I feel like when we were growing up, we were told that addicts and alcoholics were these bad people with no real direction in life. We were taught to “Just say no to drugs!” And if you didn’t, you would end up looking like you were 68 instead of 28. They left out the part that worst thing about addiction isn’t losing everything you have but losing yourself.
They didn’t tell us that years later we would be on our hands and knees searching desperately for change so we would have enough money to buy alcohol at the store. They left out the part where being sober feels like the worst thing in the world because you can’t stand another minute without being numb to it all.
They didn’t tell us that addiction is a disease and those of us who suffer from it are sick.
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…”
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.