Of course dealing with the demons of your actual addiction is something that must be done when you’re trying to get sober. We not only have to put it down, but we have to fight keeping it down. In order to “keep” from picking back up, we have to face and fight the many other demons that we carry deep within us. The demons that got us sick to begin with.
Few alcoholics will readily admit that they have inner demons. We insist there’s nothing bothering us, there’s nothing we can’t handle or get through. We try to convince everyone around us that we’re made of steel when on the inside we’re the opposite. We see showing emotions as a sign of weakness, therefore we don’t do it (unless it’s anger of course) We let the outside world see only what “WE” want them to see. In the mean time, all that hurt, pain, deviations, tragedies….all that stuff that eats at us to the core piles up inside causing us to continue drinking or using in order to numb it all out. THOSE are the demons that we have to face in order to beat the addiction.
Unfortunately those are also the demons we don’t want to face. If we wanted to face them, we wouldn’t have faced them when they happened. We locked them away for a reason. Most people believe that getting sober only means not drinking. There is so much more to it than that. Other people (such as myself) was like, “WTF? You’re telling me I gotta FEEL?” Yeah, I wasn’t having any of that. I always thought that I was the biggest survivor because of the amount of tragic and pain I’d been through in my life. I didn’t see a shrink or go to therapy, I never talked about it, I tucked it inside and went on with my life. When I actually got sober, I realized that I didn’t survive anything, all I did was bury it all and drowned it all with a bottle or two……or three or four. For more years than I care to count I carried around all that pain and madness and it just became “normal” to me. I believed I was drinking and drugging the ways I was because I was having a good time….truth is it was all a big facade. I’d lied to everyone especially myself for so long I got to where I couldn’t tell the difference between reality and “my” reality. They were both one and the same.
Dealing with those demons is an essential part of recovery. You can fight it if you want but it will back fire in your face. Once you actually deal with them, once you finally face them head on, it’s then and only then that you can put them behind you and lay them to rest for good. By dealing with it all head on, it takes away the power that they have over you & they can no longer haunt you. When you allow yourself to feel all that you have locked away, it is a little overwhelming at first. It’s scarey, frustrating and it’s crazy. It’s also a very necessary task. If you allow your Pride and Ego take over and prevent you from this process, it will be YOU that loses in the long run. Showing emotion and feelings doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human and that’s not a bad thing. When getting sober, you’re fighting to join the human race and live your life as a normal, productive person. Don’t fight the process. I fought the process at first, Lord knows I did, but the truth of the matter is once I faced my inner demons, as difficult as it was, I learned that dealing with my day to day feelings wasn’t so bad or difficult.
Even after almost five years, I still don’t like to deal with or show my emotions, when you do something for forty years, it’s not a habit that is just gonna break at will. But I can recognize it for what it is today and I know what will surely happen if I start giving in to those old urges to isolate those feelings deep down in my gut. I’m not willing to pay those consequences so therefore I’m willing to do whatever I need to in order to stay sober. I have an inner peace today that I have never experienced in my whole life. There’s nothing eating at my innards and I’m finally free.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist