I saw a quote somewhere that said,
“Addiction is suicide on an install ent plan,”
and few things have ever rang so true to me.
The worst part of addiction isn’t when it finally kills you.
It’s living your life with it’s hands around your neck. It’s the slow deterioration of your personality, your morals, your hope. It’s becoming deadened to the look of disappointment on your loved ones faces. It’s the way you develop compartmentalization skills you never wanted in order to keep living your deceitful double or triple life. It’s stealing and lying and lashing out at anyone who gets to close to the truth. It’s the erosion of your soul.
It kills you, oh yes. And it hurts the whole time you are dying. But death from addiction is only the body dying. It rips away who you are long before, a broken and empty shell, a desperate zombie who is enslaved not only to the substance, but to the sick thinking and overwhelming self loathing that prevents any belief that life could ever really be any different for you. It is the lie addiction sells you that truly is the death sentence.
Six years ago I woke up in a hospital detox bed and was faced with the massive casualties of my alcoholism and addiction…the biggest one being me. To ask someone to face that kind of pain without the only thing that has ever eased it is a nightmare to them. While it may make no sense to you to watch someone run back to the horrible life that they live in their addiction, it is the life they know, and the one where they are able to anesthetize the unrelenting pain brought down upon them by whatever burden they know no other way to bear. When the waves of pain and reality start rolling over you, running back seems the only way to go.
This is why I believe with all my heart that the most important lesson I learned, the thing that you MUST do to stay clean, is to build a life, to build YOURSELF…into something you don’t want to run from. That takes time, my loves. Ohhhhh, it takes time. It is not easy work. Bad days, very bad ones, they will come. But you keep putting that distance between you and the nightmare. You keep adding new hobbies, friends, achievements, and skills. You keep learning you, you keep chipping away at the issues you used over. Codependency, shame, grief, trauma, abuse, lack of self-worth, insecurity, physical pain, emotional pain, financial strain. Anyone can put drugs and alcohol down. But to fight the fight required and face why you were doing it so that you can STAY clean, this is the true test of how badly you really want it.
You see, we live in a time where its perfectly acceptable, even encouraged by some circles, to play the victim, to blame your addiction or mental health problems or the society or the world for why you stay locked in hell. You don’t want to hear the truth, which is that the key to that lock is in YOUR hand.
The truth is, anyone can get clean. But you have to put aside any temptation to make excuses or shirk responsibility. And that can be very uncomfortable.
But don’t let the temptation fool you. You can excuse yourself and your victim mentality right into a hole in the ground.
I have replaced my addiction to drugs and alcohol with another addiction.
And that is an addiction to growth. To evolution. To new beginnings.
My first day of year six comes on my first week of no longer working in the field as an addiction professional and taking the risk I need to take to pursue what I feel pulled to do. New beginnings are not always fun. Sure, there is excitement. But there is also the giant “what if” that looms over you. Sobriety is no different in that regard. But I ASSURE you, with every inch of my soul, that if you do it right, the “what if” that sobriety becomes is beyond anything you would ever believe.
Yes, I’m talking to YOU. You, the one who’s reading this and thinking you’re different. ESPECIALLY you.
It’s hard work. It’s not pretty sometimes. It doesn’t happen fast. It takes brutal, brutal honesty about who you are. There is zero room for denial or blaming. If you aren’t ready for those things, then no, you will NOT stay sober. Do what you must to commit to those truths.
I look forward to year six. My heart tells me it will be an important one.
Much love, and as always, thank you a million times for the support. ❤️
#sixyears #sobriety #recovery #hope