I found my reason to be sober every morning when I came to. For what now seems like an eternity but in actuality lasted a mere twelve-plus years at its apex (and carried on for years before), I did not sleep. Almost every night I passed out in a blackout of complete drunkeness.
Mind you, the blackout was intentional. What was thought of as a careful crafting of inebriation which was to end in an intended shutting down of my brain was enacted as often as possible. If I didn’t drink to pass out then I would be up all night in a terrible sleepless drunk, tossing and turning unless I was putting something else into my system to power off. Blackouts became a means of survival; something necessary to reset for another day of self-destruction.
The problem was, when I came to I didn’t want to drink. I didn’t want to feel the pain I was feeling, the venomous, violent disconnect from normal, from reality. I didn’t want to feel the fear of what I couldn’t remember, the guilt of what I thought I could, the anger, resentment, the distance and loneliness. I wanted to feel whole.
It wouldn’t take long. A few hours would go by, slowly, painfully, filled with nearly if not absolutely zero production. Fuzzy and hazy, my uselessness took on the shape of a listless ship. That ship, lacking direction and propulsion, began to take on water; the cold dark liquid of self-doubt, self-loathing, self-pity. Certainly and without failure, with no means or motivation to bail the ship, to save myself, I would sink further and further into a vast body of self-limiting beliefs. Invariably, at some point in the day, I would turn to alcohol to right myself, to buoy myself, to falsely free myself from drowning all the while filling my pockets with the rocks of substance abuse.
It’s tragic, really. Tragic and amazing. Tragic in the wanton waste of life; tragic in the terrifying self destruction. Amazing in that I am still here today to write about my past, to review it, to understand and learn from it. I can now see how I had held myself back from all of my potential to simply be a healthy, loving human being. With this perspective I can now identify when I am leaning towards old detriments of character like selfishness, apathy, self-doubt, and fear; dark, evil, loathsome, self-limiting fear. With this perspective I can move forward towards finding happiness in myself, finding and realizing new potential, finding courage and strength to take action in all aspects of self improvement, of life. With this perspective I can see that I cannot drink.
It has been a marvelous new direction, this course of recovery. I have found some answers in AA, some answers in counseling, some answers in transparency, full disclosure, some answers in being vulnerable and asking for help, some answers here, in writing. There is a community of people who all share the same problem that alcoholism is a symptom of and that a cure for which can be, in part, found in the relation to one another of experiences. I hope to reach someone who needs it as I read other’s writings that speak to me. Thank you to those who write, to those who read, to those who understand without a word, to those who show support, who listen, who reply, who care. Thank you to those who ask questions, to those who offer opinion, who share personal accounts, who accept. Thank you to those who love me and who I love.
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