I am the Captain
While four years seems like a lifetime, staying sober is a daily thing and I still have work to do. I know if I pick up again it will have a ripple effect in my life, and my life is so great why destroy it for that buzz? I think I mostly drank to numb myself. Numbing for me meant no pain or hurts from others but it also numbed me from good feelings as well. Healing and overcoming my addiction involved growing strong emotion muscles. The more I feel life and not hide from it, the stronger my emotion muscles get. I also had to start feeling those dark and difficult sensations I use to suppress during my boozin’ days. Once I got sober I had to start trusting that my negative feelings won’t destroy me and that the fear in sobriety won’t kill me. Feeling life will bring wholeness and healing and I had to start seeing my life as a clean slate and create from there.
When I was drinking and in times that were calm and serene my mind started racing causing my emotions to start feeling bad. I would hit the bottle to numb me from feeling. That’s why being alone was the worst for me because all I had was this infected mind that made me feel fear so I would drink and drink until the cycle would just repeat itself the next day. I never learned how to deal with the bad feelings, I would give them reasons to be there like I deserved to feel sad or anger emotions or beat myself up for things I may have done wrong. Emotions automatically became thoughts, and I never learned how to separate my emotions and thoughts from my true self. Now that I am sober, I can see that I am not my emotions, thought’s, or surroundings, I am the captain of those three.
Drinking was not the cause of my pain. I was the cause of my pain, I allowed the pain to grow and grow. Addiction is only a symptom of needing to escape feelings that been dangerous or scary to have whether they’re bad, or good. It’s not just negative feelings that are scary. Feeling positive ones can be as well. I lacked the frame of reference on how to embrace happiness and love. It felt foreign and uncomfortable and the reflex to self-sabotage came out eventually.
While I was drinking heavily and feeling internal pain, I searched inside a bottle to cope. Having a good relationship with myself was impossible while drinking. I found myself failing miserably in my early relationships because I had little self-love. As I dug deeper, I found out that self-esteem and self-love are issues that are related together. When I didn’t love myself, I was basically telling the universe that I was unworthy or undeserving of any love or positive outcomes. Learning to love myself starts with making a conscious decision, an intention to become happy and lead a fulfilled life. It’s impossible to reach full potential with no self-love or low self-esteem. Once I started creating self-love and building up my self-esteem my life started syncing together.
Getting sober has been easier than shifting how I think. It’s like having to learn a whole new way of thinking so I can perceive the world differently. Sobriety doesn’t fix my past, it just gives me an opportunity to fix my future. I wake up every day happy, knowing that I am who I choose to be right now, in this moment.