Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Thing About Addiction....

Here's the thing about addiction - it never really goes away.You can stop using your drugs. You can stop drinking your alcohol, but the addiction remains......disguised as longing.

Longing for the pain to go away. And it DOES NOT matter what you were addicted to - booze, drugs, food, sex, shopping, self pity, swinging from the ceiling - the longing is ALWAYS for the pain to go away.

A very good friend of mine in recovery tells me that SOBER stands for "son of a bitch everything's real." And yeah. It is.

And I sometimes get swallowed up whole by the longing for the pain to go away. The pain of loss. The pain of love that leaves. The pain of a child who's hurting that you can't do anything about. The physical pain that doesn't let my body work as well as it once did. The pain (and I can't quite figure out where this one is coming from) that makes me cry because I couldn't buy a bag of ice at Sinclair tonight because there was fresh-poured concrete in front of the ice chest. The pain of the mundanity of life. I start thinking that I just want the pain of all those things piled on top of each other to go away. (That's probably why I cry over ice - all those things piled up on top of each other.)

And I start thinking about what would most effectively do the job. Drugs. Food. Sex. Booze. Maybe all of the above. And I remember a time when I would use all of the above to do just that. (That's how I know they will work!!)

But here's the thing. Here's the thing that's different this third time. Here's the thing that let's me know I'm really, truly, in recovery this time.

It's ALL temporary. The relief those things would bring. The happiness I may (or may not) feel while using those things. Even the pain that causes me to consider those things in the first place.

It's               all               temporary.

In the past, I've never been able to get to that little tidbit. All I could think about, focus on, long for.....was the relief.

Today I can go to the thought that I might feel better if I drink a bottle of Crown and get past that to the thought that says the relief would be temporary and get past THAT thought to the one that tells me it will only make everything worse. That's the cycle of addiction. We drink (or use, or shop, or eat, or fuck) to make the pain stop and it does and then it comes back worse and brings his friend guilt so we drink more to make the pain stop and it does and then it comes back worse and brings his friends guilt and anger....and so on and so on and so on and so on until we end up in the abyss.

I'm lucky, I guess. I found the bottom of my abyss and at the bottom of my abyss was the door to Alcoholics Anonymous instead of the door to the afterlife. I've made it to "the long run" I think. I have tucked some things away "for future reference" as my mother is so fond of saying.

I've learned some things, maybe. I've grown up a bit. And I can still look back at all the fun times I had (yeah, it definitely was not ALL bad ;-}) but I can continue with the thought process that brings me to the knowledge that it is SO MUCH BETTER NOW.

Even when I don't feel fabulous.


Post a Comment