It’s Not a Four Letter Word.
I have been down some dark paths in my life. Inside I knew they would lead nowhere, but I still journeyed down them. These decisions were not made out of ignorance or stupidity. They were made out of fear of change, because in some ways it felt safe and familiar to keep moving forward.
I am a recovering addict and I used to consume any drug I could lay my hands on. I especially enjoyed drinking myself stupid every night, as alcohol was always easily obtained. It was an escape from the past that constantly haunted me. In a strange way I felt safe. When I poisoned my mind, it kept my demons at bay.
This wasn’t a healthy choice, and no matter how much I drank or snorted, my problems never went away. The problems would resurface in the morning along with regret for my actions. This shame would feed my fear and anger, leading me to consume more poison, and inevitably create it’s own set of problems.
At this point in my life I never thought I would change. I had been beat down so many times over the years, I didn’t even dare to hope that I would get better. To me hope was a disgusting word, that made the eventual fall ten times worse. I pushed everyone away and I tried to hide from the world.
When my wife found me, I was at my worst. She stuck with me through all of the bad times. She saw something in me, that I had never seen. The man I could be, if I decided to fight and take the harder path of sobriety.
Fast forward 11 years, and here I am doing my best to stay sober. I am doing well and while I’ve had some hiccups during this time, I finally understand that each obstacle is a chance to learn.
I still battle with myself internally. I have PTSD, OCD and ADHD, so some days I feel like everything is working against me. Panic attacks and bouts of deep depression hit me hard, but now i fight back.
My outlook on life has improved and that’s partly due to the strength of my wife, my rock and my soul mate. I also have to give credit to my counselors and doctors.
The person I have to give the most credit to is myself. I feel like people forget that they are the decision makers in their lives. My wife pushed me to become the man I am today, but I chose to be him.
I never hoped to be this man, and while I still have panic attacks, anxiety and bouts of depression, I always make it through them. Now. hope is my biggest weapon. I use it to anchor me to the future, while I focus on the present and move on from my past.
If you struggle with addiction, remember that their are healthier ways to deal with your pain. There are plenty of support groups out there, you just need to believe in yourself.
Remember, to hope is to believe that your life is worth believing in. I hope that anyone that reads this can be inspired to root for themselves.