Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.
Thanksgiving Is A Great Time To Get Clean And Sober
— If living one more day in hell doesn’t sound appealing to you, think about this; it’s time to do something about your addiction. Thanksgiving is a great time to go to treatment. Your family will be grateful you’re getting help and you’ll finally get the relief you’ve been searching for. As your physical and psychological body heals, so will your emotional one. Just imagine how great it will feel to be free of shame and the weighty chains of your illness. As a child, you had many dreams, but being an addict wasn’t one of them. You were going places. The world was your oyster. You were smart. You figured things out fast. You were independent, strong and full of life. As you grew older, you did what many kids your age were doing- you experimented with drugs and alcohol. You didn’t know you were prone to addiction, or that your brain was vulnerable and would respond differently than that of your non-addicted friends. [lorelie-callout] You lit up a joint and changed your destiny. Your friends got a little buzzed, had a few laughs and went home. You, on the other hand, felt electric. Instead of getting sleepy, you were energized and felt like you could stay up for days. Everything was prettier when high. You felt better when high. The world made sense when high. Due to this, you couldn’t wait to get high again. It’s all you ever thought about. Suddenly, school, friends, and family took a back seat. Going forward, everything you did and everywhere you went- your new best friend (i.e. drugs) went with you. Once an open book, you are now a closed one. You keep secrets and told lies. You never intended to hurt your family, but addiction can’t exist in honesty. Truth lives in reality, but addiction lives in delusion. For this illness to thrive, thoughts become illogical, negative and dishonest. Your disease lies to you in the scariest voice of all – your own. You never knew the toxins you consumed changed your brain chemistry and robbed you of the ability to see or think clearly. Denial took the place of truth. Greed took the place of caring and a desperate need for more took first place. As your tolerance to drugs and alcohol built, your dreams took the hit. You dropped out of school, you got fired from your job and your family was devastated. Every time you picked up, you lost another little piece of yourself. Getting addicted was easy. Stopping was not. By the time someone is thinking of treatment, their world is in shambles and their family is living in extreme distress. You may think you’re too far gone, or treatment won’t work, or that you’re hopeless and not worthy of becoming well- but you are none of these things. You are sick, but you are also worthy and deserve help. It’s not too late. Courage isn’t sticking a needle in your vein or drinking until you pass out. Courage is admitting you have a problem and then doing something about it. Courage is facing your demons and conquering them. Courage is showing up for your life. Courage is what waits inside you. Courage is the little voice that whispers, ‘don’t give up.’ Addiction is highly treatable. There’s no shame in getting well. Drug and alcohol use are a symptom of underlying issues. Addiction is an absence of self. This void is described as a hole in one’s soul. You can’t love yourself or others when you’re empty inside. Treatment peels back the painful layers and heals the void through connection, honesty and hard work. As a person with many years of sobriety, nothing is more important than the freedom I found in recovery. Addiction enslaved me. It owned me and took me to places I never wanted to go. There was nothing fun about it. My addiction wanted me dead and it didn’t care who it ran over in the process. Today I have my life back. One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves in addiction is that we can do it on your own or we don’t need help. If you’ve said this, you’re in denial. Just like you wouldn’t be able to handle cancer on your own, you can’t stop addiction- but you can treat it. An addicted person who refuses to seek help often doesn’t live long, but they torment everyone who loves them in the process. Being the parent of an addict is like watching your toddler play in traffic at rush hour. You know it’s only a matter of time until they get hit. If you haven’t lost it all to this illness, just add yet. Because you will. But if you choose recovery, your best years haven’t even happened yet. A year from now you’ll be living a completely different life. Your world won’t look anything like it does today. You’ll feel good about yourself. You’ll be happy. Your family will be at peace. People will trust you. You’ll have a purpose and you’ll be on your way to achieving those childhood dreams you once gave up on. This Thanksgiving, give yourself and your family the greatest gift of all. Give them the gift of life. Your life. Quit listening to the assassin in your head. The truth is, you’re going to love being clean and sober! If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance 888-601-8693.