By Kelsey Ryan
When you are in so deep that you can’t find your way out.
An acquaintance is someone you meet once or twice. Saying goodbye to them is typically easy to do since there are no strings attached and life without them is not much different than life with them. A best friend is harder because you feel the need to be around them all the time. You want and value their opinion and saying goodbye to them would be much more difficult. A lover is by far the hardest to say goodbye to because you value their opinion of you and you feel eternally attached to them – whether this is a good thing or not is regardless.
A lot of people can pick up alcohol or drugs once and leave it. I was not one of those people. I was the type that had to have it in my life 24/7. It was my lover. And it almost killed me. For most people it’s easy to say no. For me, I couldn’t. Saying goodbye to something you love is one of the hardest things to do in life. And that is how it was for me and drugs. I knew I didn’t want to use anymore, but didn’t know how to live my life without them. They had been a part of my life for so many years. They helped me socialize – for without them I felt useless and boring. They helped me stay focused – at work and at home, they made me feel like I could accomplish anything. They helped me get out of bed every morning – I needed them more than anything else. The drugs had become a need much more than just a want and I depended on them, much like I did a lover.
I was willing to do anything for my love. I was willing to steal, to give up my real friends, to lie and manipulate people to get what I needed. I was willing to become a monster for my love, something that scares me even now. Something you love should never make you change who you are for the worse, but instead should allow you to grow for the better. My love changed me, and it was definitely for the worse. I took money from those that cared about me, I lied to their faces, I manipulated situations to suit me and my love better, I became someone who I no longer recognized. But I didn’t realize that I was turning into this monster at the time, for 20/20 hindsight is so much clearer than seeing it as it happens.
But saying goodbye to my love, although it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, is also the best thing that I have ever done. Taking the leap into sobriety has changed me and my perspective on not only life but also myself. I have realized so much about myself in such a short period of time. I have come to realize that I am a good person and deserve good things, and the things that I did while I was using are not who I am. I have come to realize that life is an amazing and wonderful thing and I actually get to feel alive when I wake up in the morning. I get to appreciate things that I took for granted before – the colors, sounds and smells outside, my kitten that loves to snuggle with me, my parents and friends who have always been there for me. I am now employable and accountable, meaning I show up when I say I am going to show up. People no longer think that I’m a flake and I actually get invited to do things now.
Although it has been a very hard and long road in recovery, learning how to live and socialize again, it has been a gift from God that I don’t take for granted. Waking up from a coma, not knowing where I was or what had happened to me, I know that I can’t go back out. And as hard as it is to say no to drinking and drugs, I know that if I want to continue living that is exactly what I have to do because once I start again I already know what will happen to me. I will die. I will die because my love is too great and powerful for me to say no to and it takes me to such dark places that dying would seem better than living. And I want to live. I want to live because there is so much living to do in the world, so much to see and to feel and to do, so many sights to see and places to visit, so much love to give. So much love to give to something other than my love of drugs. I want to share my love and have it be reciprocated, not taken from me with nothing in return.
So if you have an acquaintance with drugs or alcohol, continue on using for it does me no harm. If you are best friends with drugs and alcohol, beware of it turning too deep because once you fall in love with drugs and alcohol, there is rarely a good outcome. I’m an alcoholic and an addict and I’m okay with that because I know something about myself that will save me. Because I want to live.