Content warning: this report discusses addiction to alcohol
I start this by saying each person’s recovery is different, yet has the same common aim, to stop the desperation we experienced, yet what works for one doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.
I spent years lying…….to family, drugs and alcohol services, the GP’s, the A&E staff and definitely MYSELF!!!!.
‘Of course, I’m reducing what I drank this week, I have your plan here, you can see and tick off, I’m here sober in front of you aren’t I?’…… the many denials of the addict I was yet to find inside myself.
They never mentioned addiction…. only alcohol, yet my behaviours, as I’ve learned, we’re enough to cause pain to anyone else who cared about me….well-meaning comments like ‘just stop, it’s that simple’, ‘you’re killing yourself’, ‘you’re breaking up your family’, ‘you’re pathetic’ ….they didn’t help, I used to think its them that are the problem, I’m just fine, you’re the ones who need to sort yourself out (or so I believed).😡
This denial continued year in, year out for a couple of decades until my body and head finally gave up, relationships shattered, homeless, penniless and I had to start a new way to live or simply die – that’s my truth. Continue wallowing in self-pity, blaming everything and anything? ….. I had to finally wake up and do something different.
That’s when I started my new path, recovery from addiction – I began a programme, joined a recovery community family, who embraced me immediately, and steadily learning about my denial, my lost years of life, what my thinking and behaviours did to those that cared, how cunning and manipulation drove me to be the person I was living as, and how SELF HONESTY needed to be my saviour from desperation. First job, stop using substances. ☑️
Now, it’s a bloody hard way to live, opening up on my inner thinking, my deepest feelings and fears to others, sharing all my defects and placing trust in others to listen, no more judgement of others, no more resenting others cos they’ve got something I should have!, being grateful for what I have now, a simple way to live – free and clean of substance, understanding that a relapse can happen, to learn from it and not repeat or expect things to be different unless my behaviour is too.
I still think as an addict, always will, and just for today, I can listen to ideas in my head about those ‘good old days’ when I masked over everything, ‘just one won’t matter, you’re strong enough now’ ‘you’ve smashed this’ ….. as long as I don’t ACT on that voice, I can rest on my pillow tonight and put a real ☑️ in those old service boxes that I lied on, and be truly honest that today was a good one.
That’s my recovery, seeking help daily, listening yet not acting on my negative thinking, being compassionate with myself and others, learning to use my fears as moments, not inevitable outcomes and embracing a kinder way to treat myself and stay calm, when those people around are frustrated with things, as long as it’s not me that’s causing it…and finally that one glass glistening in the darkness winking…. ta for your brightness, I shine better inside, I don’t need your poison today.
What my recovery isn’t, is pretending I’m good, just having a few behind closed doors, preparing to face people with my old masks on, being creative with the truth, persuading people I’m managing okay, drowning into my pillow at night and always being on edge, that call, knock at the door, the unexpected visit that I wasn’t ready for, those empties hidden everywhere chinking as the draft blows through the flat.
Much love and gratitude for taking your time to read this.