person holding candle, related with alcohol recovery

Walking From Darkness Into Light

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Alcohol wasn’t the problem, it was the solution…life was the problem. Trying to navigate through feelings, memories, emotions, life’s inevitable ups and downs, lack of confidence and PTSD, alcohol was the answer. And it worked. Until it didn’t.

I had a very long and twisted relationship with alcohol. It gnawed away at the best of me. Sometimes it took really large obvious chunks but mostly it was like that boiling a frog anaolgy. A slow corrosion of me, the real me, the true authentic me that was put on this Earth to do whatever, but I couldn’t because I was a slave. I was sitting in the cold water, trapped, as it slowly heated to a boil.

I knew I was in trouble. I’d swear off booze. I went to mass and took an oath (got drunk that evening!). I made promises I despised myself for breaking. Whatever ‘relief’ I got I knew it was asking way too much in return. I got the bill. But that dance continued.

I wasn’t a daily drinker. I held down a job, kept my home and car ( a pile of junk always barely legal, but a car no less) but I couldn’t stop drinking once I started. The energy that it took up over all those years is mind-blowing to me now, the time, the money, the opportunities missed. But, you can’t see till you see.

My bottom came after my best friends father’s funeral. Funerals can be a huge deal here in Ireland. I promised myself, my boys, my mam, I wouldn’t be long.

The next day I was an absolute mess. I was often worse physically, but emotionally I was a wreak.

I had almost 5 years sober in my 20s around the time my 1st son was born by attending regular AA meetings, but I tried a few times after my 2nd son was born and just couldn’t get the 800 lb ape off my back a second time.

The fight was gone.

I was willing to try anything they said.

No still holding on to a bit of smoke. No still going to bars.

I knew I was going to have to ruthlessly cut people I genuinely cared about out of my life.

I wanted to live.

For me AA works, it’s not for everyone, it’s local, there’s community. No, I don’t like everyone. A lot of them are dicks, but one of them could say something that means I get to bed sober another day so I love them for that.

My recovery has to come 1st so that everything I love doesn’t come absolutely last. Meetings, sponsor, BOOM, recovery 2.0, meditation, swimming, reading, all the sober supports I can find. I respect anonymity and privacy.

In Ireland, you only really have a problem when you stop but I am so past caring about stuff like that.

It is like walking from darkness into light.

Some days are really freaking tough, and zero light can shine on all the crap alcohol glossed over, but at 40 years of age, I felt I needed to put on the big girl pants and face reality.

Relationships are better, not perfect, the financial situation is better, far from perfect, family stuff is… tough, but better because I am stronger than when I was a shell in addiction with no tools.

I just wanted to let anyone who is struggling know it gets easier and if I can get almost 5 years without picking up, 1 day at a time, anyone can.

Do not give up.

rose on pebbles, related to drinking alcohol

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