Ending My Run From Reality: How I Got Sober

I believe alcoholism is a disease and can also be used as an excuse in an alcoholic’s undying search for that next drink.

disease-excuseUpon living through everything I have in my life—war, broken relationships, a failed marriage, depression, homelessness—I had given myself an excuse to become something I am not. I was a bad husband, an absent father, a manipulative son and a distant brother.

I had become so consumed with my own self-hatred and bent on self-destruction that I couldn’t have cared less who got in my way. I knew what I was becoming, and I hated myself even more for it. I had let every excuse manipulate and justify my actions, because I deserved to be able to do what I wanted…I earned it.

How very wrong I was, I am reluctant to ever say, only because I know I will forever be putting pieces back together for all the damage I have caused in my life, as well as to those around me.

I have no excuses anymore. I have accepted the fact that as hard, and sometimes easy, as it may be to say it, I am an alcoholic. I blamed it on the war, my failed marriage, nagging parents, you name it. There is no one to blame, but that of which I see every day in the mirror. I did it. No one forced it upon me. In AA they teach you that alcoholism is a disease. Which I believe, but I also believe it’s another excuse to be used in an alcoholic’s undying search for that next drink. “I have a disease don’t you know!”

I have been selfish in the past for all the wrong reasons, and now in my never-ending quest for sobriety and clarity, I am being selfish for right reasons. Doesn’t make sense does it? I know it didn’t to me either.

I’ve never wanted to die. But I tried to kill myself…twice.

Let that sink in a bit.

The ultimate achievement for a selfish person.

I never succeeded in my endeavor because of my previous statement. I never really wanted to die, except for when I was so out-of-control and couldn’t stop drinking that it seemed like a better alternative to living. This is where that first step comes in to play, you will never stop or ever want to stop until you truly want to admit that your life has become unmanageable and that you are truly powerless over alcohol. Some people can never fully admit this.

I was afraid to live. This wasn’t the life I wanted and things weren’t going the way I planned—excuses to keep drinking. I went to rehab and got sober but my sobriety was the biggest lie of them all. I said I had been sober in order to look good for other people and so people would leave me alone. When in reality, I was a bold-faced liar. Even though I wasn’t drinking, I wasn’t sober. That didn’t last too long and I began to drink again, but I still told people I was sober. I was so consumed with hiding the fact that I was drinking that I lost sight of reality. This is where I believe that disease part comes in, it’ll sneak up on you, whisper in your ear and make you believe you can handle it, and before you know it, it has you. But it had me all along, I wanted help to stop but I did it for all of the wrong reasons, and none of those reasons were for me.

Why does it take something catastrophic or life-altering in order to appreciate how precious this short moment is? We die a little every day. It is a fact that there will be no tomorrow for some of us, and some might miss these opportunities we have right now.

Question everything. Living in a nightmare of shattered shapes and bizarre sensations followed by inescapable panic, cold sweat and a racing heart is how we have grown used to living. I awoke from this nightmare to find out it wasn’t a dream, but my life.

I was desperate for change.

I had realized that things in my life had been causing me great distress, although I was conscious I was unaware. I realized that I am the cause of my own distress and I am the only one who can cause it to end.

Being able to acknowledge this is always easier said than done, but these things I need to ask myself daily.

The one thing I do know though, no matter what people say, no one truly knows how hard it is. To be so completely honest with yourself and everyone else that the lies just melt away and truth becomes reality. Sometimes people cannot handle the truth and are happy with that false reality. They will never succeed in staying sober. Read more “the fix”…

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