I’m an alcoholic. It’s something that I am still adjusting to hearing and saying. It is the truth and the only way to get better, to heal, is to be aware of the truth and speak the truth about the disease I suffer from. I am recently recovering from alcohol addiction and as such, am going through the twelve-step program with AA. It’s a lot of work, but I’m getting there. A trap that I am trying really hard to make sure I don’t fall into is the trap of finding a new addiction to replace my old addiction.
It happens a lot. I have a friend who was a smoker. She smoked a lot and decided it was time to quit. When she quit, she couldn’t stop eating. It was like one oral fixation (smoking) was being filled with a new oral fixation (eating). The girl gained a lot of weight in a very short period of time and then, started smoking again to try and curb her appetite. Now this friend has a much bigger problem, she’s overweight and she smokes. Her health risks have just jumped through the roof.
I don’t want to fall in to a trap like that. It’s amazing how many people in group talk about this happening to them. Usually it happens when people try to stop on their own and don’t do recovery programs like AA. In AA, we learn very quickly that to be clean, we have to be clean. Some stories I’ve heard from group sound just horrible. One man wanted to stop drinking so he did. But his anxiety was so uncontrollable because of his cold-turkey alcohol withdrawal, he found himself addicted to painkillers and serious narcotics to relax him. His new addiction was no better than his alcohol abuse.
People become addiction for a variety of reasons. The reasons are almost always rooted back to stress. Everyone feels stress and for some people, substances like alcohol and drugs make the stress seem to slip away temporarily. I’m learning that any quick relief I may feel from my life when I’m drunk isn’t worth it. The problems are still there when I wake up and when you have a hangover; they’re not easier to deal with.
One day at a time…