Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health
The Real Reasons You’re Not Getting Clean And Sober.
People think they know you, but they don’t. Not really. Truthfully, you barely know yourself. Lately, you can’t even look in the mirror. You try not to think about it but deep down you know… your addiction is taking a huge toll on you and your family. Money, relationships and self-respect, gone. Even before you dabbled with alcohol and/or drugs, you were on shaky ground. Now it’s a landslide. You tried doing the right things. You said what people wanted to hear. You smiled when you were in pain. You hide in plain sight. You didn’t want to hurt people but in spite of all your good intentions, you hurt them anyway.
You know other people who have gotten clean, but you keep failing. Secretly, you’re losing hope. You wonder if you’re a lost cause or incapable. Or maybe you just don’t care enough? You know something is getting in your way.
Likely, that something is this…
You are fearful.
You’re scared. Your addiction has become part of you. It helps you get out of bed in the morning and go to sleep at night. It’s with you through every single thing you do. When you feel bad, it promises relief. When you’re upset, it takes away your pain. When you’re lonely, it comforts you. It’s your safety blanket and best friend. It understands you like no one else does. And now, it’s trying to kill you.
You like being high.
You still remember that first good buzz. And you keep chasing it. There’s a perfect window of time when nothing else exists. That first drink, snort, pill, toke, or shot does it every time. The feeling is so exquisite you have built a lifestyle around it. One that doesn’t include your spouse, children, family or friends.
You don’t want to deal with the fallout of your addiction.
It seems every time you pick up there’s another consequence. You can no longer use without them. Yet still, you try. You come up with the plan. The one that’s going to make things different this time. Your plan usually looks like this: moving, changing jobs or relationships or drugs, but it doesn’t work for long. It seems where ever you go, addiction and chaos follow. Trying to clean up the damage is overwhelming. It’s easier to use than to deal with the mess you’ve made.
You think life will be boring.
Without your drug of choice (DOC), you find life kind of boring. Reality sucks. But with a little chemical help, it can be fun. Hilarious even. You might find it easier to care about other people when you’re under the influence. You like living on the edge. You thrill seek. Getting away with things excites you. You get a rush from pushing the envelope and not getting caught.
You don’t feel good when you’re clean.
Sober you can’t shake that uptight, miserable feeling. Coping with life is not a skill you have acquired. Socializing with people and going to work, requires great effort. You’re wearing a mask and the cracks are showing. You find it exhausting. You’re more comfortable being alone. People stress you out. You’ve never really felt part of the pack. Your tribe is different. They stand on the outskirts defying society. Truthfully, you’ve always felt different from others.
Although people can’t tell by looking at you, you know it. You have a missing piece. It’s a hollow spot like a deep hole within you that you keep trying to fill up. Empty, this hole hurts. It’s sensitive and lonely. It’s fearful and anxious. It is guilt and shame. Long before drugs were in the picture, you felt it. You’ve filled it with food, sex, relationships, shopping, work, internet, gaming, driving recklessly, alcohol and/or drugs. The trouble is the hole won’t stay plugged. It takes more and more to fill it, but empties quickly and comes back bigger than before.
You don’t think you can.
You know you have a problem. You’ve tried many different ways to manage it. You’ve limited the cash you brought with you on a night out. You drank beer instead of hard stuff. You’ve swallowed sleeping pills to avoid buying more dope. You’ve even gone periods without using. But you’re never able to stay abstinent and now you’re losing hope. You’re giving up on yourself and giving in to your illness. You’re engaging in the worst kind of tragedy. You’ve stopped caring about you.
Believe it or not, the reasons above aren’t unique. I and every other addicted person have struggled with similar thoughts and feelings. So do recovering persons. The good news is, the quality of your life doesn’t depend on your thoughts and feelings. Your quality of life depends on your actions. When you change the things you do your thinking will change and ultimately, the way you feel about yourself will change also.
Tired of being sick and tired? Of course you are! Quit listening to your head. It’s not telling you the truth. Addiction controls your thoughts. But you can still win this battle. The time has come to take action. Give your family the best Christmas gift of all – a happy, healthy you. Pick up the phone and ask for help.
The only one way you can fail at getting clean and sober is to quit trying.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance 1-888-614-2379.