So we all heard the term “sick and tired of being sick and tired”, right? These clichés were very common for me early in sobriety, even when I was a chronic relapser. I used to have constant dialogue going on in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough, I was useless and nobody likes me. Completely fear based and insecure. I remember “old timers” used to give me this advice all the time, but it didn’t stick. Even though I REALLY had a desire to change, I didn’t know where to start, nor did I know how too. Even the most powerful desire to quit drinking never kept me sober, because all I thought about was how terrible my life was, and I was just SO SICK AND TIRED. What was so bad about my life? Why couldn’t I change? If I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired, why didn’t I just get help?
What was so sickening about my life? Well I was so sick and tired of the guilt, shame and remorse every single day. Those of you who have suffered from addiction remember those mornings, right? Waking up in the morning after the debacle we left the night prior, and that feeling. Yuk!!! There would be no prayers or counseling sessions that would get rid of that feeling. Obviously I being an alcoholic, I knew the only way to get rid of my misery was to drink more. This internal condition that was driving me for years was absolutely horrid. This condition, also known as Bedevilments, harassed and tortured me for years. Every single day, for the most part, I was full of fear, a prey to misery. I couldn’t make a living because of my disease. I couldn’t be of any real company to ANYBODY!
This is what I walked with. You think of someone torturing and harassing you, what is the first thing you do? Call the cops. In this case, I couldn’t call the cops on my disease; the cops were always called on me. Depression and anxiety had me at full force, in addition to my other problems, more external oppose to internal. The external things are legal issues, job, family, etc. The internal issues are as I explained, the Bedevilments.
What about when I was sober? Well that’s if I could even stay sober. This feeling of uselessness and self-pity would NEVER disappear. The medication I was on became of no avail. It had the same effect on me as a placebo. I remember the many times I was sober, the ONLY time I would be a bit happy is when I was at an AA meetings. I could talk about my drinking, and have nobody judge me. Than I have to come home and have 6 set of eyes on me at all times. If I use the washroom, my mother is wondering where I am going. If I go outside, they are wondering if I was getting hidden bottles from the outside. When I came back from an AA meeting, I would have to check in. if I went straight to my room, my family would think I am drinking. Other than being trapped in my own head at all times, I was a prisoner in my house because my disease always brought me to pure humiliation and degradation. This is all a manifestation of my own nightmares.
Have you ever heard the term H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired)? Talking about being sick and tired, this is something that affected me as well. I couldn’t even fathom life without this. I thought to myself all the time on how to get rid of this feeling. If I do cardio for 20 minutes, I feel great, but what about afterwards? If I go to a meeting, I feel remarkable, but what about afterwards? If I see my therapist I feel relived, but what about afterwards? You see the pattern? I was locked inside my head at all times; therefore I couldn’t escape the pain of suffering that I caused. I convinced myself there was absolutely no hope for me. I was so broken inside and out, how could I be fixed?
So what changed? I finally hit a wall where I NEEDED TO CHANGE. 11 detox centers and one relapse after another, something had to change. I remember someone told me that treatment would be like a vacation away from life. I mean, what the heck, it couldn’t be much worse than what I was experiencing. I asked this guy conducting an AA meeting inside the treatment center, and I asked him if I would ever be happy again. He said absolutely, without a doubt, all you have to do is make a decision. Well if I was truly sick and tired of the way life has gone for me, I must do something to change it. Happiness for me was nonexistent in my life for about 3 years, and I didn’t know where to find it.
I tried to look for happiness everywhere, but I always came up short. Nothing in this world that has an external value could fill that void in my life. So why not take suggestions from someone? I told myself, “I WANT WHAT THAT GUYS HAS!” He was happy, understanding, compassionate, and most, he seemed peaceful. Oh my!! Did that sound intriguing! I was so sick of the tape being played through my head, and telling me I was going to be a nobody. If counselors, medication, psychiatrist, probation officers, detox centers, family, girlfriends, and meetings couldn’t fix me, what can? These guys I met who stories were very similar to mine could relate to me. First time in my life that I felt that. YES!!!!! There was finally hope in my future!! I was optimistic for the first time in years! I became willing to try anything that I didn’t try before, and by God, did it start working right away.
While in a treatment center, I started to incorporate the 12 Steps into my life. I didn’t really understand what the 12 steps were, and I was a huge skeptic. But i had to lay aside prejudice and become willing to learn something new. My ego and pride had to be grinded into dust to start this new journey. Whatever I knew in the past must be completely tossed out. Those same beliefs I once knew got me into the predicament I was in. I remember one of the defining moments early on in my recovery was looking at myself in the mirror again. At my house, we have one of the medicine cabinets. For the longest time I would either use the washroom in the dark because I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror, or I would open the cabinet so I didn’t see myself through the mirror part. I was absolutely disgusted with myself. It was a relief I was finally able to look myself in the mirror and not feel disgusted by what I was looking at. This was the start of me forgiving myself.
Listen, words can’t even describe how my life has transitioned. I went from hopeless, to hopeful. I no longer feel that anguish from my debacles, and it no longer leads to pitiful, incomprehensible demoralization. I no longer am tortured by the devilments of my disease. I’m a happy, joyous and free individual who lives life one day at a time. It’s all through God’s grace that I am able to write this piece.
Courtesy of Guest Blogger @Shazam1985 –
My name is Shawn and I am an alcoholic
Sober since 8/23/12
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