Sarah Ordo, author of Sober as F***, has a podcast and I just love it, go check it out if you are into podcast! Her most recent topic I listened to was on people telling her she wasn’t an addict. 🤯 Mind blown right there! How could someone else tell anyone who or what they are, was my first thought. Secondly, how bad does one’s problem have to become before they think it is one. Most importantly though, telling someone who struggles with an addiction of any sort, that they don’t have an addiction, could possibly the WORST thing you could do.
My emotions are my biggest strength and sometimes worst enemy. Whatever I am feeling, I am feeling with every being in my body. I am hard headed and a perfectionist in just about everything I do. The perfectionist in me hates the emotional side of me. That is one of my biggest struggles. Being a perfectionist, I tend to take every comment, praise or criticism and find a way to improve it. Being emotional can get in the way of that hard work though. I can easily get caught up in my feelers and get discouraged and give up. That’s where the two sides tend to start battling. What my brain knows my heart fights.
You don’t have a problem
I am 53 days sober today and that’s fucking awesome! I have had my hardships to say the least and at first I thought I wouldn’t get through it. I was for certain that I was going to relapse with the help of doubt in myself along with some that others had in me. When I first posted that I was getting sober, I received numerous messages of people expressing how they had no idea I had a problem with alcohol and how some thought I didn’t at all. That was good and bad in my eyes. Good that I was able to hide it from so many people, but bad for that exact same reason. Not every addict wakes up everyday and begins by doing the thing they are addicted to. I was what you could have called a “functioning alcoholic”. I didn’t wake up every morning and take a shot of Jamo or pour some in my coffee. Only towards the end did that really start to get rough. I can name more times of blacking out than not, I was a black out perfectionist. I can’t tell you how many times my boyfriend or someone else had to fill me in on my night before. After too long, I just stopped asking. I pretended I remembered. Waking up and just praying to God my car wasn’t wrecked had become almost normal for me. I’ve already had one DWI and honestly thought my next was right around the corner. What you guys who don’t struggle with addiction don’t think about is when I go home.
What you don’t see
If you have been out with me drinking, let’s just go ahead and assume I blacked out. I was all fun and games (most of the time) while we were out, but once I went home, you didn’t see what was dealt with. You don’t see what Chris has to deal with. I can’t tell you for the most part either. I know I get emotional and if there has been any tension between us, I usually take that and run with it. You don’t get to see the sickness, the throwing up, the being so passed out that my boyfriend can’t even wake me up. The fighting that probably took place and the guilt that is woken up with the next day. You don’t get to see the shame on my face as I wake up out of a drunken stupor. You don’t see me frantically looking around searching for my phone, keys, purse etc. You don’t see the fear as I sneak into the bedroom just praying Chris isn’t mad at me. The worst part is what you don’t, feel that I do. The constant internal battle that is fought on a daily basis. You don’t get to see behind closed doors.
What you feel
No one in the world can tell you how you feel. NO ONE! If you feel as though you have a problem, if you are addicted to something, that is how you feel and you have every right to do something about it. I can have a million people tell me I wasn’t an alcoholic, but in my eyes and in my heart, I was. I have always enjoyed things that make me feel good. With drugs, it was ecstasy, cocaine, adderall, any upper really. With alcohol, I favored Jameson the most, but would drink just about anything. I was able to stop pretty quickly with my drug usage, and if I did play with it again, it was once in a blue moon. Not the same situation with alcohol. I wanted to stop but my body craved it, it needed it. Mentally, I had trained myself to believe I needed it and wouldn’t be better until I had it. I would run into my local bar just to take one shot real fast before I had to go do anything. I was in a toxic and abusive relationship with alcohol and I knew it, but before too long it had slipped from the grasp of my hands and I had a serious problem. What soon followed the alcohol addiction was anxiety and some depression. The shame, the regret, the knowing it’s wrong but I will end up doing it again. The running from every single problem by drinking, only to run into a bigger one. The feeling of wanting to quit but not being able to. The feelings of wanting to give up because why even try anymore. The constant times of saying today I won’t drink, only to be drinking a few hours later. The feelings of failure and worthlessness.
After getting so many messages as such, I began to think maybe I could drink again one day and not black out. As Sarah put it, I started romanticizing with drinking again. I started to think about potentially bringing it back into my life one day. That can be very dangerous for an addict and can lead them into relapsing. It is very easy for an addict to create a “reason” or an excuse on why it is okay to relapse. But every time I start to feel that way or try to convince myself I will be able to handle it, I remind myself of the demon that awaits behind it. I remind myself of the feelings I used to feel and how terrible they were. I remind myself of the personal growth I have had since then and how I don’t want to fall back into feelings of self doubt and not being worthy. I am finally learning how to truly love myself. How to take care of myself without being selfish. How to help others heal while healing myself.
I am an addict but I am not my addiction! 💎