Sorry I haven’t written in a while… I kind of fell in love. Not kind of, I did fall in love. And it changed everything
I would say at this point I’m in solid recovery. Not just from drugs and alcohol, but from everything that happened to me as a whole. I say that because I don’t wake up angry anymore; rage doesn’t consume me every time I check in for drug testing, every time I have to talk to my psychiatrist, get approval for vacation, etc. And it’s because I’m genuinely happy for the first time since all of this started.
The single biggest difference was not ANYTHING the program forced me to do (which only made things worse) but meeting someone who also doesn’t drink and building a life with them. My boyfriend is a recovered alcoholic in 8 years of solid recovery without even a sip of alcohol. He got in a lot of trouble when he was young because of alcohol and completely cut it out of his life. See, dating someone who drinks is hard when you don’t, especially when you’re being told not to for reasons you don’t agree with or think fair. Even if they say they don’t drink that much or care, you’re always going to think you’re taking something away from them. And it’s always going to come up at some point. Watching other people drink and have fun while you’re the only one not drinking is incredibly hard, let’s not kid ourselves. Our culture shoves alcohol down our throats telling us that it makes everything more fun. It’s a very hard social habit to break. But when you’re with someone who also doesn’t drink for similar reasons it makes it infinitely easier. I finally don’t think about it anymore. I watch all my friends drink, but having my person who also isn’t drinking with me, and legitimately doesn’t want to drink, makes me suddenly not care anymore. It doesn’t even come up in conversation anymore. My fridge is literally filled with alcohol that people bring over and since neither one of us drink it just sits there until someone comes over and drinks it. And I’m never even tempted anymore. We constantly remind each other of all the reasons we don’t drink and it’s like having a 24-7 sponsor. I used to always say that once my monitoring contract was over I would go back to responsibly drinking in my free time, but now I really don’t think I will. I have zero desire to drink anymore. I watch all my friends complaining about being hung over and sick, watch them do stupid irresponsible things and act like idiots, and I honestly don’t want that anymore.
Alcohol makes people stupid. It’s dulls us and makes you forget about your problems for a bit, but those problems will still be there. I have a theory that the reason alcohol is legal and other drugs such as mushrooms which have little to no toxicity or health problems (see chart below) are not is because 1. The government and economy makes a LOT of money from alcohol and 2. It keeps us stupid and unlikely to revolt against the corporations and billionaires who profit significantly from us without our knowledge. Alcohol is extremely toxic and I have seen more long term health consequences from alcohol than any other drug. And especially now with corona virus and social isolation, alcoholism is more prevalent than ever. While everyone else is getting drunk on the weekends and wasting their time, I’m not only having fun but learning how to become a DJ, a graphic designer, and learning how to 3D render and animate. I’m not hung over or impaired and never have to worry about a ride home. I’m honestly happier than ever.
My boyfriend and I always say that going to Alcoholics Anonymous made us think about, and miss, alcohol more than ever. I know it’s supposed to tell you all the reasons you shouldn’t drink, but for both of us all it made us do was think about it more than we ever would have without it. I rarely think about alcohol anymore. People who go to AA are totally consumed by it. They spend all their free time talking about and thinking about alcohol instead of living their life without it. The real trick to going without it, is just living your life without it. The hard part is the fact that alcohol is EVERYWHERE. The real trick is just finding something else to occupy your time. Find a hobby you really enjoy, exercise, have parties and find a sober buddy. I promise you it gets easier with time, and eventually you won’t think about it anymore.
I still hate the contract and despise them for everything they put me through and I always will, but all in all I am very happy with how everything turned out. Of course I’m lucky because I still have my career and am VERY good at it, and because of that I’ve been able to build back up my reputation which finally overshadows all the mud they dragged my name through. And I’m lucky because I found the man of my dreams who also doesn’t drink. But if anyone reading this is going through any of the bullshit I had to go through, keep your head up. Things will get better. Play their games and get through it, but never stop fighting for what you believe in
One thought on “Real Recovery”
You have no idea how close to home this hits right now. Roneil and I are going through a divorce (privately/off-line, etc) requested by me and related to topics and themes you wrote about. I know the amount of work it takes to get to where you are right now and I admire your strength. “Things will get better. Play their games and get through it, but never stop fighting for what you believe in” <—- exactly what I'm doing right now, exiting this situation with the least damage possible and standing up for what I believe 🙂
Kavita Jackson, MD