I can’t remember much about my life before I started drinking, and what I do remember, it wasn’t pleasant. I can’t remember much of my life after I started drinking, because I was always to loaded. I’ve walked around existing in life for thirty years. I always believed that booze was the answer to everything. If I was hurting, it made me feel better, if I was happy, it made me happier, if I was mad or upset, it fixed if I just didn’t want to feel anymore, it made it all go away. Whatever was bothering me. At least that’s the way it seemed in my head. After awhile I just got to the point where I didn’t want to “feel” anymore. To feel meant weakness and paint. Both of which I wanted no part of. I became the person “I” wanted everyone to see, and alcohol helped me to do that. On the inside, I was self loathing and self hating. With a few shots, I could become anyone I wanted to be. I make the world seem me the way I wanted them to. The truth of the matter is deep down, I hated myself so much, I didn’t even want to see me. I believed the persona’s I let people see because it was easier than looking at the real me. The more of a monster I became, the more I hated myself, but by that time, I knew no other way to live.
When I got first got sober, I was terrified because at the age of 40, I had no idea who the hell I was, nor did I know any other way to live. I was so used to living with the lies that I had no idea what the truth was. Mental sobriety was harder for me to deal with physical sobriety, that’s for damn sure. I didn’t want to show feelings, I didn’t want to deal with feelings and I damn sure didn’t want to feel feelings. I never had a hard time expressing irritation, aggravation or anger. Other than that I fought for many years to keep actually “Feelings” locked up inside. Always showing the world that I was invincible. I did such a good job of it for such a long time, I clearly believed it myself. I discovered that in my sobriety, I not only had to “Not drink” but I had to “FEEL” Dammit man!!!! Now THAT was going to be problematic. I not only didn’t know how to deal with feelings, I didn’t want to either. I had to feel everything I had ever locked up in side, and then I had to learn how to deal with learning how to deal with coping with feelings rather than locking them up inside and using my drinking as a way to deal just as I always had.
This was no easy task, and one that still gives me a hard time on occasion today, but I have discovered that that I can deal with things much better today head on rather than burying them in inside a bottle and hiding from them. I’ve learned that NOTHING will ever be accomplished or “fixed” if I take that first drink. I have learned that it’s much better to face things head on than running from them. When you bury things and constantly hide from them, they build up more and more and things get worse and worse. By pretending they don’t exist and not dealing with them, it makes things more painful and more difficult to deal with. Then you add the bottle in order to try to drown them it, it doesn’t make it better, if anything, it makes it 1000 times worse.
This lesson was the most difficult for me to learn in my sobriety, and at least for “Me” it was the most painful. However, once I learned how to battle it, life became so much more manageable and easier to deal with. I had to be willing to go through the pain I’d been burying in order for me to dig my way out of it the hole I’d dug myself into other wise I would always see the light above my head, but never reach it and climb out. In order for me to begin a new life, I had to dig myself out of the old one completely.
June 17, 2014
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist