Day One

Something I know from my own journey is that if you are searching on google whether you have problem with drink or drugs, the odds are you probably know the answer, and are actually looking to:

1) hear it from somewhere else.

2) find some excuse or evidence that you don’t.

That suspicion, with all its denial, rationalisation, fear, or disbelief leads us to a choice. We get to decide whether we want to keep chancing it, or whether we might consider there may be another way to live. You’ve made a choice now, and I’m so glad you’re willing to give it a go.

I don’t know if this has been an easy choice, or something you are desperately struggling with, but I know that I was led to this choice because alcohol stopped working, and when it stopped working I was left with consequences. Alcohol made me feel confident and able to face things that frightened me, until it didn’t. And when it didn’t, I was left with the small, scared woman who couldn’t handle the world around her. Alcohol took me from being wound up, stressed, angry, and sad into a state where things couldn’t get to me as much, until it didn’t. And when it didn’t, all of those feelings were amplified by the drink, and led me to act out and hurt myself and others. Alcohol allowed me to have a good time, and not worry about what other people thought of me, until it didn’t. And when it didn’t I was left with hangovers so brutal they bordered upon suicidal fever dreams, and regret. All of these outcomes and consequences racked up, until I was so desperate and in so much pain I had to make the decision to eliminate alcohol and drugs from my life.

But here’s the thing, when I stopped drinking my brain didn’t know how to deal with the concept of not using alcohol to deal with emotions, uncomfortable situations, and boredom. That led me to cravings for the thing that used to work. There are different intensities to these urges, and this first week I’m going to discuss the things I do when my brain tells me I can’t do this without the help of an anaesthetic.

One day in early recovery I told my therapist that I was wanting to drink over a situation. She got a piece of paper and wrote at the top of it: What would happen if I drank today?