Today marks 180 days since my last alcoholic beverage. I am sober. I can say that with pride. Let me say that we all are addicted to something. Some of us to food, others to drugs, some to shopping, others to being lazy. It’s up to all of us to determine if it’s somehow limiting our potential. If our vice is a road block to being the person we want to be.
It was certainly limiting me. Some say I’m brave for talking about this. Some say I should be ashamed, and keep quiet about it. But, well, there’s nothing wrong with talking about addiction. We place addictions on a hierarchy. Drugs and alcohol are considered the most shameful. The most destructive. But I don’t think that’s true. The degree must be determined. There’s no sense sitting on a perch when you’ve just spent hundreds of dollars on online shopping for the 30th straight day. That’s addiction too.
In the past six months I have started each day with a renewed vigor. No more do I wake up with anxiety, shakes, sweats, all the tell-tale signs that one has indulged to excess the day previous. No more worry about what I texted someone. No more fear about what I may have said to someone. Was it offensive? Mean? Weird?
Addiction is an attempt to fill a void. There’s something inside you that you’re not confronting. It may be something small, or in most cases, it’s something big. For me, it was a lot about my childhood, abuse I experienced that I was not confronting.
But I got help, I started the process of healing my wounds. Some of them were gaping, puss-filled sores that I had to crawl into and stitch with my bare hands. I’m not done yet, there are many roads to still traverse in my recovery, but I’m doing it. And I hope, when I’m ready, I’ll be able to talk more about how those wounds were inflicted.
Talking about abuse is another taboo. And what it does is further shame the victim. I spent too many years afraid of what people would think of me if I said something. What my tormenters would think, how they tried to intimidate me into silence. Well, no more of that.
Today though, I look forward to a bright future. One far more available to me than it was seven months ago. I wake every morning with such a sense of immense possibility.
I’m never going back to crucify myself.
Thank you for reading.