When people ask me about my recovery, I often tell them that getting sober was really only the first step. I've been reflecting on my life through my therapy sessions and in writing, but really, my story is just one of many who are walking the path of recovery. The reason I am open about my story is so that others may know hope... Maybe you can relate... no matter where you are at in your path, I only ask that you keep an open mind, and remember that we all are recovering from something in our lives... and that if we continue to be honest, open and kind to each other, together, we can truly make a difference in this world.
I would have to say the biggest negative discovery was realizing that I actually was using alcohol to cover up all the hurt I felt inside... the social anxiety, the low self-esteem, the poor morals, friendship and relationship choices... I truly thought I was just a horrible person. But it wasn't until I removed alcohol use from my daily life, did I realize that it was only fueling my depression and making me hate myself more and more everyday. The choices I made while abusing alcohol are certainly not the same choices I would make today. I'm not a bad person. I may have made horrible decisions, hurt people unintentionally and even hurt myself... but I know now that pain and fear were the underlying issues to my drinking. I also know today that there are people we call "normies" that can drink without the worry of misusing or abusing alcohol. And I am not one of those people, and that's ok. I choose to abstain from partaking because I am unable to truly be myself and heal and grow and learn, and also, I really like myself and can face myself in the mirror again without it.
My story, my life, my purpose has the ability to help others. I am on a path right now that I never, EVER, thought I'd be on. And I truly couldn't be happier. My life is far from flaws, but I can say with utmost exuberance that I am truly happy today. I choose to be open about my recovery because the more people I meet, and get to know and share stories with, the more genuine I feel. I am not only healing myself the more I let go of the past, but I am learning how to be a compassionate human that truly wants others to see that from the ashes, beauty can be created. I was once a person who felt that people with addiction were the lowest of the low. But with all my life experience and my personal struggles, I am now on the other side, FIGHTING to break those negative stigmas by showing as much love and honesty and compassion to all those I meet. I used to hide and be afraid of pretty much everything in my life. Now, I'm choosing to wear my life on my sleeve for all to see my good and my bad. I refuse to let shame of my past lead the way of my future. I'm learning to forgive myself and just become better than I was yesterday. And I know that through grace, I will continue to be held and led to amazing places in my recovery. My story isn't over, and neither is yours.