The Belly Of The Beast

Imagine your eyes beginning to sting as they slowly open. They’re bloodshot red. Sunlight is blasting through the shadeless living room windows, adding some shock to the sting. It’s 10:30 am on a Tuesday and you’re late for work. Well, you would be late, if you were going to show up at all. You were pretty sure that you weren’t going in when you started drinking last night. You knew for certain when you finished the bottle of Capt. Morgan at 1:30am and smoked some sativa. Your head started spinning and you passed out.

Now awake, you swallow some Valium, because you want to eeeease into your morning. You smoke some more kind, pop a fistful of Norcos and grab some coffee to start the day. The phone rings and… paranoia. You’re not answering that shit. There’s a knock at the door and… more paranoia. You’re not answering that shit either. You light up a smoke and go to the computer to start killing the day. There is a bright blue sky overhead, but you’re not going outside. You don’t want to deal with “people”.

Your friends and family are increasingly worried about you. Either they think you have a problem with drugs and alcohol or they think you have a problem with them. Falling off the face of the Earth will do that to relationships. All you ever wanted was for everyone to leave you the hell alone. Now that they have, you find that your self-imposed isolation does have one companion. Crushing loneliness. Your drug addled brain is now free to twist and contort your life’s reality far beyond anything resembling its actual truth. You come up with two solutions to the mess that your life has become. The first one is familiar. Get high(er). Then you can stop thinking about this existential crap. The second idea is morbid. Just end it.

I don’t have to imagine that scenario because I lived it. If you’re an alcoholic / addict you probably won’t have to imagine it either. You’ve lived that story, or maybe suffered an even harsher version. Maybe you’re wondering why I didn’t list a third solution. You know, getting Clean or Sober or whatever phrase you want to use to describe not drinking or taking drugs anymore. For me, quitting didn’t seem like a realistic option. I had already tried various methods of quitting; Switching alcohol for drugs and vice versa, using only on the weekends, quitting some drugs, seeing a psychiatrist, reading self-help books, etc. The funny thing is, I ended up doing just that – I stopped using. I became alcohol and drug free not too long after I lived the above day back in the very early spring of 2001. I have since remained that way. This may lead you to ask a few questions:

A) How did I get free of the compulsion to take alcohol and drugs?

B) What do I do to remain free?

C) Can you do it too?

These and many other recovery related topics are what will be discussed in-depth here on the Bridges Sober Living Recovery Blog. The short answers are:

A) I honestly asked for help. Then with the help of many good people, I took new and different actions that guided me towards transforming my life.

B) I continue to live that reshaped life in a way that keeps on moving me forward.

C) Yes, YES and YES! If you are willing to take advantage of any and all resources that are available to you and are willing to do honest, thorough work. Almost anybody can change their lives despite their current circumstances.

Comments and discussion are encouraged!