The First Hurdle

First things first, I want to say thank you to everyone who read my previous post. The response was incredible, more so than I’d ever thought possible.

I have always said that I want my words to inspire people and help people open a dialogue with their loved ones, which could be opening up about addiction or mental health. After publishing my last post, I had confirmation that I had achieved just that. I made a promise to myself and all of you that I would share my journey; I would share the highs, the lows and everything in between.

Today, I feel utterly wretched. I’ve hit the five-day mark. The shakes, headaches and sickness have passed. I woke up thinking today would be a beautiful day. You know the feeling when in the movies you see a beautiful scene, the curtain falls, and it leaves behind a grim disturbing backdrop of reality? That’s how I feel today. The colour has fallen away from life.

That’s what addiction does. It makes us miss the thing we love to hate. I want it, and I’m grumpy at myself for wanting to have a better life. I’m grumpy at myself because I gave myself the idea that I could be different.

It’s always around this point in the sobriety journey that we begin to look around and see the life we created for ourselves. Because our systems are clear of reality-altering drugs we begin to see it for what it is.

I have created a life for myself where I fed my addiction before I fed anything else. Relationships with everyone in my life have suffered in some way and it’s generally at this point I would think to myself, “just pick up another drink!” or “forget about it, it’ll always be this way. It can’t be changed.” My relationship with myself has suffered. My finances have suffered. My productivity has suffered.

In the garden of life, the flowers that I thought were flourishing have wilted and died.

I have about 7 years’ worth of feelings to process. Let me tell you, our bodies and minds always keep the score, and we bury our feelings at the peril of having to handle them later. You borrow a temporary feeling of ‘relief’ from your future.

Moreover, I get the existential crisis of “who is Jack?” Who am I without this drug that I have leant on as a crux for all these years? Do I still get to be fun? Will people still like me now that I’m sober? Will they like me at all? Am I going to be able to survive, let alone thrive, if I don’t drink?

Yeah, it’s at about this point that I drink. This feeling sucks.

Seeing the barren wasteland of our lives laid bare, we realise how we’ve been using our creative God-given manifestation abilities to create the very thing we thought we were running away from. It suddenly becomes clear that all the choices we’ve made and everything we’ve done have destroyed the once beautiful garden of our lives.

It’s my choice to look on it as a blessing, because it isn’t often that one gets to have the rose-tinted glasses removed. I’m not letting it beat me because I know something that I didn’t before. Clearly, through the choices I’ve made, I’ve created this wasteland for myself. Because of this, I know that it’s within my own capabilities to change something that I don’t feel represents the highest version of me. Leaning on the capacity of love, rather than the teacher of fear, is what will see me right. It’ll help create ripples in my existence and start allowing that barren wasteland to bear fruit.

All in all, this is just a long-winded way of telling both you and myself that I’m not giving up. I am dedicating this time to feeling and moving the emotion through me. Feeling and healing, releasing and surrendering, all that jazz.

The act of me writing all this down has made me feel better about today; the act of me sharing it with you all gives me a reminder to why I made that pledge to show up for myself.

Lastly, if you can take only one thing from this post, then take this. Don’t give up. You absolutely have the power to change your life. After all, you have created the life you have, so you have the power to create something different. You really are stronger than you know. You are worthy and loved. No matter what your mind may tell you, challenge it. Throw the stone of change into the lake of your life. Watch the ripple effects change your world.

Keep reaching for the best version of yourself. One day at a time.

I love you.