Thankfully the anxiety and desire to drink has subsided since Saturday and I’ve had a few days of feeling like me again. The new me. The me that remained sober for 15 months and appreciated myself, others and life so much more.
One of the benefits of relapsing (not that we want to relapse but what is done is done) is that I’ve been here before. I’ve experienced the periods of craving and fighting my addiction but then I’ve also enjoyed the ‘pink cloud’ of sobriety which is that elated feeling of being in control and appreciating abstinence. The danger though is complacency and I’m sure as hell not letting my guard down because I have no desire to let that drink back into my body.,
I have AA meetings scheduled in this week. These will be my first face to face meetings and I’m a bit nervous about attending as it’s that whole doing something new but I just need to keep telling myself that the people I meet will be there for the same reason. I’m still a little sceptical about many aspects of AA but I want to give it a go because it has worked for so many people who I connect with and respect in the recovery community.
I’ve had open chats with my wife and one of my best mates in the last few days along with my manager when at work today. All are great people and I know they’ll continue to have my back going forward. Their support is priceless. Talking has always been the thing that came hardest for me and is part of the reason I ended up as unwell as I did. I allowed my illness to manifest when I could have been reaching out and getting support from others. I instantly felt better for speaking to the before-mentioned trio. It’s getting to that point of dialogue which is so difficult though, and when your depression, anxiety, addiction etc is at its worst you can’t muster the confidence or strength to speak up. It’s easy for us to tell somebody to “talk” but trust me, at your lowest the last thing you want to do is talk. You feel ashamed, lost, confused, vulnerable and a failure. You don’t want to share that burden with your loved ones. You don’t want to disappoint them.
First time round I was very much winging sobriety and I won’t dismiss the hard work and achievements. I remained sober for the longest period of my life and didn’t allow a drop of alcohol to pass my lips in 458 days. The longest period of abstinence I’ve achieved since I was 16 yrs old. I think I can use my experience and the tools that worked for me last time to drive me on for the rest of my life but I’m under no illusions that I have an illness and as proven recently, you can succumb to it when you least expect it. That’s why I’m hoping AA could be the missing piece of the jigsaw. I mean, we are all here on this Earth to try new things and learn from our mistakes aren’t we?