The best thing about my recovery is that the people who love me aren’t scared anymore.
Being in recovery myself, people often ask me what it’s like to be craving a drink or a drug. It’s hard to imagine if you haven’t gone through it; hard to communicate clearly to someone fortunate enough to have not been trapped inside it. Like a color-blind person trying to tell you what being color blind is like. But I will try:
Imagine that you are scuba diving and your oxygen runs out far beneath the surface. Every cell in your body is screaming – nothing else matters – and terror and physical pain – an aching, physical scream takes over. That’s close to it. And the fear lies just below the surface all the time. We lie and boast and concentrate far too much on others to push the fear down, but it’s there all the time. It feels like falling forever, having no skin and being made of shattering glass.
If you tell me you are angry with me, that you want me to stop, the fear bursts to the surface as if you are threatening my life. You are going to make me stop!
And our loved ones? The victims, the witnesses. My mother once told me, after the fact, that she had experienced and agonizingly rehearsed my funeral in her mind. My loved ones were scared for me and scared of me. They watched, bewildered, as I slowly killed myself and the dreams and hopes they had for me were hacked away.
They were terrified, too. So scared, it broke the back of rational thought and words to express it.
Near the end of my drinking, my sister once stood in front of me, trembling with fear and fury and shouted: “But why do you do it? You’re bright, you are young – you have a beautiful daughter? Why? Why!” Read more “the fix”…