For years, my values in life were not aligned with the things that truly matter. I was blinded by the social hierarchy, the parties, and the lifestyle that came along with my addiction. My need to be liked to, "fit in," came above any other priorities. I would miss important family events or even sleep through friends going away parties because of this. It is hard for me to even write about this now because it makes me so sad.
Getting swept up in the thrills of life is easy to do. My need to use substances to fill a void brought me to a toxic place, where booze and drugs took a priority over being a decent human being. When I look back at those times, I really can't believe I was that person. I have come so far from where I was and I will forever be grateful for this.
I reflect on today's society and what the values are. Now that I have been able to take a step back, I can finally see with clear eyes what is going on. Don't get me wrong, I approach this with zero judgments as that used to be me but I just have had a chance that most people don't have to see it for what it really is.
Drinking and drugging have become the solution to every emotion humans face. If we are sad, angry, or even happy, and celebrating, we drink. Now, this is fine for a "regular," person but if you are someone like myself who struggled for years with depression and anxiety it becomes a dangerous coping mechanism. Having the self-awareness to realize that maybe the way you feel when you drink is different than other people is the key to recovery.
For me, once I have one drink, the craving kicks in immediately that I need more. One would never be enough for me and it was an instant obsession. What I didn't realize for years was that not everyone experiences this craving. I thought it was what everyone felt and it wasn't until I was in treatment that I got an education on what addiction was that I finally understood.
Once I had this realization, it was like a light went off in my head. I finally saw the power alcohol and drugs had over me. I knew I needed to make a change, and fast if I wanted to have a chance at living a fulfilling life.
I got out of treatment and began the journey of finding myself again. It was like I was getting a fresh start at life, a second chance to become a better me. As time went on, I did a lot of reflecting on my behaviour and the things I did or didn't show up for. I decided that never again would I let alcohol or drugs be the controller of my life.
I made a promise to myself that I would show up for the people I love and stop giving a fuck about people who didn't matter. I removed people from my life that no longer aligned with my path and some other people chose to not be a part of my new life. Both working out exactly as it was supposed to.
What are my feelings now, almost 2 years since I got out of treatment? I feel gratitude, love, and happiness because I get to be the person I always wanted to be. I still feel sad and angry from time to time but it will never cloud my ability to still be the best version of myself.
I get to be me.