09 November 2018

FLIP THE SCRIPT! Turn "Just Say No!" (to drugs) to "Just Say Yes!" (to seeking help)

"I survived the alcohol and now I must survive myself." - (p. 113, All Drinking Aside)
LOST & FOUND: I Lost Everything Before I Found Myself.
Yes. But did it have to be this way?
Is "Hitting Bottom" ever really a requirement before long-term Recovery may be found?
The answer, of course, is a resounding "No!"
My alcohol consumption seemed to have reached a tipping point some short time following my fairly fun first decade of use. Alcoholism is slow and torturous, unlike the fast and furious descent of many other addictions. My whole life became nearly a textbook testament to alcohol's destructive forces. Some time after my first decade of drinking, I somehow lost all control of my consumption and my grip on reality loosened... and unloosened. Alcohol went from being a series of periodic binges to a daily necessity. Life hardly seemed worth living without it and barely seemed worth living with it. My love of alcohol turned into a love-hate relationship buffered by thick layers of denial. I craved alcohol above all else and could not stop, even if and when I occasionally considered it.
My addiction, in hindsight, seems to have hijacked the survival part of my brain. Survival would include alcohol above all else. My instinct to survive was perverted, twisted and totally distorted under the influence of alcohol. I came to believe that survival would be unthinkable without it. Consequences be damned. I needed a drink and I needed it now, now, now, now and now.
In hindsight, it may appear that losing everything was a necessary precondition to finding recovery and finding my place in it. But is "Hitting Bottom" ever really a requirement before long-term Recovery may be found?
The Stigmas surrounding Addiction have been mentioned by me in several other posts. The world shames us and so we live in shame, not seeking help to find a clean and sober life. Addiction erodes the addict's mental health such that when treatment is finally sought, whatever mental health one may have had prior to addiction will surely have eroded by the time addiction has had its way on them. Discrimination and exclusion from the outside perpetuate addiction.
Even in some Recovering Communities, a certain myth about finding Recovery exists. That myth is that before recovery can be found, the alcoholic and addict must hit bottom first. The willingness to find help may thus be eclipsed by thoughts of having not yet hitting bottom. Harm reduction isn't even in the equation here for some.
Speaking only for myself, my only bottom, truly, finally, would have been death. My brain always seemed to want more alcohol than my level of tolerance at every point in my descent. The only way that I would ever stop was when an overdose of alcohol took my body down and out.
Ignorant of recovery when I first got sober, the idea of hitting bottom was new to me. It invited questions that should perhaps not be asked. Doubt can, and did creep in. The thought entered my head that perhaps I had not hit bottom yet.  
Help is here and now for anyone and everyone, no matter how close or far away one is from some imaginary bottom. Crash and burn, crash and burn. That was always where and how I landed. Would I need a low, lower, lowest-point for recovery to magically begin to happen? Why would things have to get worse before they could possibly get better? How about seek help BEFORE it gets worse?
Instead of the disaster produced by Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No!" campaign, why don't we flip the script to "Just Say Yes!" to treatment at the earliest possible moment? Save what's left while there's still something to save and BEFORE things get inevitably worse. Hit bottom first... be damned.
FLIP THE SCRIPT! Turn "Just Say No!" (to drugs) to "Just Say Yes!" (to seeking help). The Sooner, the Better! No More "Must Hit Bottom First."
"It Works When You Work It! (Let's keep that one!)
"Just Say Yes!"

#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
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