This is to anyone whose hearts I shattered in active addictions:
Before I identified myself as an Alcoholic or a drug Addict, my view of any addiction consisted of dirty needles and DUIs and jails and drinking out of brown paper bags under bridges (Sure that wasn’t me). I pictured bruises on children’s’ faces after fathers would stumble in drunk and screaming at 3 AM, and families begging their loved ones just to “stop.” I didn’t understand how someone could “let themselves” get to that point. They didn’t care about their wives? Their husbands? Their children?
Then I got drunk and high for the very first time. I felt peace like I had never known. The tornado in my head had finally ceased tossing words and time and emotions around, and I didn’t have to feel. I didn’t have to think about anything else, and I didn’t have to worry. I was no longer afraid.
Looking back, I know now I was an alcoholic and addict long before I picked up any drink or drug. My disease came from a hole inside of me, which I stuffed with thing after thing after thing and nothing was ever enough. Faster than I could have imagined, that wonderful feeling of being drunk and high became a necessity. I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t eat, couldn’t LIVE without booze or drugs.
The very things that were destroying me, that were eating my soul, were the things that seemed to be keeping me alive. I lied, I cheated, I stole, I doubted myself and my friends and lost trust in everyone and everything around me. I was underwater with a ball and chain around my foot, and my disease was at the bottom celebrating its’ new victory. I didn’t feel guilt about the things I was doing. I didn’t allow myself to because all I knew was chasing that next thrill and high. I hurt so many people, and most of all I hurt myself.
My addictions dragged me down faster than I ever thought something could. I didn’t catch it in time, or maybe I just didn’t care. I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop. My disease convinced me that the hell I was living was better than even thinking about getting clean. And I believed my insidious disease. It became the only thing in my life that I trusted.
When I went to rehab treatment I heard stories. I heard stories about people who had it so much harder than I did, and that they managed to stay clean for unfathomable amounts of time. I couldn’t hold together my first 22 hours, and this man/woman just celebrated 22 years of continuous sobriety ?! I couldn’t believe it. My path of becoming alive again, actually living, began right then and there. I didn’t know it yet, but the seed of hope had been planted.
#TheFactsOfLife #MyRecovery 🙏❤️