It has been almost 4 years since I hopped on a plane and found myself walking into rehab.
I was thoroughly convinced I was one of those unfortunates that got hooked on my opiate prescription and a 33-day lock-down would be the remedy I needed. In all honesty, I spent the majority of those 33 days, comparing my addiction to everyone I encountered. I’m not like them, I never used a needle and I am definitely NOT an alcoholic. I chased this delusion into a relapse, approximately 10 months into my sobriety. I truly believed that I only had a problem with opiates and it was only because my body was dependent.
Oblivious to the mental obsession that plagued me, I convinced myself I could drink like a lady. I will never forget the first drink, after maintaining 10 months sober. I didn’t have just one drink, in fact, that was never the plan. My plan was to get wasted. My plan was always to obtain the desired effect: oblivion. One vodka pineapple turned into 9 shots and 4 more vodka pineapples – which then turned into me carelessly dancing on a bar, losing my phone, and waking up with a brutal hangover – obsessing about the next drink.
I picked back up, right where I left off, drinking daily and eventually back to crushing up opiates to cure my hangover. The difference this time – I previously experienced the freedom found in recovery. It wasn’t long before I was unable to drink enough alcohol to drown out the guilt, shame, and misery that beseeched me. I finally called my sponsor and spilled the truth at which point she asked me if I believed I was powerless over alcohol. For the first time, I honestly reviewed the experiences of my past and I was undeniably the real alcoholic through and through. It was the first time I conceded, to my innermost self, that I couldn’t have just one drink.
My disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful in nature. Looking back, alcohol was always there. Before opiates, in between opiate binges, and even after opiates – alcohol was always by my side. Our love affair was loyal – ‘till death do us part. I was always the friend that would stay up, after everyone was asleep, drinking until I blacked out. I was always the friend that got up the next morning ready to get drunk upon awakening. Oftentimes, I’d swear that just one drink would cure me of my hangover and I’d be fine. Yet again, I’d be faced with the same mental obsession and physical allergy. Left to my own devices, I couldn’t stop drinking.
My love affair with alcohol brought me to my knees. Prior to getting sober, I didn’t spend a day without my lover. Whether I was happy, sad, bored, angry, lonely, or even apathetic, alcohol was always present. Good or bad, I always relied upon alcohol. I knew I was always safe from pain with alcohol by my side. Alcohol always promised to never leave me and that as long as I remained loyal to our relationship – I’d be the best version of myself. Our relationship was codependent to the very core. The truth is, alcohol was unfaithful and deceitful all along. Our relationship dismantled my life – piece by piece – until I was completely isolated and empty.
I was unable to experience the unfailing promises of recovery until I became rigorously honest about my relationship with alcohol. I was not a victim of circumstance, that fell into the pit of opiate addiction, but rather I was an alcoholic of the hopeless variety. Selfish, self-centered, inconsiderate, and absolutely hopeless without a solution – my life was a beautiful depiction of self-will run riot. I dove into the steps with my sponsor and I began looking at the life I meticulously designed for myself. I was able to accept my part in the demise of my relationship with alcohol. Alcohol removed, I began rebuilding healthy relationships with the people that loved me most. I came out of hiding and began making amends for the harms I caused. I began loving myself and then the lies of inadequacy started to fade. Once surrender followed suit to my acceptance, of my alcoholism, I was able to unravel my predisposed thoughts and life began to take on a whole new meaning. Today, I have (almost) three years sober. My relationship with alcohol robbed me of over a decade of my life, but also cultivated freedom, compassion, and a life beyond my wildest dreams.
Tricia Moceo advocates long-term sobriety by writing for websites like detoxlocal.com, providing resources to recovering addicts and shedding light on addiction. Tricia is a mother of two, actively involved in her local recovery community, and is passionate about helping other women find hope in seemingly hopeless situations.
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