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  • Shamus Flavin

Here am I.....This is me now. Part II

Updated: Mar 30, 2022







I had this reoccurring dream from time to time, I would find myself in a body of water, chest high, with no sign of land. I kept walking in the water, as it got shallower but still no sign of land until a grassy field appeared out of nowhere. Then the sky turned grey, and it started to thunder and rain a little. At that time in my life, I loved thunderstorms, pretty much because it was an excuse to stay inside. I would look all around me then all sudden the water dissipated, and it was just a field. I saw two figurines a mile ahead of me. They could have been aliens at that point in my life, but I knew deep in my conscious it was my father and brother. As I ran towards them, I got closer to one figurine and the other would move further away with every foot forward, I took. Not sure if this was a metaphor or something but it happened every time. I got to the first figurine, and it was my brother, still wearing the same clothes he had on in his casket, still had the hole in the back of his head from the impact of the bullet. It was at that point I would wake up from this nightmare I had so often. I went to Indiana for my cousins wedding in 2016, after that I drove with my other cousin to New Paltz, New York where he lived. As we were driving there, I swore I saw the same field as in my dream. It felt right at that time. Yet I still would have that nightmare countless times after that. Since moving here, I have not had that dream. It’s weird because I forget all my dreams now, yet this one is still very vivid, it’s like it was a memory, it’s like it happened. There’s this field up Big Cottonwood Canyon that resembles it as well. During the wintertime I would drive by it and see family’s sledding down the hill, I would see photographers taking photos for weddings and so on. Now looking back, I think I had that dream for so long because maybe they wanted me to move on with my life, maybe my path to Utah was chosen way before I knew it was, maybe that field by Donut Falls was it and this new life was destined to be.




Heres the field in my dreams



Since my past relapse, since the last time I was home. I found myself in the same situation I was in 2019/2020. Lying to everybody that I am sober and happy when clearly, I was drunk and fucking miserable. I mean I spent more time in my mom’s car alone than I did with people. I should have gone home and stayed sober and confronted my past mistakes. Yet this mistake was the fucking icing on the cake, it was the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, it was the relapse that made me figure out who I want to be and how I want to be remembered. I want to be able to go back to my hometown and not have to worry about destruction and mayhem. I know one day I’ll be able to but not sure I know when that will be. I have noticed a reoccurring theme in my blog post, talking shit about my hometown. I never meant for it to come out that way, because I could take a drive anywhere in Fort Lauderdale and for all those bad memories I had, I had multiple good ones before it. Unfortunately, those good memories are overshadowed with depression, misery, my alcoholism, and my addiction. When I started drinking at fourteen, I didn’t know that alcohol was going to define me later in my life. Yet here I am, with a blog about my journey with alcoholism. My friends and I had alcoholic behaviors but back then we knew when crossing the line was crossing the line. Well, they knew when to stop but for an Irish/Native American like me, I didn’t. I would find myself passed out in my closet after too many shots, I mean I only weighed a 110 to 125 pounds in high school. So, let’s just say taking seven shots was my max unlike now, I would take that many before 10am. Then my parents would have the countless talks with me about my drinking. I mean I saw it firsthand, growing up in bars, seeing my father kick out overly drunk men at noon. Seeing my own father stumble into his room, after a whole day of drinking. I didn’t know that liquid in a bottle would bring out the worst version of myself, yet now I have the best intentions to live my life worry free of those demons.







A part of me wasn’t entirely ready to accept and let go. Since my destruction began in 2014, I have lived in the past and that’s all I knew and wanted. The Great Gatsby came out in 2013, I was a huge and still am a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan, so of course I would watch it. Plus read the book a handful of times. Jay Gatsby talks about repeating the past a lot and that stuck with me in those times. Although, I wanted to repeat something that was never in existence to begin with. I was just chasing ghosts, wasn’t living in the now. The “would of” game became an everyday occurrence. Oh, I should have stopped JJ before leaving for the liquor store or if only I hooked up with this girl instead. I was just waiting for a miracle to happen that never came. If you just sit and wait for something to happen, it never will. You will find yourself bored and using is the only option in those scenarios. I still see myself chasing something I can’t reach from time to time, but at least I know now, there are other paths you can take. Since my relapse prior to the one at home, I have accepted the fact that I am an alcoholic/addict. It’s weird it took four trips to rehab to figure that out but at least I know now, what I am. I mean my father was an alcoholic, my father’s father was an alcoholic, and my brother was an addict. So, it’s safe to say I had the winning ticket to be a fuck up at some point in my life. Alcohol became a daily morning routine, and I would find myself masking my emotions. I hate that stigma around men, thinking they got to be hard and tough and not express their feelings. Then that day comes when you’re in your car with a bottle and a gun and your decision is made up because you kept everything buried inside. Vulnerability is beautiful if you use right. Right now, I show my emotions every day, I try to call one alcoholic a day or help one out. Sometimes I get caught up in the wrong situation and I find myself trying to help someone who is trying to take advantage of me. As a person in their shoes, I know you’ll take every inch of someone till they snap. Maybe I have been too nice of person for too long. I must remember every day, where I was at one point in my life. I only showed emotion when drunk or high, sober Shamus was afraid of everything. I was afraid of commitment, success, and overall trust. I was very selfish (still am but working on it) and if I didn’t feel comfortable doing something, I was like fuck that! Maybe it had a lot to do with letting new people in my life. Once a person you trust, with your life takes their life it's hard to live it. I’m only successful now because I put my trust into strangers that became something more then that. Maybe if I addressed my demons instead of saying I’m fine earlier in my life, I would have found peace earlier. But then again, you cant repeat the past.









Since coming back to Utah, I rang in the new year in Detox, I got a rude awakening for how serious this disease is. Made me kiss my sober livings floor when I got back. Then I started intensive therapy once I got out. I have had many therapists in my day, but this guy knows how to bring me to tears. He knows when I’m trying to change the subject on something traumatic. He has helped me overcome the overwhelming depression of the two men in my life I had lost within four months of each other, the dead bodies I weirdly came across in my life and my own insecurities with sobriety and life in general. I know I can’t control a goddamn thing, including people and or situations. Along with that, my spiritual journey is a once-a-week affair. I say what’s up to Jesus every Sunday, I find myself going to church and not only praying for my own selfish reasons, but for others like me. I pray that everyone I know in the recovery world, stays in it and are not ashamed of their past mistakes. I find myself praying for Phills family, he was a month older than me and now he is just gone. I prey that his family finds peace in their grief. That might not mean shit to them right now, especially since the way he died. There are still days I wish my brother OD’d or died in a horrible car accident, instead of killing himself and leaving nothing but a cleared cellphone with just a few contacts on it. I know he was hiding something he didn’t want me or my mother knowing about. Maybe he owed the wrong people money which is why he kept asking me for some or maybe he was ashamed of his sexuality. These are just questions for the unknown. Well, it will just be a mystery, I have accepted the fact that I won’t get any answers till I meet my maker and I’m okay with that. When Dick (old patron at BC) told me about making peace with my grief at the bar, that was the last thing I wanted to here at the time. I mean my father died five months prior and I was just getting back from Chicago after burying my brother, which I still thought was a dream. I remember I wrote it down, I kept that piece of paper in my car for years. Then I remembered I didn’t need that piece of paper that had “I hope you make peace with your grief” anymore. This was a time in my life I thought was making sense then I realized how big of a problem my substance abuse was. It’s odd because I left Bahia Cabana in 2016 and just now in 2022, I remind myself of that every day. I think that’s why I was able to take Phills death, the way I did. I mean there were few nights I found myself crying in my Jeep, but I know he would want me to continue my journey in recovery. I mean I can’t relapse every time someone close to me dies. That is a pathetic excuse.






I am driving down a new path now, a road I never knew was capable for me. I am happy for the first time in a long time. I am about to move into my own place and that seems scary to think about, but it all depends on where I am with my life right now. Self-sabotage comes to mind from time to time, like why the fuck are you so happy shamus go out and get fucked up. Disappointment is all I knew for so long and now I get texts from my sisters telling me how proud they are of me. If I know my mother and sisters are happy with who I am, I can go to bed knowing im doing something right. I have lived with at least three other dudes since moving here and that’s all fine and dandy because I had a few chances to move out but a part of me wasn’t ready to and well relapses had to be made. I used to think when you relapse everyone would judge you and or stop talking to you but if you keep showing up, they will respect you even more. Sober living has taught me a lot about myself. It has taught me about patience, which I use to think I had but learning patience in a sober living house with a bunch of alcoholics and addicts is a whole new ball game. I hope you learned to clean up your pubic hairs wherever the fuck you are. There are a few people I don’t mind ever seeing again but there are a lot that I can call my brothers now and I’m proud to say they have impacted my life. I hope they feel the same. I am in a good place if I don’t let stress or drama in. The job I have, I love, I have shown my true character through it. I have learned that its okay to get rejected from time to time, even though there is more rejection in this job than others. My career path has changed multiple times since moving here. Working with Horses again seems possible in the future, also I can see myself working at a rehab or something of that nature once I have time. As of right now I’m not focused on the future nor the past. I am living in the now and hopefully will for the rest of my days. Now, I think the whole world knows Will Smith smacked Chris Rock but what Denzel Washington said to Will after, will stick with me now forever. He said, “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.” Now I know I haven’t won an Oscar or anything but with the way my life is heading I feel like I was nominated for one…

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