31 January 2018

After Chemical Betrayal, Trust in Recovery Bred Hope & Change

Alcohol and other drugs had proven their potency and reliability as a tool to negotiate many social and personal difficulties for a dozen or so years before the negative consequences began to outweigh the positive ones. I was sold on alcohol. It was fun, useful and effective for a long, long time. Every drug has side effects, unintended or perhaps unexplored consequences. Besides, maybe it wasn't alcohol, but other things that were responsible for the hot water I increasingly found myself in. So what if I occasionally went overboard? 
Alcohol was slowly reaching a tipping point from being a supplement, like a daily vitamin, to being a side dish, then the main course and finally, the only course, my life in totality. Dependence, failed dependence. Excuses morphed into denial. Walls constructed, doors locked, windows shut, bridges eroded by the torrents of alcohol, foundation lost. And me drowning, overpowered by a sea of alcohol.
Then came the day, decades later, when I would have to stop or die.
Stop or die. Stop or die. Eventually, when hope dried up the only thing I wanted was another drink, all human trust evaporated. Nothing left. Hope, trust, everything... gone.
My sense of humanity in early sobriety was fairly a vacuum, dubious at best. My perception of having been betrayed by my servant, alcohol, swallowed my trust in all else.
Something would have to change were I to remain sober, to live. And that would be me. I would have to change. But how? The changes were slow and many and took much time. Some kind of trust in the human race formed slowly. 
Addiction is truly a sickness and the subtle irony of another form of sickness helping me get well is not lost on me....
"The doctor diagnosed my condition as a sinus infection and gave me a prescription for antibiotics. Knowing I would be well in ten days made me feel subjectively better instantly. Nothing changed but my faith in the knowledge that things would change for the better very soon. If I could learn to apply this kind of trust to everything in my life, then I will feel better now and feeling better now will guide me into feeling better in my future. Of course, this is a hard concept to hold onto and an easy one to let slip out of my hands, but I just have to keep repeating it until it becomes my heartbeat, my heartbeat, my heart."
Slowly, patiently, my trust in humanity resumed. Yes, trust must be earned, but I had to open my eyes to much of what was already there, barricaded behind walls of denial and defense that years of addiction to alcohol had persuaded me to erect.
I got better and life got better and strength and hope and trust began to fill my life after decades of parting with the chemicals of betrayal which had swallowed almost all. 
Broken, slowly, with help, I began putting a new life together, stronger, better, wiser than might have ever become possible. Thank you, addiction, for this beautiful, new life!
Thank you, Hell, for the Recovery I have found.
Thank you, Friends, for we stand on common ground.

"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
Passages in quotes from All Drinking Aside: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
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140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

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