When I went into treatment I went through a lot of humility. I used to always think it was a bad thing but now I am learning how important it is to have humility. Before I went into Edgewood I worked at my Mom’s wellness center, a very busy place on the island. Many people from the Edgewood treatment center actually came to my Mom’s clinic for health care treatment, so I had seen some of them before. When I had to walk through the doors of Edgewood, being checked in as an inpatient, I felt so embarrassed. I remember one of the girls was like, “Hey don’t I know you?” Instantly I felt this wave of embarrassment rise up inside my body. I’m not going to lie, I thought I was better than that. I was not like these people at all. I thought my parents were super delusional and just trying to punish me for no reason.
I was under the impression that since I was 23 years old, and I owned a property with my (now) ex, and I had a steady job, how could I be an addict? Who cared if I partied til I blacked out every weekend? I still was able to maintain a somewhat normal lifestyle. Or maybe in other words, I was a functioning alcoholic and addict. Meaning yes, I was still able to show up to work but how long would that be able to last for?
If I continued on the path I was going I wouldn’t be moving up in life, I would be just on a gradual downhill spiral. I would always promise myself that I could stop anytime I wanted, but what was the point? Life was boring without drugs and alcohol, that was the only thing I would look forward to in my week. Full disclosure, I think the longest I had ever gone without having a substance of some sort since I was 15 was 4 days… yet I still didn’t think I had a problem. My life revolved around thinking about when I was going to be able to drink and do cocaine, I would just wait for Thursday to roll around so I could start partying.
I would sober up from Monday to Wednesday and give myself praise for being able to do that. During those days though, Monday I was always super hungover and depressed and felt like shit. Tuesday I would start feeling a little bit better and Wednesday I was so excited that Thursday was just around the corner so I could dive into drinking again.
There was a point in my life that I was drinking every single day and smoking weed or doing cocaine. However, as my mom gave me more of an opportunity to move up at her clinic, I wasn’t able to show up like that. So, I started “managing” my alcohol consumption. I knew that when I drank I wouldn’t be able to stop, so I would just avoid it all together for those 3 days. I had 3-day long weekends, so when Thursday rolled around it was game over and I could do whatever my little heart desired, which always resulted in a 3-day long bender.
I never understood people who could go out for one drink, that concept was totally foreign to me. I always hated the taste of alcohol, I think it is disgusting. But when I was drinking I was drinking to get fucked up, which usually ended in me blacking out. I never just drank to enjoy it, I was totally addicted to the thrill and the high of the party lifestyle, and being able to not be in my conscious state of mind.
I now know I had so much shame inside of myself that I couldn’t stand just being Kyra. I would actually get panic attacks and freak out if I had to spend a night alone with myself, it was like the worst thing ever. So, I would just drink to make it more bearable. Yet when I walked through the Edgewood doors I tried to tell myself I am not like these people. Wrong. I am the exact same as “those” people.
Growing up I thought that alcoholics and drug addicts where people who were homeless and had lost everything. And since I wasn’t like that, how could I be a drug addict or alcoholic? That would be a load of crap!
When I went into treatment I saw that there were people from the military, cops, surgeons, women in their 80s, men in their 80s, people from jail, 19 year-olds, lawyers, doctors, and moms. There were literally so many different types of people, and we were all the same. The definition of alcoholism is “an addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behaviour resulting from alcohol dependency.” In that definition nothing is mentioned about materialistic things, you can be the richest man or woman in the world and still be an alcoholic.
The definition of humility is “a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.” When I finally admitted I was an alcoholic, and no different from people in treatment, it was the most honest I had been with myself in 8 years. Humility is literally the thing that finally got me connected with my inner-self. Being able to admit you have a problem and need help, isn’t a weakness… it’s a strength!
Me thinking I knew what was best for myself put me on the path of drugs and alcohol, so sometimes when people are trying to help you, well… it never hurts to listen. After all, they just might actually know what’s better for you, more than you do yourself. That’s humility for you too!
“Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.” ~Thomas Merton.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” ~ C. S. Lewis.