A mother, a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, an ex-wife...... rehabs, mental hospitals, psychologists, AA and a few beautiful years into my sobriety. This is my life, my daily life.....

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

#3 If it’s not you - then it’s me.....

Did you ever look at an old picture of yourself and it sends you back into time, it may fill you joy and happiness. You may smile and think “I loved my hair like that” or “what the hell was I wearing.” For an alcoholic or an addict that may differ.  When you are deep in the throes of an addiction its like you are no longer you. Your mind, your body and your soul have been taken over by an unknown. A possession by a demon that you have little to no control over. You may not even recognize yourself should you pass a mirror. You may be skinnier, you may have dark circles under your eyes, you may have less teeth or hair, you may be carrying around loss and a much less moral code. In my case, all of the above. But there was one distinct characteristic of mine, my eyes. They were no longer that “beautiful blue” everyone would compliment me about. They were black, empty and soulless. That’s what I  see when I look at old pictures. I look directly into my eyes and I know in an instant I was my other self. Dark, sad, beatdown and no sign of life. Should I came across a picture of myself pre-addiction, I looked for clues, where did it go wrong? What the hell happened to you?” I remember the last time I went through my old pictures, I had nightmares for two days. “Drunk dreams” we call them. I never minded having those. I would wake up scared to death and then quickly come to the conclusion that it was all a dream. I’d think about that dream all damn day but in a way that would fill me with gratitude that I no longer have to live like that again. I don’t ever have to feel like that again. In my sobriety I was blessed with the ability to bring myself back to those feelings. I can recall a hangover at the drop of a hat. I can remember the disappointment I would feel everyday I woke up alive, thinking to myself “fuck I have to do this all over again.” I remember the hatred I had for myself and everyone who was in my way. This would be my sobriety super power and I cherish it everyday. It’s told in meetings to never forget where you came from and I am thankful I can for “alcoholism is a subtle foe” and its important to “not rest on your laurels.”* That’s why I chose to write this blog. To help me, to help those who still suffer and to educate those who have no idea what this illness does to normal everyday people. Coming up on four years of sobriety and this is the time  more will be revealed to me about who I was. You start remembering the little things.Your mind is alot clearer, less clouded and in less pain.  It’s important to recall events. It’s important to “keep it green.”

So back to my story.

At twenty one I was already a slave to my illness. I was broken but not completely shattered. I still had hope. I hoped that I could patch whatever this hole was inside of me and move on. With the suggestion of my parents, I stepped into my first AA meeting. I thought it was a joke, two minutes into the meeting I heard the word “higher power.” ...I’m sorry, what? ...Are you kidding me?... Get the hell out of here. My higher power was a complete asshole. What did he ever do for me. He gave me this cross to bear, he made my life unbearable. How could I ever look to him for help. Unsettled by all the higher power talk and unable to phathom the thought of being twenty one and never drinking again, I may have attended a few more weeks and left. It didn’t make sense to me, everytime I went to a meeting it just made me want to drink and use more. It was a constant reminder that I couldn’t have it. Which in turn made me want it more. This wasn’t helping me at all. That however would turn out to be untrue, looking back it now it actually planted a seed in my mind, could I possibly be an alcoholic?

That was a big fat bloated yes.

In my mind I was the worst person to ever step foot in this world. My mind had officially turned on me and I became self destructive. I was my worst enemy and I created this all on my own. Alot of people don’t realize that addiction centers in your mind and alcoholism and drug use is just a symptom. In my case, before I even picked up my first drink or drug. It’s a mental illness compounded with chemical substances. It’s a vicious cycle. Just like that of someone with an eating disorder. They overeat, then they feel bad, then they eat because they feel bad. Same applies to an alcoholic.

At this point I was drinking about five, six days a week. For a brief time I was just doing cocaine on the weekends which then quickly turned to weekends and weekdays. I was barely making a full week at work. My friends starting realizing that I had a problem. My family tried to believe I didn’t. I tried to believe I didn’t. Somehow I ended up in an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program). It was there that I  I was handed a plane ticket to Florida, my first trip to rehab.

The book of Alcoholics Anonymous*

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