Since I was a young teenager I always struggled with addiction. It totally overshadowed my life as a secret second world. I was what they call a Functioning Addict who still showed up in life while coming home to a scary life of hell. But my job, friendships and connections to family really suffered. I went to family functions in a haze, tired from acting out in my addiction, not fully focused, not present, and I wasn't able to support others or be supported. Of course I never asked for help because not only was I not fully aware of my addiction, but I also didn't want to show weakness.
My friendships faded as I think people thought I didn't care about them...but how could I? Addiction is partially a very selfish thing...not intentionally, but I lived only for my next fix. And I hid it well, or so I thought. I cancelled commitments, didn't show up on time or at all, without any plausible excuses. I didn't know what was going on in my friends’ lives because even when I was with them I had no focus and was paranoid they’d see right through me & tried to say the right thing but looking back I usually didn't do that well.
I was a great employee when I was there on good days, but being late was a regular pattern, I didn't focus with customers and often my manager or other employees had to step in and cover for me! On my yearly reviews I got 10’s for product knowledge & customer service, but 4’s and 5’s for tardiness, lack of focus & follow through on tasks. I was passed over for promotions numerous times and was resentful and angry. In my mind I was a great employee, but in reality I was usually either zoned out or hung over from the night before, or already planning my next fix.
I was out of control on some levels but just couldn't stop. I tried to change with will power and every time I sobered up I promised myself I’d change, I’d never do that again, and in the moment thought I could, but usually the next night I’d be right back struggling lost in addictive throes. I put my life at risk hanging out in the wrong neighborhoods and with the wrong people. One of these nights I was raped and contracted HIV! There were real life consequences for my dangerous lifestyle.
I can't remember exactly when it was that I hit rock bottom, but I do remember proposing to a girl I barely knew on the 4th date and getting engaged. Turns out she too was an addict, she just hid it from me really well. I tracked her down one night into a bar and tried unsuccessfully to take her home and I came face to face that I was an addict too! I broke up with her and almost immediately went to my first 12 step meeting, learned that I was not alone and admitted that I was powerless over my addiction and my life was unmanageable.
After many ups and downs, trials and tribulations, today I have been sober for 9.5 years & each night I pray thanks for another sober day! #Addiction #AddictionRecovery #Depression #BipolarDisorder #PTSD #Alcoholism #Sexaddiction #drugaddiction #12step