Ryan Donnelly's Blog

21 Days Is Over

The suspense was killing me. Today was the day, the day I got to see my girl. 21 days had come and go as with life, everything comes to an end sooner or later. My blackout period was over.

This morning I woke up with an extra pep in my step. My energy was resonating in everyone around me. In this place, people are so welcoming to positive energy that everyone around me was ecstatic that I was able to see the city, my family, and most importantly my girl today. But of course I had to work first.

The whole day I was thinking about what was, what will be, what I could do and what is. I was worried about my pending burglary charges. Was I going to jail after rehab? Then it dawned on me, I have no control over that outcome except to live every second of every day with positivity and be REAL to myself. If I’m REAL to myself, my reputation doesn’t mean shit.

Four o’clock couldn’t come sooner. I ran up to the showers and washed myself faster than ever before, changed my clothes and ran downstairs to sign out for the evening. I am free to the city, to my family and most importantly to Jess. I could hear Felix’s deep voice speaking with them outside, and I could see Jess, as gorgeous as ever, but oh so UNgraceful in her cute sundress trying to contain herself as she jumps up and down seeing me only at the peak of her jumps through the window, yelling my name. :)

I walked through those doors and the hot sun hit me in the face, and Jess and I hugged tighter than ever before. I realized during that hug that nothing else mattered, not the gossip, the venom, the hate, it was all gone. I had her back and life was on the up and up. And I was NEVER going to look back.

It was an amazing feeling holding her hand walking through the city and having my family tell me how good I looked. I haven’t heard that in a long time. When I went into the hospital I was 218 lbs and a fat, sloppy, bloated mess, now I am clean and 180 lbs. I used to joke around and tell people that the 35 lbs I lost was much more than fat, it was every self-destructive thought.

After an incredible evening it was time to get back to my ARC home before curfew. I said my goodbye’s to them and walked back into reality. I was greeted with smiles but of course a breathalyzer and the house supervisor with his fashionable rubber gloves holding a cup. I never pee’d in a cup so fast, I couldn’t wait to see the guys upstairs. I ran up the stairs and found Frank and Roy sitting at a table together talking. Both stood up from the table with giant smiles and we slapped hands and hugged. They were excited to hear about what I did. So I explained how Jess and my family took me out to a nice restaurant for a steak dinner and we walked around the city. But while I was telling them my night it started to teach me a couple of things about life. I realized through their eyes that they were genuinely happy for me, but oh so envious. It’s like they were day dreaming that it was them. I realized how well I had it in life. How lucky I was to still have family and a girl. These guys literally had nothing. So naturally I calmed my excitement, and played the rest of the story about the night down a little.

It was overwhelming to see how at first they were excited and then throughout the story of my night I could see them start thinking about their own families. Reality was setting in for me.

The next morning I saw Roy in the bathroom, he was shaping that high ass flat top, and he asked to speak to me. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “This is it. I laid in bed thinking about how happy you were when you got back and reflected that to my life. Ryan, your family and girl have stuck by you, but you only have one shot to make it right, if you fuck up, they will be gone forever.”  Roy truly cared for me, like a little brother, he told me that he got clean years back and his family accepted him and forgave every shitty thing he did. But he slipped up and has lost them forever. His kids, wife, siblings, mother and father all let him go from their lives. Looking into his eyes, I was overcome with goosebumps, his eyes had FIRE in them, he was hurting more than I could ever imagine, and he was doing everything in his power to not let this happen to me. His eyes will forever be in my mind, I love ya Roy, wherever you are now…

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