You Are Not Alone
It’s something I live with everyday. There is a battle within me; a war between my alcoholism, and my drive to live a life without something that will kill me slowly, painfully, and without dignity.
There are days when I can’t breathe because I am so overwhelmed with the responsibility that comes with having to fight against a disease that is cunning, baffling, powerful, and patient. Its insidiousness is frightening and quite honestly, I wonder, often, if this is a fight I can win. Then I remember that it’s not just me in this fight.
I AM NOT ALONE.
Suddenly the disease of addiction loses its power. Every day I have a choice. I can remember that I am not alone, or let this thing kill me.
That is my reality.
I was not a “functional alcoholic,” nor was I the variety that had fun. When I drank, I did so to blackout. Drinking took me to a lonely, barren, and solitary place and I embraced it. I was not living, I was not present, and I was suffering on purpose because I believed that that is what I deserved. I cannot blame alcoholism for my life choices or the rock bottoms I found myself in time after time, but I can’t blame myself either. What does blame do? It serves no purpose.
What I CAN do, it take responsibility.
Drinking was my solution, and I allowed alcoholism free reign. I allowed my life to become empty, and for myself to become a slave to alcohol. I didn’t resist the compulsion. I didn’t resist the desire to make myself and those around me suffer. I didn’t know any better. I didn’t think I DESERVED any better. Today, I know better.
The moment I reached out for help, my life began to change. Reaching out saved my life; a life I didn’t think was worth saving. Today, I am not the person I once was. I am not a slave to the disease of alcoholism. I don’t allow the compulsions to suffer dictate me. I believe that I am worthy of a good life, and I have a solution. I was the one that kept me down, sick, obsessed, and at the mercy of alcohol because I didn’t know any better. I know now.
If you are reading this, and are still in the grips of active addiction, know please that you are not alone. I have been where you are and felt that hopeless, helpless, sick resignation. I have felt that despair that sucks you in so deep that a drink seems like the only way to deal with it. I have felt so alone and isolated that there couldn’t possibly be a way to be free, to be understood, to feel happy and whole. I have been there.I have been in that hell and can tell you one thing with certainty.
If you reach out, if you ask for help, it will get better.
It’s the hardest damn thing you’ll ever do; coming from that dark place into one of hope and recovery, but it will be worth it.
You are not alone. Hold on, the pain will end.
Shanna is in recovery from alcoholism, and chooses to voice her experience and journey of recovery. Shanna is also administrator for the inspirational facebook group, Diary of an Alcoholic: A Journey of Recovery.