there is one thing i do not see enough of on this website- support for people trying to get clean and/or stay clean. addiction has ruined my life. addiction has ruined so many lives and recovering alcoholics/addicts NEED support to continue with their recovery. so, for those of you who are working on your first 24 hours or your first week, month, year, your 2nd year or 20th- i am so proud of you. you have given yourself something incredible today. addiction is one of the most insidious diseases in the world, but today, you did not let it win. remind yourself of all of the strength you have. you are a miracle.
I was talking about policing, not alcohol. There’s lots of people will help you with the alcohol business, but there’s no one out there arranging little meetings where you can stand up and say, “My name is Sam and I’m a really suspicious bastard.‘
My thoughts of alcohol are very selective. I still put it on a pedestal. Daydreaming about the warmth in my stomach from those first few sips. The fuzziness in my head so I don’t have to CARE so much about things. The layers of shyness being stripped away and replaced with a new skin of confidence.
What I should be remembering is the pain. The spinning and the slurring and the throwing up. The anger and the screaming and the crying. The disorientation, the broken bones, the mental blackouts.
What I should be remembering is waking up at 5am with my heart beating out of my chest and my anxiety so high I start to believe I’m dying.
I need to remember the shame. The endless apologies for words I don’t remember saying. The way my loved ones looked at me as they realized I’d let them down again. The multiple dangerous situations I put myself in that could so easily have ended up much, much worse.
I need to remember because my brain still tries to tell me I can have one drink. “Just have one! You’ll feel good, and then you can stop.” When everything in my history proves otherwise, that small part of my brain is always whispering “this time will be different…”
I didn’t think I’d use my tumblr again any time soon, but something happened that I wanted to memorialise.
Some years ago I had a quite bad problem with drinking, due to all sorts of things and the lack of coping mechanisms in my own life. It was in 2012 that I stumbled over an interview with Daniel Radcliffe in which he bravely and openly talked about his own addiction. It was this interview that gave me the courage to go to my first ever AA meeting in early 2013.
Yesterday I got to tell him that. I don’t want to forget this memory, for the moment when (and it will happen) all goes to shit and I find myself anywhere near a bottle and with spirits too low to fight the good fight, because this was one of the best things that have ever happened to me.
I hung back a bit, so I wouldn’t discuss something like this in front of too many fans, for both of our sakes, and eventually there he was, and there I was, shaking and mumbling and completely idiotic.
Things I imagined would happen: A polite response. A hug. A “Good luck, stay strong” kind of moment.
What actually happened. His face lighting up like an actual Christmas tree. The two of us high fiving each other when we exchanged success stories (Sober again after downfalls from last year for myself and him going strong for four years now, hell yes man!!!!!!). Him being genuinely interested and invested, asking and asking and letting me have a moment and allowing me to ask in return.
Something else I realised, due to something he said at the very beginning of our encounter, was this: It’s true that I am the one lifting the heavy weight, I am working the programme and attending meetings, and thus I get to take the credit. Yes, I agree 100%. But inspiration and timing matters, and both are vital in certain moments in our life.
Do I think I would never have gone to an AA meeting if it hadn’t been for me reading this interview at this particular moment in my life? No. I hope I would have found my way back either way at some point. But it wouldn’t have been at that precise moment, and that matters. The timing gave me more good days with my daughter, more good days working and enjoying life, rather than losing myself in the haziness of an addiction.
So yes, I believe that people like Daniel Radcliffe, who speak out and share their struggles publicly, get to take credit too.
So, I am sharing this photo that was taken by a kind stranger I met in the queue, to remind myself that someone else was proud of me for making right choices day after day.