There are a great many people out there who don’t like change. Alcoholics and addicts are on the very top of that list. We don’t deal with change well at all. In order to get sober, change is a must. In spite of how much we fight it, in the long run, it’s usually a very good thing.
Yes, we have to change the way we do things. We have to change the destructive behavior, the wild parties and people in our lives that we party with. We have to do our very best not to pick up even when the urges are so bad we can’t seem to breath. We have to learn how to deal with day to day situations without using our usual methods of coping skills. We had been doing these things for so very long they are like second nature to us. These are the changes that we don’t like and have difficulty with. I spent twenty-eight years out there drinking and drugging. That was how I dealt with any and all situations, breaking that habit was not something I dealt with lightly. Not allowing myself to “feel” was something else I had done for my entire life and something I did not want to change. I felt I kept myself safe by not doing that for so long that the thought of having to do it terrified the hell out of me. In the beginning, I resented change like most alcoholics do.
I was broken when I finally realized I need to get help, and as terrified as change had me, the fear of dieing an alcoholic death terrified me more. I had to face my fears dead in the face and deal with it all. Once I got started, I wasn’t as apprehensive as I thought I’d be. My desire to live conquered my fears one by one.
To my surprise, there are good changes that come as a direct result of living sober. I experienced dhanges I didn’t expect or see coming. The changes in my life since I got sober have been unbelievable. I couldn’t be more grateful if I tried. As a result, I have truly found a peace I never knew existed. Even when things seem to be going crazy as they occasionally do, I still maintain this sense of inner peace that can’t really be put into words. My life is no longer chaotic and confusing. My thought process has changed for the better and so has the way that I deal with situations that normally would have driven me to the brink of insanity and had me drowning in a bottle or two……or three.
I hid the “real” me for so long that I had no real idea who “I” was by the time I got sober. I admit I’m still figuring that out but I’m not afraid of it any more and have discovered a great many things about myself. When I was out there being a walking tornado, I was full of self-loathing and self-hate. I used to brush my teeth in the shower because I didn’t want to look in the mirror. I hated the person looking back at me. Any sense of self-confidence that I portrayed was completely false and only put out there for the sake of self-preservation. I can honestly say that today, I have a love for myself that I never knew was possible. My eyes have been opened wide and I now appreciate the little things that most people take for granted. I can clearly see life in a whole new way and what used to be important to me, isn’t today.
There are a great many positive changes that come with sobriety but if you allow your fear of change stop you from even trying, you’ll never know the possibilities of the life you can have. Sobriety gave me everything that Alcohol and drugs promised me. That fear will keep you sick and your chances of having a life you could never imagine will be nill. As always, the choice is entirely yours. Choose wisely.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist.