I am without a doubt the addict of the hopeless variety. I was the guy who would show up to an AA meeting picking up yet another white chip. The guy who everyone thought was such a good guy, but just could never get his life together. The guy you felt bad for and cheered on no matter what. I absolutely hated being that guy, there is something about the addict ego that does not want pity, at least pity from others. Ironically though, I loved to pity myself, it was something that kept me in the throes of addiction for years.
I remember so many times hearing about or seeing someone who was celebrating multiple years of sobriety and I had known them since their first month of sobriety, we had been on the journey together yet I always was the one who veered off while others did the right things and stayed sober. I let my hopelessness define me, which made me indifferent to anything in life for so long. I also believed in the stigma of addiction, that it made me much less than other people.
Indifference is scary, I made so many snap decisions that could of had major impact on the rest of my life without hesitation. My thought process literally was that I didn’t care about myself so who cares what happens. I relapsed so constantly I don’t even know if you could define them as relapses.
One thing I knew at that time was that relapse was quite prominent in those who enter recovery. While I had met the ‘one chip wonders’ before, I knew a lot of people who took quite a few years to fully grasp their recovery and the actions it takes. There was always, no matter how hopeless I was, a little voice in my head telling me, “This isn’t the end, you are on this planet for a greater reason.”
On March 17, 2015 my mom called me and informed me that my father had passed away, I was already at a low with depression and this devastated me. After the service I spent the next two months completely isolated, I didn’t talk to or see anyone for weeks at a time, and crying myself to sleep every night. I was so broken and defeated, just waiting for my life to end. My mom called me around the middle of May that year and asked if I wanted help, I said yes of course, but had very little hope of being able to gain any kind of productive life back.
Being in an institution was what I needed, I needed somewhere I was being watched over and where I not only felt safe, but felt I at least had a chance at life. A big problem I usually suffered from was that I thought I knew what was best for me, always. The writing was on the wall that I did not know what was best for me, it took a lot of pain and suffering to see that. I won’t necessarily talk about what it was that I had personally had to do , I just want to reiterate how important it was that I was ready to listen to someone else’s ideas on what I should do about my addiction and depression. Someone who had my best interest in mind, usually someone who had been what I had been through and gotten out of it. With the attitude of being teachable, and opening up to people I trusted, truly opened up, I began to notice a change and experience some genuine fulfillment. May 17,2015 was the first day I decided to do this, I have been sober ever since.
That is not to say life has been easy, I still experience periods of time where I am down on myself and feel like I am moving backwards, the most important thing I do about it is tell somebody. There is something about opening up how I really feel to someone that really gets me into gear to do something about whatever is setting me back. Isolation is my absolute worst enemy, I get a sick twisted kind of comfort from it but it produces nothing positive. Please, if you need help, you must ask for it yourself. Find someone you trust and let them know how much pain you are truly in, it’s the first step we all must take in order to get on that path to being happy. My life is better than it ever has been and I owe it to everyone who supports me as much as I owe it to myself.