Toward the end of what would become my past life,
I had built up a significant amount of anxiety in my mind about living a sober life free from drugs and what that might mean. What that might feel like. What people would say.
I had also compiled a list of all of the reasons why I wasn’t good enough to live that way, and why I couldn’t ever make it happen, and it terrified me.
Thinking about sobriety stirred a fear inside of me of some superficial idea that I had attached to ‘sober people’ or ‘normal’.
This kept down, living uncomfortably in my comfortable limbo.
I was hovering somewhere pretty low in a place between death and that place where you are hanging on by a thread. That’s where I believed that I deserved to be. It was that empty place that I identified with.
I was so afraid of what life might be like on the other side, and so hesitant to even allow myself to consider if I was even capable of doing anything ‘normal’, that I would have rather died.
Typing that now is obviously irrational, and I can see that, but back then, I can remember the overwhelming feelings of disappointment when I would feel the sun hit my face signaling the beginning of a new day that I had somehow made it to.
Floundering around and spinning out of control felt familiar and comfortable to me, and was a more plausible lifestyle than what I imagined sober living to be like.
But while fearful, I was also tired.
I wasn’t tired, I was exhausted.
I was wounded in every aspect deep inside of my human person and I was running low on a desire to keep fighting.
My motivation to change came after things in my life aligned in a way that left me no choice.
Of course I was sick, and I was tired, but and I secretly yearned for calm things and for inner peace.
I had finally come to a point where I was ready to face that scary unknown that I had talked up for so long.
How interesting that the unknown world that made my heart beat faster and invited a sense of panic to set in, was also a beautiful place packed full of everything that I dreamed of having in my life.
So I was faced with having to make a choice.
I had to choose to leap into a huge world that I didn’t feel like I belonged in and one that I didn’t know if I would ever fit into.
My first year of sobriety was terrible. I struggled to keep it together. I was an emotional, hormonal wreck, but I made it through.
Although I spent the better part of 6 months wrestling with my mind, and fighting off some of the most intense urges I have ever experienced, I still feel like working up the courage to take a chance on myself was more difficult than anything else.
That was the hardest part.
Getting sober was much more difficult for me than staying sober was and is.
Tell me! Which was harder for you?
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