RELAPSE: A Seemingling Endless Path to Recover

smart_alcoholism

I’ve relished in the glory of recovery – capitalized on the very power of its opportunities, with the general public always hoping folks like me will rehabilitate and become contributing members of society right off the bat; saying things like, “Why can’t you just stop?” or “Just have one or two drinks instead of twenty” – but it feels like my duty is to embrace the comforting attitude that everything is going to be okay – even when it’s not; stuff it down and act like a man.  I begin to feel like I’m involved in the business of false promises; that I can hold it together for a while, feel accomplished and motivated – then one, and I mean ONE random second of penetrated defenses it all comes crashing down. I would like to think it’s as easy as giving in and changing everything about who I am, but it’s not. I am who I am – broken, just banish me off to the Island of Misfit Toys; I’m the epitome of powerless and absolutely my own worse enemy, a drunk that has had such a difficult time learning the ways of living without the security of that ever so soothing drink. I possess such self-hatred because I have to take ownership of that powerlessness, and the public that has petitioned to change my personality because that is what some professionals are trained to do – make me “normal”.  Mostly the ones who don’t understand what it’s actually like waking up with this hanging over me; a dark and stormy cloud that spoils the sunny days – change the God given consciousness I was born with, even if I am different than most.  Stay tuned for my explanation of why…I got drunk…and woke up a week later knowing virtually nothing of what took place, what I did, or how I got there.

This is the darker side of alcoholism…when it awakens and becomes active once more…

 

6 thoughts on “RELAPSE: A Seemingling Endless Path to Recover”

  1. I am going to eventually post my On Addictions article. The science truly shows how you were just unlucky enough to have a certain brain misconnection between the prefrontal cortex and the desire center, not really imp0ortant. the point is about 10-15% of the world struggles like you do with limits in drugs. This number increases for other addictions like food. I dont know if this helps but basically hang in there and no it is real and that while a struggle it was never on you.

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    1. I look forward to reading it when you post, send me the link; I love learning and reading as much as I can about this disease that I live with.

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  2. i can relate to this even if my experience is different (depression/self-harm rather than alcohol addiction). I write a lot about my work in therapy and readers will say it encourages them and they learn from me, blah blah blah… But then I have (am having) a relapse and wake up in a thick fog of disgust for myself that weighs so heavily I can barely stand up. Ugh, not again, I think. Or still. Or forever. And all my holding it together and getting stronger crashes down around me. It sucks.

    But I don’t think you have to add to your self-hatred because you are powerless over your addiction. It’s just a disease, not a question of morality. If you had lupus and had flare-ups sometimes, you wouldn’t need to hate yourself for that. If you had epilepsy, as my dad does, and your meds stopped working for you and you started having more seizures, it wouldn’t be a moral failing. I don’t ask for my depression. We just have chronic illnesses that need to be managed as much as possible. And relapses may just be part of the package.

    Be gentle with yourself. Life’s not easy.

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    1. One of the great things I have discovered on my journey through addiction is that no matter what plagues us as individuals – be it addiction, depression, anxiety, etc…, we feel and go through a lot of the same emotions and end up with similar results. The great part is about that is there is more support out there than we may have originally thought for people like us to lean on; doing our best at making the best out of a less than desirable situation. These are the cards we were dealt, so rather than dwell in it and give up, I admire the people that take a stance to do something about it, because I know how difficult and paralyzing it is first hand. Stay strong, you’re not alone.

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  3. Chris, I can certainly appreciate the struggle you describe regarding relapse seeming to be an endless path to recovery. I have been attending 12-Step meetings since 2001. I relapsed 3 times between my first meeting and the date when I truly put the drink down for good. I have not had a drink, a joint, or a line of cocaine since 2008. I did, however, relapse 3 times on oxycodone since 2008. I must point out that if you “stuff it down” when upset because that’s what it means to act like a man, and if you “begin to feel like [you’re] involved in the business of false promises,” your recovery is indeed going to be an endless path of disappointment, relapse, guilt, shame, and broken promises. I tried recovery that way for a decade. It was hell. I felt like I was getting older and older while continuing to spin my tires in the muck of my own will. It truly took me 14 years to accept my powerlessness over mood-altering chemicals. You wrote, “I would like to think it’s as easy as giving in and changing everything about who I am, but it’s not.” You talk about being broken, as if you’re from the Island of Misfit Toys. The key to this thing called sobriety is acceptance (for who you are as well as where you are in life right now), and turning your will and your life over to a Higher Power. Be sure you find a sponsor who will take you page by page through the Big Book (basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous). As long as you take this recovery business one day at a time (just don’t drink for the next 24 hours) and get to work on changing EVERYTHING about your life. Feel free to contact me any time at my email if you want to talk or ask a question. I can be reached at stevebarto1959@gmail.com. Glad you are taking a run at this whole sobriety thing. Life does get better.

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