When I came out of treatment I had no idea who I was anymore. That might sound dramatic but thats honestly how I felt. I always knew myself as the “party girl” and thought thats what made people like me. Boy oh boy was I delusional… I used to think that was one of my best qualities, but in reality I think it was the quality people liked least about me.
I remember coming out of treatment and for the first few weeks I think I cried almost every night in bed. I just felt so lonely… I had people around me too, so I wasn’t actually alone, but you know that feeling when your in a room full of people but still feel completely alone? Thats what I was going through. The only thought that kept popping into my head was “who the fuck am I?” To be completely honest being in addiction made me quiet self-centred and I thought everything revolved around me, and when I came out of treatment, I may have not been using drugs or alcohol but lets be real… I still had a lot of those addictive behaviours and to my surprise peoples lives didn’t just completely change to match mine.
Everyone was still doing what they were usually doing, as they should be. For me I was in that mindset of “well everyone should be accommodating me because Ive just gone though a life changing experience, and they should have to change their lives too if mine has to change!” Only something a true addict would think….
There is a saying in recovery that goes “the only thing you have to change is everything!” My initial opinion was “fuck that” I can be sober and hangout with all my old friends and live my life just the same as I was before. I did try this for a bit too. I went back to the house I owned with my ex and hung-out with friends who we would usually hangout with, and I was able to stay sober.
I would like to acknowledge that all my friends were very supportive of me going through treatment and they tried to make me feel as comfortable as they could. I love them for it, but truth was I felt super out of place, and that had nothing to do with them, it had everything to do with me. I had changed I wasn’t the same person I was before. I mean I looked like the same person, and talked the same but internally so much shit was different for me…. I have my counsellors to thank for that!:P It was like I was trying to be this new version of myself in my old life and it wasn’t fitting.
Around 2 months after I had been out of treatment my ex and I were suppose to be going to an all-inclusive trip to Dominican for his step sisters wedding. I was super hesitant to go, first off because there was going to be alcohol everywhere, and second off because I didn’t know everyone that was going to be there so, I wasn’t totally comfortable with myself and letting people know why I wouldn't be drinking. My parents begged me not to go, they had literally just spend $35,000 on me for treatment… but of course being the stubborn addict that I am, I went!
I managed to stay sober the whole time and thank goodness that I did, like I said, I am stubborn and I wanted to prove my parents wrong. Im not going to lie though, there was a distinct moment I had where I was debating drinking. Everyone there just thought I had a ulcer. My ex was off drinking, and I used to think that was so wrong of him, because I was under the mindset that if I had to stop he should have to stop too! Thats just not how things work though, again that was my self-centred addict thinking, I wanted to control how everything went in order for this new life to work in my old life. I remember walking back to his and my resort room alone, it was beautiful out and everyone was enjoying themselves having a few drinks, laying by the pool and so on. I thought to myself “okay I can literally just go and drink and no one will even care or judge me because no one knows I was just in treatment. I can just get a new job and go live the same life I have been living. Or, I can actually tough it out go through all this uncomfortable pain and see what is on the other side of it.” I chose the second option. I would like to say its been all sunshine and rainbows but it hasn't . It was a fucking hard decision to make.
I remember when I came home I had written in my journal that what I really wanted to do was move to Vancouver and apply to acting school. That had always been a dream of mine. It seemed like such a far fetched dream…since I had a mortgage to pay, I had just purchased a house with my boyfriend of 4 years and I worked for my Mom as one of her head receptionist for her medical clinic. If I was going to commit to making the decision to stay sober then to me that meant I was going to make a commitment to figuring out who I was and what made me internally happy.
So, when I got home from Dominican I applied to acting school, got accepted and moved to Vancouver in the fall. Im not going to say the journey has been easy but I can say that I am so grateful I had decided to choose option two, because for the first time in years I feel more like myself then I ever have. I am living the life that I had literally written out on a piece of paper and it only seemed like a dream. So thats pretty fucking awesome. So, if anyone reading this has been struggling with sobering up and finding themselves or even someone not in addiction but feels out of place, my advice is write down what your ideal life would be and go after it! It might seem scary and hard to reach but I don’t believe any dream was given to us without a reason. Each one of us was born with our purpose, its not something you have to go find, its already within you.
Go after it! “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take!”