It is such a relief to be an alcoholic; honestly it is. I was going through life always trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. I couldn’t keep a boyfriend; my boss hated me; I had isolated myself from most of my friends. It just seemed like I could never get things right. I had been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression and I was heavily medicated for those conditions & went to therapy for over a year, but yet still I felt depressed and anxious all the time. It seemed like every decision I made was always the wrong one. I couldn’t cope with even the simplest of tasks that it takes to be an adult. My room, my car, my workspace were always a disorganized disaster. Why was I like this? I would ask myself that over and over again. I came to the conclusion I just must be a super shitty person and, if I was going to hell anyways, I might as well just do whatever I wanted.
Finally, my drug and alcohol use nearly killed me, and I had to do something about it. I had to get sober or I was going to die. But the thought of having to be alone forever, go back to a job I hated, be friendless, and having to deal with all the other shitty stuff life brought without a drink just seemed unbearable. But, regardless of how I felt, I knew I had to get sober, so I went to rehab.
In recovery, I learned so much about myself– I learned that, yes, I had a disease, that I was selfish and self centered to the extreme, and that I had a list of character defects a mile long. But I also learned there is a solution. My problem– me— had a solution! There were other people like me who had done & said just as many bad things, but they weren’t like that anymore. They didn’t live like that anymore. These people I met actually seemed to be living peaceful, productive lives. Through recovery, these people had gotten a perspective shift and a support group that helped them be the person they had always wanted to be. For the first time, I felt hope.
When I finally realized that I was an alcoholic and that my disease centered in my mind, I was so relieved. Like literally, I fell to my knees, cried out in gratitude to God, was so thankful I didn’t have to be that person anymore. Once I got sober, I now had people in my life that could show me how to be the best person I could possibly be. I had never understood that I was the root of all my problems. If I was angry at someone, now instead of lashing out or seeking revenge, I stopped and looked at myself, Where was I in the wrong? What could I have done differently? How can I be more loving and kind? Even justified anger is a luxury I can no longer afford if I wanted to stay sober.
I can’t say my life is perfect today, but it is beyond my wildest dreams. The life I live now is filled with love and gratitude for the things I used to despise. I love coming home to a clean house. I’m so grateful to have a job and I love what I do. And the only thing that changed was me. This had all been here waiting for me but I was in such a horrible, self-loathing fog I had missed it. As my favorite book says, “We missed the reality and the beauty of the forest because we were diverted by the ugliness of some of it’s trees.” I had missed the reality of all the good I had in my life. Now I focus on the good in life, being of service, and living in gratitude. And because of this, the good continues to multiple. I live a life now I never thought I deserved and am now beginning to see this was the life that always belonged to me. I am truly grateful.
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