Investment of Self
I am super grateful because my whole purpose of opening up about my journey in addiction and recovery was to help reach people who may be struggling with the same thing. To my surprise, many people have opened up to me about their struggles and I am so glad I am able to be of service to them.
Trying to sober up, or not drink so much, is a very tricky thing in my eyes because I wasn’t a person who could limit the amount I was drinking. I am a 0-100% type of girl. I am an alcoholic through and through, so I couldn’t just “not drink”. Ever. Some people are able to “manage” their drinking. For me whenever I tried to manage my drinking I was miserable because I just wanted to get fucked up. There was no point in only having one drink. What is the fun in that? So, when people have said to me they want to go sober, I know how hard that can be. As tough as it is, my advice to anyone who is trying to sober up, is for them to ask themselves the tough question of, “Am I an alcoholic?”
If you are someone who is having a really hard time staying sober then I do think you need to be honest with yourself on the situation. It’s not easy, but it is incredibly courageous to ask for help and admit when you are struggling. Someone recently asked me what I do to help myself when I am at a low point in my life, or in a negative mindset. Number one for sure, reach out to someone!
After I did a set of steps in AA, I immediately thought everyone in the world should be doing them. I find so much value in being able to learn about yourself, your flaws and your strengths. You get to learn about the events in your life that have shaped you into who you are and why you do the things you do. I’ve said it before, I am not a poster child for AA, but I do believe that investing in yourself only pays off in the end.
Some of my lowest and loneliest points in my life have allowed me to learn so much about myself. I literally cried every single night when I was out of treatment because I felt awkward hanging around the people I used to hang out with before treatment. Because of the changes I had made, I didn’t know how to enjoy life, At least in the same way I used to with the same group of people before. I had changed.
I used to think people who drank and did drugs were so cool; and to me, it was such a turn on to have a guy have a cocaine addiction or alcohol problem. Not anymore. In fact, it’s a huge turn-off now. I recognize far more value in life without all the self-medication. For me, this has been a huge paradigm shift on life and how I view things. We can all benefit by getting to this point, but we also have to be curious enough to invest in ourselves and learn from the tough times.
Three resources I use that really help me are the following:
1. Counselling. I honestly consider counselling to be a luxury. I am so grateful I am able to see a counsellor once a week. For people who have tighter incomes, there are other ways of health care funding that can help with. For example, If you are from the Vancouver area, Bill Coleman is a counsellor with a full degree that does counselling by donation. He is amazing and has helped many people.
2. Doing a 12-step program. For people who aren’t into AA there are several other books that can help. One of my friends (who isn’t in the program but has sobered up), started reading the book, “Recovery: Freedom From our Addictions,” by Russell Brand. He said it has a similar 12 step program (but doesn’t use the word “God”) and he has found that book to be super helpful.
3. Reaching out to someone. It doesn’t matter who it is. It could be multiple people, but just being able to reach out and let someone know you are struggling, and need help, is a powerful tool to put in play. You will instantly feel better. It may not make the problem go away, but it allows you to know you aren’t alone, that you don’t have to go through whatever it is you are going through all on your own. That can be incredibly comforting all on its own.
These steps are simple but they aren’t easy. They are probably some of the toughest things to implement because it means that you are fully being honest with yourself about having a problem. I think one of the most attractive qualities in a person is when they can admit their flaws and ask for help. To me, it means they value themselves and their worth. I am addicted to growing as a spiritual being. The motivation I have now to live life to the fullest, which in itself is incredibly fulfilling.
“You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don't know it, all of that doesn't even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It's not like you have forever, so don't waste any of your seconds, don't throw even one of your moments away.”
― C. JoyBell C.