Nothing seems real and it’s a bitter irony. The world I used to live in vanished the night I got clean, but maybe it was for the better. I was living in a world where drugs fought for my sanity—or insanity—I manipulated everything around me. It was all a mass conformity to something that could never, ever, be true. The way my life was run—or ruined—was a bitter taste of dying; it was this or sobriety. I felt the need to cover myself up, only to be left with a feeling of needing a purge a moment after. I was horrified to look in the mirror, “What’s wrong with me?” Then something happened.
I made a choice to get clean, but many choices after that seemed to be a-so blah and irrationally surreal. The first days clean felt like an opaque prison. I was reminded to not throw stones—or get stoned—or I’d be beaten, crumbling all the way down into the gutters. When I first got clean nothing feels like it should. I was stuck in an illusion. I was between Wonderland and the fiery depths of Hell. I couldn’t tell if I were the Mad-Hatter or if I was the whole damn tea party! It’s funny how your world that was once flipped upside down, now was drowning you. Coming back up, gasping for air, I had to flip it back over again. But, without drugs. A hard choice to handle, but truly a more confusing road to glorify.
I could walk around, but that’s about all I’d be doing. My head wasn’t screwed on straight and I wasn’t sure whether it would be ever again. I remember times where I was out with mother and brother. We would be shopping and the little one would light up to the sights of glorious windows, filled with plentiful items. “Purchase here!” or “Look at me!” would be plastered in front of my face, but it all just felt like one big headache! My emotions where slow to react and my brother was twenty feet—maybe thirty—in front of me. I finally said it to mother, “That’s alright…” without much incentive on anything. There was nothing to be excited about, and nothing too enthralling from my diminishing demeanor. I felt as if I couldn’t feel anything at all. It was only Christmas. I was 21 years old, my first sober time of supposed excitement. But, only all to contrary.
It felt as if nothing—or everything—wasn’t real. I was too busy. Stuck in my head, but stuck in between nothing. I was just a rock in a hard place, but thank god I wasn’t a stone… or stoned. I tried to display emotion, but everything I knew was an extreme imagination to what I used to know. What I used to know what a sense of euphoric bliss with the slightest hint of surreality. It was as if I had painted an imaginative play before my very own eyes… which drugs’ next?
But now… now I was sober. If it seems confusing, it is. It’s a hard choice to make and some choose not to make it! Everything came to me sober, but just a little bit slower. It was a hard time in my life. I didn’t have much of anything to say because if I did it wasn’t anything righteous enough to live by. I was too fed up with the way things were, the way they needed to be, and the way they weren’t. I was disconnected from what truly anchored me, but maybe it was all for the better? I wasn’t sticking needles in my arms, and that’s a start.
No one really could solve my problem. What was the problem? I felt nothing real, because I didn’t know what real was at this point in my life.
How was I supposed to react? The only way I knew how had been stripped from me. Rightfully, it was to keep me alive. But right now, this particular juncture between passed addictions, getting clean, and staying clean, the truth is that I didn’t know what alive really meant! Choosing sobriety was a tricky task with a previous life so different. Deviance is all I’ve ever known, but I need to solve the problem. But first, what is it?
What do I do to solve this? They say time heals all wounds but I couldn’t tell what time really had in store for me. I was in a cycle of confusion and choices. But, anything was better than downing a bottle to myself. “Gin and tonic… hold the Gin please!”
Was it all moving too fast? Yeah sometimes it was. Was it moving too slow? Most times I’d agree here too. Or was it just all kind of “Who gives a f#$@?” I would say you hit it on the nose with that one! But, why am I confronted with these choices? I think I’ve been confronted all along, just this time I’m not numb to it. In a matter of speaking by this recognition I’ve already made a choice. I choose sobriety.
The truth of the matter is, the most crucial time for anyone recovering may be that very short period between getting sober and staying sober. The time we call, “getting sober” can really, truly mold us. This will be the spot in our mind that we made the conscious decision, “Is sobriety right for me?” Many ask this question. Many sponsors urge you to think on it very carefully. But, no one has the answer except you. So it’s time to make a choice. Is sobriety the right choice for you?
I said yes five years ago and it was the best choice I have ever made. Today I surrender willingly, openly, and justly. I will continue to surrender every day, as each new day dawns. What will you choose today?
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