The Irony of My Addiction Recovery
I had to break to become stronger.
I had to lose myself to find out who I really was.
I had to fall to rise back up.
I had to fight in order to find peace.
Somewhere in elementary school, my days began to become clouded with anxiety. Because I did not know how to deal with those feelings in a healthy way they slowly sank me into a deep depression.
Even the sunny days began to seem dark and despite my parents best efforts to help me find the light, I turned deeper into the night. The thought of happiness became a foreign concept to me and because I had grown comfortable living uncomfortably the thought of change made me scared.
When I was 14 I tried my first cigarette, I then tried alcohol and later weed. The older I got the more drugs I tried. When I was 16 I remember being high and sitting in the passenger side of my friend’s car thinking to myself, “I never want to be sober again, I want to feel like this all of the time.”
When I drank I did not want to stop. I wanted to slip further and further into that buzz. I wanted to slip away from reality and I didn’t care if I made it back or not. I chased that high throughout the rest of my teenage years and into the midpoint of my 20’s when I got to the point that my family no longer could sit by and watch me self-destruct.
“I went into treatment because I realized that I couldn’t give up drinking and using on my own. It wasn’t easy to walk through those doors but I knew if I put in the work it could lead me to a better life…”
I went into treatment because I realized that I couldn’t give up drinking and using on my own. It wasn’t easy to walk through those doors but I knew if I put in the work it could lead me to a better life. I had grown tired of the lifestyle that revolved around my substance abuse and I was desperate for a way out.
In order to heal from the self-inflicted damage that I caused I had to let go of my preconceived ideas of what it meant to be sober. I had to let go of my preconceived ideas of what it meant to have fun. I had to let go of who I mistakenly thought I was.
In the beginning, the thought of sobriety was terrifying. I cried when I thought about how much I was missing out on by not drinking. The ironic part of this is that once I got some sober time under my belt I realized that my drinking and drug use had actually been what caused me to miss out on life—not sobriety.
True addiction recovery isn’t just about getting sober, it’s about creating a life that you no longer feel the constant need to escape. To be successful you have to learn new tools because the self-medicating isn’t fixing anything and is only contributing to the problem. It’s about learning to break free from the chains of addiction and truly experiencing life itself instead of constantly searching for some form of a chemically induced buzz.
In order to grow, I had to realize that I had become stagnant.
In order to truly love, I had to let go of my self-hatred.
In order to learn who I am, I had to let go of my distorted perceptions of myself.
In order to learn how to love myself again, I had to learn that it was ok to be loved.