! He could not have entered my life at a more opportune time. There’s a lot I could talk about here: Aren’t we moving too fast? Should I be dating in my first year of sobriety? How do I know he’s actually “the one?”

And maybe I will sometime. But for now, I’m keeping any more thoughts on that stuff private. I’m beyond transparent about my life with the world, but I’m learning the value in keeping some things sacred. I think this very personal journey that I’ve found myself on with Joshua needs to be one of those things.

He has my heart and that’s all you need to know.


In other news, I made it to one-month of sobriety yesterday! I could not be more proud of myself and my resilience. I’ve relapsed a dozen times, but I have always managed to pursue recovery again. That’s partly because I have the most supportive friends in the world. I know that I can do this. I’ve been putting the work into it. I’ve been taking my medication, going to therapy, going to the gym, being financially responsible (I’ve payed off so much debt, it’s insane!), and being gentle with myself.

I’ve been immersing myself in Buddhist philosophy and meditation, which has been a beautiful discovery process, especially as my brain and soul continue to heal from the damage/cognitive dissonance that Christianity caused them.

In my first update, I was a mess. I was actually incredibly high when I wrote that post, which is why it’s just an introspective disaster. I was uncertain of myself as a person in recovery, as a meat sack of consciousness on this plane of existence, and as a musician. In the past month, however, I’ve done more healing than I have in the last 3ish years since going to rehab for the first time in October of 2015. For now, this healing process is an area of my life that I’m going to keep between my therapist and I, especially as I continue to practice sacredicity (pretty sure I just made that word up).

What I will say is that I’m learning that although recovery is my priority, it isn’t my identity. I’m much more than “in recovery.” I will always be a mental health/recovery advocate (I mean, I’m making a career out of it), but eventually #recoverywithdonaven won’t be as central to my life as it is now. Meaning, staying sober will one day be second nature to me. I haven’t stayed sober for longer than two months at a time since 2013 when I took my first sip of alcohol, so I’m definitely not there yet, but I’m looking forward to the day that I am.

April 19th is going to be a big day for me: 3 months of sobriety for the first time. As always, though, I’m taking it second-by-second, hour-by-hour, and day-by-day. I feel like I write this in every post, but relapse is definitely a part of the process. I’ve learned something from every relapse and each one has helped me fine-tune my recovery. But I’ve had enough of them. I think everyone in recovery reaches a point where they realize that to relapse again would be pure insanity, because they know what they need to do and they know how to do it. We also know what’s at stake and what’s behind that first hit or sip… nothing but destruction.

That’s where I’m at.

So, that’s life. Let’s talk music real quick.

As soon as Joshua and I move into our new place, the Vulnerable/Invincible project is going to be in full swing. I’m going to have a room just for making music. I am stoked to get to work and to continue to share my sober journey with you all. This collection of music means so much to me.

Stay tuned for more updates (and music), because it’s all coming.
And sooner than you think.

With hope,

“Work hard in silence. Let success make the noise.” -recovery mantra from 1/24/18

P.S. I’ll officially be Donaven Lucas Anwell by April.

Things I love right now:

  1. I mean, Joshua. Definitely Joshua.
  2. “Made For You,” by Neo Noir because it reminds me of him (and because their sound is amazeballs)
  3. “Superhuman,” by SLANDER because when I’m with him I feel capable of more than I ever thought possible
  4. Learning about Joshua, cuddling with Joshua, spending time with Joshua etc.
  5. Ugh, I just love everything right now (even school), because I’m literally on cloud nine every day so yeah just let me be happy and in love okay?


4 thoughts on “V/I: Update #2, One Month Sober (again)

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