I remember way back when I was a kid I used to see my uncle get drunk everyday. I remember us kids used to laugh at him and tease him until he would get mad and chase us. We knew he was drunk and would never catch us and so we were relentless with our torture. As a kid I thought he was funny. I didn’t have a clue that he was suffering from an addiction. I had no idea that his life was unmanageable and that he was powerless. I also had no idea that I would end up just like him.
I started drinking at the age of 9 and was a serious drinker by 11. I didn’t see back then that I had a problem, my mother did and she tried her best to help me but I was a typical hard headed little know it all and didn’t listen to any of the advice from her or the doctors that she took me to. By the age of 13 she told me that I had to go live with my father. Well that didn’t change things. My dad worked full time and so I was left to my own devices on most days and on most days I drank until I would blackout. I would awake not remembering anything from the day before. Needless to say I was too young to really understand the magnitude of my problem, in fact as far as I was concerned. I DIDN’T HAVE A PROBLEM.
Addiction had it’s grips on me from the start and my life only got worse. I graduated to more drinking, stronger drugs and crime and everything else that goes along with that life. I was warned over and over again by people what would happen but I never listened. People told me I had a problem but to me they were the ones with the problem. I couldn’t see the destruction that I was causing not only to myself but to everyone around me and so I blindly continued my downward spiral. I continued on my path to jails, institutions and and inevitable death. Only to find out years later that they were right and everything they said would happen…Happened and then some.
After years of abusing drugs, myself and everyone around me I wanted a change, I couldn’t stand myself and the way that my life had turned out. I wanted out of the madness. I was desperate, lonely and to put it plainly a fucking mess. No matter what I tried I could not stop using. No matter how many times I told myself this is it. It was never it, I finally came to the realization that I could not stop using. I began to think that the drugs had damaged my brain. I truly believed this because my thinking was backwards. I was brought up to know right from wrong but wrong always seemed to be the right thing to do. I knew something was really wrong with this and so I gave up trying. I settle for life as I knew it. I began to believe the lies that I was telling myself that I would never be able to stop and that I would die a drug addict.
I knew deep down inside that I was a addict but I rationalized and justified my way to believing that I wasn’t as bad as those other addicts that I saw so I wasn’t one. I was in deep, deep hypnotizing denial. I believed my own lies and had difficulty distinguishing the truth from the lie. I was so far gone that I never thought I would ever be able to make it back to sanity. I gave up on myself and that was the worse thing I could have ever done.
Today I know the truth. I have acceptance of who and what I am. I also know that I can and will get better.
I have proven that the lie once an addict always an addict is just that A LIE! I am living proof that recovery is possible. I am no longer in denial of my addiction. I know for a fact that if I choose to stop doing the things I am doing in my recovery that I will return to the proverbial scene of the crime and can have all of my misery and suffering refunded in full pronto. I have a disease that wants me dead and if I am not careful it will get what it wants. I will not allow that to happen. I love recovery because it has given me a life. Not my life back because I never had a life.
TODAY I DO.
Freedom from active addiction is possible, but it’s not free. There is work that has to be done to maintain my freedom and today I do the work. I don’t always want to but It’s a lot easier to just do it. Than it will be to not do it.