Hope for the Hopeless
Meet Craig Williams. This dynamic man of eloquent style and words has allowed us to experience his story of triumph. Im so excited to share this with you. One thing that I can say I connected with in ho Craig has become as a sober person in this world is that when we take the brakes off ourselves that is in the addiction of choice we can truly soar. Craig Williams is an Entrepreneur, culinary, writer, photographer, DJ…honestly the list goes on. Follow him on instagram at @onejerkchicago for the most up to date link to his endeavors. Enjoy!
1. What prompted you to start your sober journey?
The thing that prompted my sober journey this time was a relapse after having close to 3 years sober. I hadn’t completely worked all of the steps. I got up to actually writing an honest 4 th step (Made a searching and fearless moral inventory ourselves), but when it was time for me to read the 5 th step (Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.), I balked. I figured that by me writing the 4 th step that God and myself already knew the exact nature of my wrongs therefore there was no need to bring in another individual who’d possibly shame me, judge me or even worse, tell all my deepest darkest secrets to the world. This left me still carrying a butt load of resentments, shame and fear. To make a long story short, I relapsed and went on a crack run that would end all crack runs, all drinking, all weed smoking and anything that would effect my sobriety i.e. dishonesty, intolerance, the lack of forgiveness, apathy, impatience, etc… Mind you, I’d been in and out of the program and sobriety since 1997 (When I figured out that I truly had a problem). Before and during the period between 1997 and 2017, I’d been homeless due to drugs and alcohol. I’d been incarcerated, several times directly and indirectly due to drugs and alcohol. I’d suffered and accepted a lot of “pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization”. I’d done several geographical changes of locations, attempting to run from drugs and alcohol but I always took the problem with me. Sooner or later, without a real solution, I’d always go back to drugs and alcohol. This time around, on July 26 th , 2017, the day that I’d come to after relapsing after close to 3 years, I was hopeless and Spiritually bankrupt. I was done. All was well materially, on the outside: I had a dope apartment in Chicago, I had my own business that was growing (I actually got calls from prospective clients that day), I’d gained notoriety for being an up and coming Black Chef, my finances and credit was just about back in order and “all was seemingly well” but I couldn’t stand the sight of myself in the mirror. This, even with all that I’d been through before with drugs and alcohol was a first for me. I could not live with or without the use of drugs. I was desperate. I thank God to this day for that “Gift of desperation” because it wasn’t until that point that I became willing to do whatever it took to get and remain sober. Today I do the same things that I did on day one. I pray (On my knees) before bed and when I wake up in the morning. I meditate. I go to meetings and I work intensively with other alcoholics.
2. How long has it been?
My sobriety date is July 26 th , 2017 Approximately 2 ½ years.
3.What has been your biggest challenge/lesson during your sober journey.
My biggest challenge/lesson during my journey this time has been socially. My whole life, I’d forge this persona as the cool guy with all of the answers. My ego and delusions of grandeur and/or superiority, kept me going in circles with drugs and alcohol for years. Dishonesty and or exaggerating the truth in order to please others and ultimately attain friends also led me back. In order to stay sober, honesty and the “right-sizing” my ego are definite pars of the course. This has been very difficult for me. At times I still feel like a fish out of water socially. Also, I’m a bit older now (50 years old), but “Black Don’t Crack” so I don’t look my age nor do I feel it, therefore I’m mistaken often for a younger man which attracts those who are truly younger people. Our priorities and experiences are very different and it’s awkward a lot of times so I tend to not socialize as much as I would. However, I make sure that I make a bunch of meetings because I’m mindful of what isolation does to the alcoholic. At meetings, our Primary Purpose is the common bond and very prevalent.
4. What is your greatest motivation to remain sober?
There’s so many motivations for me to stay sober but I must say that my greatest motivation to remain sober is that very day that I felt so desperate and hopeless. That day pops into my head still, after 2 ½ years sober and just the thought of revisiting that day scares the hell out of me. I often find myself singing that song by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers that goes, “I don’t really wanna feeeeeeeeel like I did that day...” lol
5. What insight can you give to anyone contemplating beginning their journey to a sober and wellness focused life?
Insight on someone contemplating beginning their journey to sobriety. Hmmm. If “said” individual(s) be what is described in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as “A Real Alcoholic, Then in my experience, I can talk until I’m blue in the face but until they’ve reached the point where the pain outweighs the pleasure in whatever their doing and they are at a Spiritual bottom (The true rock-bottom), willing to do whatever it takes to change then the disease, which centers in our minds will convince them somehow that they could “do it better this time”, no matter what, who says. On the other hand, If this person(s) has reached, said Spiritual bottom, then I’d say, Go to a meeting, find a sponsor and work the steps of AA/CA/NA. The transformation will happen while seeking God through the steps. This program is amazing and I’ve seen enough proof outside and within my self to boast about what God has given us: Hope for the hopeless.