I should have figured sobriety would be necessary for me. I kind of figured in high school. I had an aversion to parties, booze, pot that lost me a lot of friends then and later an addiction to those things which would also lose me a lot of friends.
The mere amount of energy I have put into trying to moderate substance use in my life should stand as a testament to the fact that my life would be better without those substances.
Jordan Peterson says to look where you haven’t looked before, where you’re most uncomfortable looking. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do what you haven’t done.
There’s a little loud voice in me that has known sobriety is my next move for so long and the thing that holds me back is this idea of letting something have so much power over me that I must actively shut it out when so many others imbibe and indulge without issue.
The friends I thought were friends were just people whose behavior justified my own.
I didn’t want to admit weakness, but it’s going to take a lot more strength to be sober than it does to drink, so clearly that whole ego trip is just the insidious voice of the addict trying to win.
The metaphor of the devil comes in handy to identify the clear line between the structure of my existential, hopeful self and the addicted Gollum hoping to get his hands on the precious again. I can think of no better representation of addiction and the ways in which addicts justify self-sabotaging behavior.
I didn’t want this to be a sobriety blog because I wasn’t ready.
What makes a person ready to quit?
In most AA groups, I believe the answer is rock bottom. I’ve hit rock bottom a couple times. I see it looming if I do not change my behavior. The addict in me wants to deny this, but she will not win this time.
You decide you’re ready when you decide you will not lose to yourself, to a beverage, to whoever laid trauma down on your impressionable body or psyche, to your pain.
Today, you are a dragon. Rise and burn it all down by walking with your head up and your shoulders squared, with clear vision and kindness. When your life lends itself to destructive behavior, burning it all down looks like being helpful, useful, kind, interactive.
The best part is that if you’re not the kind of person who does this, that’s okay. Addiction goes hand in hand with narcissism. You don’t have to start out by loving yourself.
If you’re like me, you probably think you are a terrible person who is weak, selfish, and can’t understand why she can’t plant two feet on the ground without detonating some kind of self-destruct bomb.
This is also narcissism.
Today, I’m ready to let go of this version of myself. She sucks.
I’m not going to wallow or hate on myself either. I’m just going to start by focusing on one thing I can do better.
Dedicating myself to sobriety today and writing a post here is a start. My personal recovery goal is for better relationships and friendships. My issues with those stem from some serious trust issues which decades of therapy have not fixed at all.
The best way I know to start cultivating trust is to keep your own promises—who can you trust if you don’t trust yourself? So today I will keep my promise to stay sober. I’ll go to work like I’m scheduled to do and I’ll eat some nourishing food.
On days like these, that’s enough. Just let that be enough today.