Sober 12+ Years, This Is What I Have Learned About Why I Relapsed Over and Over

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I didn’t realize my thoughts were so negative. I mean, I felt down most of the time, but I didn’t realize my thoughts could be different because I knew no different. Having nothing to compare my thoughts to, I tried to live with them because then I didn’t know what to do to change them. The only relief I knew was to get drunk or stuff myself. I could not think clearly enough to find the help I needed. I stumbled, confused through my days.

But, bogged down with the hatred my family taught me, everything was a struggle. Does that make sense? My thoughts were with me everywhere I went and with everything I did. How could I escape them?

So, not having coping skills, I got through my day as best I could, but I could not wait until it was time for me to go home because that meant I could buy beer on the way plus fattening drive through food so I could get home and self-sedate myself away from my struggles.

That also meant my problems did not get resolved, plus I gained weight. None of that helped me. But it is the pattern I glued myself to for the next several years until I got to where I HAD to find actual long lasting relief because I was at the edge of a cliff I thought I would throw myself off of.

After years of trying to get sober only to relapse shortly after again and again, periods of psychotherapy, some AA meetings here and there and one brief out-patient rehab, on November 15, 2007, I called my local AA number I found online and asked for help because I did not know what to do. The next day, November 16, 2007, I began my life in sobriety. I still had kazillions of problems, and maintained my over-eating habits, but I stopped drinking alcohol. I also got back into psychotherapy soon after.

I did not know what lay ahead, but slowly, I got through it, with the help I needed to guide me through the darkest parts.

I give thanks for being on disability, because it allowed me all the time I needed to focus on my recovery and heal slowly so I could get actual strength. If you walk on a broken leg too soon, you aren’t helping yourself, are you? I learned the same goes with healing emotional wounds. Learn to respect your feelings and give them the space and time they need for them to heal their strongest. And you do that by validating them for what and how they truly are.

Once they gain that validation, they settle down, heal, and give you their best when called on. The negative chains break and disappear because they never belonged to you in the first place! That is why they have to go! If they were a genuine part of who you are, they would chill out and settle down. They wouldn’t be nagging you to pay attention to them.

For this reason, what could be more eco-friendly and environmentally safer for our souls than that?

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