If I could go back and undo it I would. I would go back to that moment when I first put that drug in my body, that moment when I felt my first high, that moment when I first got drunk, that moment when I felt carefree and on top of the world.
I didn’t know that soon I would be completely sucked in, unable to imagine a life without drugs or alcohol. I never thought that I would be dependent upon a substance just to feel normal. I had no clue that I would scrounge every cent I could just to get through the day. I didn’t mean for this to happen, but by the time I realized it, I was too far in.
I made excuses that I wasn’t hurting anyone, I was just having fun. But that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Honestly, I don’t think it ever was about having fun.
Addiction is pure torture, the constant work to try and find my next fix, find anything that would help me escape how I felt about myself. No matter how high or drunk I got, nothing ever took the pain away, only added to it. The hardest part was watching myself slip further and further away and not knowing what to do to stop myself. I felt like I was on a boat sinking and there were no life rafts to save me. I didn’t think that I was capable or deserving of any help, I felt like a lost cause.
I was never oblivious to what I was doing. I knew that I was hurting myself and everyone around me. It’s not that I didn’t care about them, I just didn’t care about myself.
I have tried getting sober so many times I lost count. I have been to treatment, meetings, anger management, counseling, even church. I know what steps I have to take and what I need to do. I have examples all around me of a program that works. I see amazing people fulfilling their goals and dreams after fighting this monster. I have seen examples of a life worth living.
So why have I been on this path for so long? Because this disease is a bitch, this monster is ruthless and doesn’t care about my well-being. And frankly because I’m stubborn. It’s hard to admit that you have a problem, that you don’t know how to stop putting something in your own body, because I am ashamed of the choices that I have made. I have lied, stolen, hurt the ones I love the most, just to get high. There is this voice in my head telling me “you are not good enough, you do not deserve love, you do not deserve happiness.”
I have been on this road of self-pity and hopelessness and it’s been hard to take a different path. I know this way, I know where I’m heading, I know what will happen to me. The other path scares me. It’s unknown territory. It’s having to look deep inside myself and admit my faults, it’s accepting help, and finding out that there might just be something better for me. Getting the help you need when you feel so unworthy is a ginormous obstacle.
When I look at my wife, my family and friends, everyone that I love, I know that I have to face that obstacle. I have to ask for help and accept it, I have to work hard and fight for my life. I don’t want to be on this earth just to be alive, I want to live. I want something better for myself, my wife, and my future family. I want a future.
It’s still hard for me to imagine a life without the constant battle in my mind. I can’t picture not thinking about getting high everyday. But right now I have a slight glimmer of hope. I don’t quite feel worth it, but the ones around me are worth it, and that’s what I’m holding on to.
Today I am just choosing to keep pushing forward and hoping that by taking the right steps I too can have a life worth living.