Let me start by saying that I have been a party animal for quite some time, probably beginning in my early teens. And while I can say that I had a lot of fun, there came a day when the party had taken over my life.
To begin with, I handled the alcohol and weed pretty well. I managed to hold down jobs and even had a very functional life. However, later in life, after a bit of trouble, I added some other substances into the mix and things didn’t turn out quite so well. I went from recreational partier to professional partier in the blink of an eye.
A problem that was once something that I thought I could handle quickly spiraled out of control, to the point that I truly figured I could never recover.
Actually, those were my exact thoughts verbatim.
Sadly, I struggled for a few years.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t my sappy, self-righteous story of recovery. No, instead, this is more about a journey of unlearning pretty much my whole life and actively working to change my brain.
During my addiction, I retrained my brain to think that it was okay to put substances in it 24/7 because if I didn’t I felt empty. So empty, in fact, that it physically hurt me. Then, something happened. No, I didn’t have an epiphany or anything like that, right away. Honestly, when I quit, I was still searching for the high. I wanted so badly to get drugs, but couldn’t find them.
However, something changed in me as I sobered up for a few weeks: I realized I felt so much better once the withdrawals stopped. I could get out of bed and cook, clean, and get all of the things I had neglected done. And I didn’t need drugs to do it.
Then, my boyfriend (who was also clean) started working and people started to trust us again. And while those little perks may have helped us to stay clean, they didn’t keep us clean. Instead, it was the connections that we forged with other people that ultimately changed us.
Soon, we realized that the party was over. And while you may be thinking that this was a bad thing, we were relieved. Suddenly, people wanted us around. We had a support system, and responsibilities, and a life. Everything that we had lost finally started coming back to us because we worked diligently to make it so. We worked day in and day out to stay away from the substances that had taken us down so far. And guess what?
And before you start telling me that addicts never recover, you should know that I don’t agree with that. Because we are living proof that they do. Of course, I still struggle with my demons of addiction, but I don’t give in. I don’t even want to give in because I have learned something through sobriety: my drug addiction was my entertainment of a fantasy that I would never have to face the traumas in my life. It was my way of avoiding human connection and replacing it with a substance.
Now, I have been clean for quite awhile, and I feel better than ever before. I know now that I can’t ever look back down that dark hole, because if I do, I may lose myself again. And that my friends, isn’t an option any longer.
If you know someone that is struggling with addiction, including yourself, please know the recovery is possible. It only takes surrendering your problem and finding connection. For more information on that, please watch the following video.