Minutes Of Weakness – Hard To Be A Warrior When You Are Alone
One thing they don’t tell you about recovery is that it lasts your whole life. You think you’re done that you’ve made it to the end of the rainbow. But you haven’t. You are always ready to fall right back into it.
Recovery isn’t over once you stop drinking. Everything can pull you back in. After having drunk so much my entire life, I didn’t know how to handle life without it.
Alcohol numbed me to the world. Numbed me to the stresses of everyday life. I wasn’t used to feeling stressed, or angry, or even confused. I missed that happy, easy mental state. Now I didn’t have alcohol as a buffer. Reality hit hard.
Now I cared if I couldn’t make my bills on time. Now I cared about how I looked and how my clothes fit. My body was not well cared for. Alcohol had done its damage. I couldn’t even go out like a normal person.
When co-workers wanted to go out, I had to decline. They always wanted to go out to a bar, or for a snack and some light drinks. I couldn’t be around temptation. I knew myself too well for that. It was easy at first, turning them down.
I didn’t want to tell everyone I was a recovering alcoholic. They started making assumptions of their own. Suddenly they said I was stuck up, that I thought I was too good for them. Rumors started spreading that I was a prude. I didn’t judge them, but they acted as I did.
It wasn’t my job to explain myself to them, but I felt myself drifting. It was alienating, being separate. I couldn’t get closer to them without being willing to put myself in a dangerous situation.
I didn’t realize it back then, but they would never have really been my friends. Good people don’t act like this.
It was just a beer at first. I went out to dinner one night, finally. It felt like a release. The beer was heavy on my tongue, and my limbs felt overly loose. I was trembling as I sipped it.
I told myself I could do it, I could handle one beer. I was strong now. I had recovered from my addiction and beer couldn’t hurt me. How wrong I turned out to be.
After that first night, I was elated. I could drink without overdoing it. I had control. It started becoming a regular thing. I had a martini here, a mimosa there. Some wine. Some vodka. Shots. It escalated quickly. But just slow enough that I didn’t realize it until it was too late.
When I started sticking around later and later, there was this one girl I grew close to. Samantha was beautiful, popular, and thin. She had great hair and a great body. Everyone wanted Samantha to like them. So when she suggested trying cocaine, I only hesitated a moment.
I was in control, I told myself. I was drinking for fun, alcohol wasn’t owning me. If that hadn’t been a lie already it easily would have become one. Cocaine took over. Samantha and I were doing cocaine in the bathroom at work and laughing, going out every night. My appearance retook a nosedive.
Cocaine and I were best friends. Until about a month in I looked in the mirror and saw what was happening. My skin was spotted, my hair lank. I quit, just like that.
No more cocaine, no more alcohol. I couldn’t handle it destroying my body all over again. Samantha dropped me of course, and so did the rest of my fake friends.
But I moved on, and I managed. I took care of myself. What could have turned into another spiral of addiction was just a short roadblock. I’m stronger than that.