I’ve been an addict for a long time, primarily with opiates which I’ve been free of mostly for about 3 years now despite the occasional binge and alcohol which I used daily up until recently. Alcohol was never my addiction though, it was only an escape. Other than that I’ve abused just about every drug under the sun. Within the last year and a half or so I accidentally wound up in a very serious benzo addiction and am currently about 6 months along in a taper program.
Being the kind of person I am I knew that AA or NA wasn’t for me, I’m a very personal person and I know that I can work through my issues on my own. This approach isn’t for everyone, but for me it was the right path. Counseling and self reflection has been the biggest key to recovery. Counseling has helped tremendously because it gave me a physical outlet in which I could just lay it all out there and not have to hide from what I am, without a room full of people or a group being involved and self reflection because I truly believe it is the addicts worst enemy and only salvation.
I began journaling all of my thoughts, whether good or bad, and really thinking about why I did the things I did, or reacted and perceived my life experiences in the manner in which I did. I wound up starting this blog, it pretty much chronicles most of my life as an addict but more so recently I’ve dedicated it to the realizations I’ve come to on my path towards sobriety. It’s helping me tremendously and I hope it will help others as well.
With that out of the way, back to my original statement; Sobriety has to be selfish. I don’t mean this in a negative manner. My point is that it has to be about the individual and the individual alone. If you are trying to get sober for any reason other than the desire to live a better more fulfilled life, then you’ll likely never make it through the process. You have to want to be sober. You have to realize what you are, determine what you want to be, and set that goal; Then start walking in that direction. You’ll walk many miles most of which will be uphill; you’ll likely slip (more than once), reach depressive low’s you’ve never experienced before, experience your brain fighting you the entire time, and hopefully not, but commonly feel complete self dettachment.
Sobriety is a choice which can be made for many reasons; some are forced upon us by concerned individuals such as family or friends, others are for legal reasons, the list could really go on and on. Some of these can be helpful in the process, maybe even help you achieve the goal but you’ll never mentally heal unless you know why you are doing it, and also why you did it in the first place. Self reflection, as I’ve said, is the addicts greatest enemy and only salvation.
Cutting back isn’t really an option unless you have a benzo addiction, in which case that’s the safest way to go about eliminating your addiction; And by cutting back I mean structured tapering. If you are an addict, you can’t lie to yourself. Once an addict, always an addict. If you truly want to change your life, you have to dedicate your life to that goal.
It will never be easy, but it is worth it, and will take more dedication than anyone can fathom. It has to be a true desire to rid yourself of your vices for your own self interest alone. Atleast in my own personal experience.
I still use alcohol sporadically, but I don’t abuse it everyday like I was in my past. For me, alcohol was never an addiction or something I desired, it was only an escape. I keep it to only drinks on the weekend for the most part in which I limit myself; something I never did in the past. Some days aren’t good, I’ve slipped several times, fell into deep depressions; But this is all part of the process.
Remember, always, that this is about you and if you ever get too caught up in your own mind, think about this:
I promise you, if you’re doing it for the right reasons, you’ll know it rather quickly. And your own progress will serve to only fuel your desire.
My love and best wishes to you all.