All I can do is agree with everything you say. I thought I was immune to rehab because I didn't get the point (actually, no one told me) that I was going to have to reinvent myself and walk away from life as I knew it at the time.
But I now see the 4th of July as my personal independence day. That day in 1975 was the last time I cooked up. It's funny how you don't see these victories at the time you score them. I didn't feel triumphant at all - just scared that once again my "success" wouldn't last. In fact, it's only been in the past few months that I have even realized that I don't hear The Voice calling me back anymore. When did that stop? I have no idea.
But I know I wouldn't be alive today had I continued the way things were 33 years ago. As one of my teachers in college asked me, "Are you going to live your life or lose it?"
You had to choose, bro, and so did I. And anyone else can too. It's a rough road, but we're all worth it.
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me. (Woody Guthrie)