When I was drinking I was in a very dark place. At first, the darkness was a quiet place that I craved. I allowed the darkness to consume me, even welcomed it at times, because I thought I had control of it. But before long I lost control and was completely buried by alcohol’s hold on me. There was no light, no spark, no joy.
See the alcohol beast, once unleashed, is in control. The beast doesn’t bargain. It wants more and more, until it has consumed all of the light. Until there is nothing left. Secrets and shame help the beast, and lies give the beast room to take control.
I’ve been keeping secrets for as far back as I can remember, so hiding my drinking was easy, at first. I was still functioning “normally”. No one even suspected. Yet…
Just a drink or two while I cook
before everyone else gets home
just to smooth out the rough edges no one will ever notice
until they did…
I hid my toxic relationship with alcohol. I hid how much and how often I drank. I kept all my fears and emotions secret and hidden as well. I tried to bargain with the “beast” who was consuming my very being. I would tell the beast that we could still drink, but only if we stuck to a couple and then stop. Sounds reasonable right? Wrong. I lived in that dark misery for far too long. Buried in guilt and shame, buried in sorrow and disappointment at myself and my life. It was so dark in that place and I couldn’t seem to find the light. How did I get here, how did I get buried so deep, how do I get back to the light?
I began trying to claw my way out. I wasn’t sure how deep I was or how long it would take, but I was determined to get back to that light. All I needed was just a little bit of air, just enough so I could finally breathe again. Many times I almost made it, but my struggles would sometimes bury me again and I’d have to start clawing my way back up. Until one day, I finally pushed through, just enough to get a peak of light and that’s all it took for me to begin to grow.
Secrets and lies are tricky and will ensnare you like a vine. They’ll slowly pull you under until you are no longer you, but there is a way to break free. It’s Honesty. I’m still working on sharing my true self and my emotions. Living my truth is something I stopped doing in early childhood as a coping mechanism. Now I’m learning I don’t need that particular mechanism anymore. I’m free to express my feelings and emotions without the fear of being attacked or shamed.
I had to be honest with myself and not just about my drinking, but about everything, because somewhere in that “everything” were clues. The clues that could help me, find me.
I had to be honest with others. Finding the BOOM community, was the next step in releasing my secrets and sharing my true emotions and thoughts, with others who were like me. Loneliness is hard…the loneliness I felt would bring me to despair, BOOM showed me I was not alone!
I had to be honest with those closest to me, which was actually the hardest, for me.
The fear of rejection from those I love most, once they saw the true, raw, flawed, desperately drowning me…that was the most frightening of all.
Being honest has helped me become more me, the real me. The real me had been hidden for sooooo long that I almost didn’t recognize myself once I was finally free. Being honest has allowed me to rediscover feelings and emotions I had long forgotten. Being honest helped me escape the beast.
Honesty is my life raft.
When I first began my alcohol-free journey, I would read other people’s posts about getting to certain milestones in their sobriety, and it was always inspiring to read about their changes and challenges. I can remember it felt like I might never get to that place. It felt like those milestones were sooo far away and beyond my reach…
Well, here I am!!!🎉
I am doing it!!!🎉
It is possible!!!🎉
6 months Alcohol Free!!!🎉🥳🎉
Now it’s my turn, to share some of the changes and challenges I’ve experienced.
First, I have my mind back.
I can think clearly, I’m not stuck in a constant haze of forgetfulness.
Second, I can feel.
I am no longer numb, I am able to work through my emotions better, because, I am truly feeling them.
Third, I am much more positive and I have feelings of hope instead of despair.
These are just a few of the things that have changed but all have been leading me to the most important thing, Finding Myself. 6 months ago I didn’t have a clue who I was. I had just been going through the motions of life, emotionless. Some call it functioning, but to me, I was just surviving…barely.
Right at the end, I was in complete despair and was terrified. How would I live a life without alcohol? Alcohol had been a part of my weekly and then daily life for over 11 years. Alcohol successfully took me over, to the point, I was scared to live without it. Breaking free from that fear was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and that’s what kept me trapped for so long, fear.
~ I once stood on a ledge paralyzed with fear, not knowing who I was or how I even got here.
I now stand on the ledge, soaking in the light, discovering who I am, and knowing things will be all right.~
I’ve always been a visual person. My thoughts and words are normally inspired by art and nature.
This simple picture struck me when I first stumbled across it. It’s not the most beautiful art I’ve ever seen, nor is it the most colorful, but my story is within its strokes. For me, it’s telling the story of how I was trapped and it seemed there was no way out…no room to grow or bloom. The vines are all twisted and they struggle to find their escape. Never giving up, the plant finally finds tiny openings and begins to emerge from the darkness and bloom.
I felt this way while I was drinking, trapped, all twisted up and I could not seem to find an escape.
Until one day when I stumbled across a tiny opening and I began to emerge from the darkness. Once I started to grow, the darkness began to fade and with the new light and growth, I began to Bloom! I am in bloom now and my roots are stronger, and just like all blooms, I continue to reach for the light. The light is Hope and hope is a wonderful feeling, once you begin to feel it, your blooms will grow bigger.
Today I am no longer afraid. I hardly ever think about alcohol and when it does cross my mind, it’s fleeting and quickly replaced with reminders that I don’t drink, nor do I want to. I know myself more. I am listening to myself more. Every day that I choose not to drink, I discover more of myself and my strength.
I am NOT the lie alcohol had me believing I was, and each day that I say !No!, I prove that to alcohol and most importantly, to myself.
That first tiny opening for me…it was BOOM!
The Boom Community has been the best thing I have ever “accidentally” stumbled across.
This entire community has been a true lifesaver for me.
I don’t know if I ever would have found those tiny openings of freedom without BOOM.
This place has not only helped me stay AF, but has also helped re-ignite my passion for life and for myself,
and for this, I am truly grateful.
Will you join me today and fight for those tiny openings? You may be surprised at what will emerge and I promise you won’t regret it.
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