Trigger Warning: Substance abuse

*This text is written by a person suffering from alcoholism. The person wants to remain anonymous but share their experience. English is not their mother tongue but the way they decided to express themself. So please be indulgent to their mistakes.*

Today it hit me again. Not even my cravings. I already learned to handle them since a few months. No, the realization hit me. Acknowledging my disease, the consequences of it. Somedays, like today my disease knocks hard on my frontal cortex and limbic system.

‘Hi…I’m still here. I mean, why else would you be alone most of the time? Not hanging out with friends, talking about stuff, about me, about their stuff, drinking a glass, smoking a zig. Enjoying life together like in old times, like you did for the last 13 years… thought I’ve gone heh? Thought you could get rid of me?’

Yes, why else would I feel alone, you’re right old friend… I feel so lonely sometimes. I’d love to go out, meet people, enjoy the time with others. But so many times I don’t feel strong enough. And I don’t want to be exposed to it and the chance to relapse.

I not only feel lonely because I isolate myself from social contacts, but because I cannot talk to my friends about it. Either they don’t understand what I’m talking about, how the disease works, how it feels, how it impacts my life till now, or they are themselves in the situation I was a few years ago… Lying to myself, talking it ‘rose’ – I mean gloss over it a little here and there, trying not to lose control fully but still giving in to the addiction and ignore what was so obvious. Also most of the time I don’t even want to talk about it, I suppress many thoughts and feelings about my disease, fearing that if I wouldn’t, I‘d relapse again.

Sometimes it even triggers and depresses me to be in an environment where I would have satisfied my addiction. A comfy kitchen of a friend, a nice park where I’d sit with them, my balcony… That’s why I kind of try to keep myself away from those situations and places. Just to protect myself from the resulting cravings and depression I’ll have, after an actually happy coming-together…

My disease isolates me in different ways. Even though it was also the reason for many happy memories, many wonderful people I got the chance to meet – so many beautiful illusions… it was sometimes the only reason to even meet someone. So today I also acknowledge, that many times I wasn’t that loving caring friend and person I most of the time thought I was. That many times all I cared for was to satisfy my cravings.

My disease caused me many painful moments over the past few years. Many deep holes I felt trapped in, many depressing thoughts and actions, many lonely nights and mornings sitting alone in a random kitchen or my own while others around me slowly started their day.

But it was also my best friend, that helped me cope my traumas, go down there where it hurt so much that I couldn’t carry the pain without it. My closest friend that was there for me, that comforted me, helped me, understood me, suffered with me, hugged me, loved me. Sometimes I miss you. The same friend that used me, abused me, controlled me, obsessed me, tricked me, triggered me, made me sick, fucked me up.

…and about finding love for a sober life

You’re not my best friend anymore. With a lot of pain two years ago I realized I must life my live without you. I was sitting on my bed in a clinic, crying so hard cause I was so desperate. I didn’t see any way out, I couldn’t imagine my live without you. Literally. I couldn’t let you go, give you up.

Still I had to make a decision. I understood for the first time, that it would never end anyways. Doctors told me, but I didn’t understand till this moment back then: Our story is an endless story. You’ll always sit in an actually wonderful part of my brain, trying to seduce me. But I also saw the presence of MY CHOICE for the first time. The choice of living my live with you, and you controlling me, or living my live with you, me controlling you. Even though I relapsed many times after that day, I made the same decision again this spring.

I’m happier without you, and I love my sober live. Feeling how everything really feels, all the good and heavy feelings. The true joy hugging someone, the true pain when I watch my past and present mistakes, the true struggle and amount of work to cope not only my traumas but live with all up’s and downs on a daily basis. And the feeling of proudness, when I look at what I MANAGED!

Just now I see those people that work up their past and pain without you. Those people are true heroes. Coping their live without substance abuse. I have the biggest respect for all of you, you are my role model and motivation to keep on going and believe in the possibility that I too can live my life in sobriety.

See, old friend…It’s not you tricking me anymore, blurring reality. For I have taken control over you since 3 months, 3 weeks and 5 days. May I be strong enough to do so each and every day for the rest of my life.

I pray for my friends that are on a tightrope walk today, may they stay stable, connected to their inner strength, and healthy. May they be able to keep control over it and always keep it.

Thank you for reading. Writing these words was easing my pain, and I hope if you suffer of an addiction disease, that those words may inspire you to start or keep on fighting it. You are not alone.

With love,

from an Anonymous Alcoholic that discovered a deep and honest love for a sober live.