By: JANA GREENE
I am watching “Intervention,” which is a great series, but very heavy subject matter. I watch a lot of TV when I’m having a high-pain day. I used to feel guilty about watching TV in the middle of the day, because AYYYYYY! If I can feel guilty about something, I’m going to glom on to that shit. It’s familiar to me. But I’m learning to go easier on myself.
I watch Intervention because I admire interventionists, recovery is an incredible journey, and I’m a huge fan of observing “what makes people tick.” Psychology fascinates me.
And mostly, I love the show because some folks rise from the ashes like a phoenix, and that stuff is inspiring.
Intervention hits especially hard because I’m an alcoholic. It’s been 22 years since my last drink.
When I got sober, I didn’t think it would “stick” but I just kept NOT having a drink that day. And then the next day, always eternally promising myself I would not drink today.
I now have 8,066 days alcohol-free. That’s a miracle.
I wish everyone got their miracle. I truly believe it’s possible for everyone. Not on the other side of this life, but IN this one. And I don’t know why I made it out of active alcoholism while many do not. It’s easy to feel survivor’s guilt about it. But that’s a blog post for another day.
On January 2, 2001, I took my last drink. I was turning yellow. My body was demanding alcohol by every day’s end. But when I would drink, my body would also reject the alcohol, in a most unpleasant and projectile manner.
And nobody knew how much I was drinking. I mean, NO one. So the shame factor was tremendous.
I was trying to drown Trauma that knew how to swim like Michael Phelps, without even knowing that’s what I was doing.
When I first got sober, it was on this brand new technology – the INTERNET! The support group was “Alcoholism in Women” AOL. Yep. America Online, people.
I’d like to write about that experience (maybe later this week?) Recovery puts you in a vulnerable place. One of those ladies is still a dear friend to this day. But some of them didn’t make it out.
Some of those precious, strong, beautiful souls lost their lives to alcohol. It’s heartbreaking.
As far as I can tell, the purpose for making it through something hard is to help someone else get through something hard. That’s why I’m open about why I don’t drink.
At the end of each episode of Intervention, there is a segment that shows whether or not the addict chooses to get help, and usually includes a short follow up. Some refuse help outright. Some go but don’t take advantage fully of the help.
But some of them – many – get their new start. They grab onto it with both hands, with the same passion they had for their drug (which is what it takes,) and it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Makes my heart soar!
That’s what I wish for every addict and alcoholic. It’s possible for all of us, but we have to be willing to do anything to keep healthy.
If you are drinking more than anyone knows,
If you feel hopeless and full of shame,
If you cannot imagine your life improving vastly,
If you think you’ve really blown it this time,
If your heart is raw from a lifetime of trauma,
If you wonder if you’re worth it…
You’re in the PERFECT place to claim a new life.
If you’re at the end of your rope, grab on to the knot – help and support – and it will become a ladder that leads you into a new life.
Recovery is so flippin’ Beautiful and REAL. And it’s perfect for YOU. It’s not for other people, it’s for you. So that you can have the life you deserve.
I think of my AOL sisters from time to time; the ones who didn’t make it out. I wonder where they would be now, if they just didn’t pick up a drink that day. I suspect at the heart of it, they didn’t believe they were worthy of a better, sober life.
So I’m just writing this today to tell you that you’re worth it.
Please out resources and help. There is no shame in asking for help. And do whatever it takes to live the recovery life. Glom onto it, obsess about recovery just as you have the drink.
We already know how to be obsessed; find out what switching obsessions can do for you (and the people who love you.)
Find out what truly makes YOU tick, because I guarantee you’re fascinating in ways you don’t even know yet. I’ll bet you’ve forgotten who you truly are, while in your addiction. Life is hard, but also so good. I promise. You can do this.
God bless us, every one.