It has been far from easy but I have managed to stay sober for 14 days now. I can’t remember the last time I said that. It was possibly as many as 30 years ago. That’s a lot of drinking, a lot of money and more importantly, a lot of mistakes made whilst under the influence of the Demon Drink. I have done it because I wanted to. Not because someone told me I had to. Of course, I have been told this in the past, as I have been told many other things I chose not to listen to. We all know the truth hurts, especially when it comes to admitting a serious problem such as being an Addict. And it can be an Addiction to anything, not just Alcohol, as I have mentioned in previous posts.
I have no massive enlightenments to share with you this week as compared to the first week. I’m not sure why that is. Possibly due to the fact that maybe making the decision to quit is the hardest of all and when you actually do it, it’s not that tough. Alcohol is plain and simply POISON for your body (there is not a single organ in your body that is immune from that poison either) and for your life – and when realise that for yourself – staying sober is so obviously the right thing to do. Unless you are so stupid you can’t work that out. But substance abuse of any kind makes you stupid. It’s only after you clear your head though that you can see that. Good luck to all the “social” drinkers out there that can ‘take it or leave it’.. I’ve tried that – and for me, it does not work. One is too many and a thousand is not enough.
I have noticed a huge increase in my sensitivity though. I can’t seem to stop “feeling” things to my very core. This of course includes guilt about my previous actions and regret for the people I’ve hurt and the pain I have caused in my own life through my drunken behaviour. Being sober leaves you nowhere to hide any more. You are confronted with all the past demons and even the demons that other people close to you in your life are facing. I rationalise this by realizing that I have been numbing down all those feelings for so long with various substances that it is only to be expected that a tsunami of emotions would come flooding out. It can be very hard to deal with at first. Very hard. The only way forward from this is acceptance of the past and to promise yourself that now you are sober, it will not happen again.
Once again I want to tell you all to reach out and get all the support you need. You can never have enough. But herein lies another problem. Just because you are finally “ready” to accept things, it does not mean that all the people you have wronged are ready to forgive you too. They might not be, and you might never make amends with them as hard as you may try. This is called LIFE. And that is something else you will just have to deal with. And dealing with it all Sober can be very taxing if you have no experience of it. You cannot change the will of others and it is wrong of you to try. They will probably not trust that just because you say you have changed that it is a fact. And who can blame them? Certainly not I..It’s very easy at this stage then to think “what’s the point? I’ll have a drink”.
If you want to go back to that life of despair and torment, that is a choice for you and you alone – personally I’ll put these 14 days in the bank and look forward to Day 15..
At best, all you (or I) can do for now is to forgive yourself and to accept what has been before cannot be changed and take responsibility for it. That’s a pretty good start. Be thankful for all the people that are there to support you and try not to lay too much on their plate either (unless they are professionally trained, or you do it anonymously – such as at an AA meeting). Everyone has their own breaking points. This is very, very important.
Two big events are occurring this week that I can clearly identify as “Triggers”…and on the same day too. One is a happy event and the other not so. You see, that’s the thing..Just because you are sober and making progress, it does not mean that life will suddenly become any more easy, or stop throwing “Spanners” at you. It won’t. Sorry..
But staying sober will allow you to face Life on Life’s terms, and not run away or hide from it as you may have done before – from behind a Can or a Bottle.