After many months of continuous sobriety I had a relapse upon returning to Georgia from Montana. As I approach 50 years of age, and as I have friends who are paying the ultimate price for relapse, I've decided to write again at Eclectic Recovery. I've been sober a couple of weeks since the relapse, which luckily did not last long, and I'm feeling very free of my addiction at the moment. But I've been relapsing on and off for almost 17 long years and I want to put a complete end to it.
There are a couple of mental tricks I play on myself to convince myself it's okay to drink. One is that I tell myself that it will just be one time, that I will drink for one night and then return right to my sober life. Only I never do because one night of drinking sets up the craving and then my twisted mind says if I "got away" with it one night I can "get away" with it another, and another. And then I'm off to the races with all their attendant shame, guilt, humiliation, depression and yes, pure insanity.
Another idea that sets me up to relapse is thinking that I have to get some relief from my daily life. After a few months, usually about 4, I begin to feel the pressures of being a responsible adult and I tell myself I just can't take it. And it really does feel that way; there are times I feel I will just explode if I don't get some relief. Then I usually do explode, into drinking, and while I may get a few moments of respite, I also get all the aforementioned pain to follow it, which is always worse than the pain that precedes it.
As far as alcoholics go, I've been especially lucky. I've had my serious consequences to be sure, but overall I haven't paid the price that many have. I know luck doesn't last forever and I've pushed mine far past the point where it should've already run out. But it's not just that. I want to be a sober person because the sober alcoholics and addicts I know in my life are the people I admire the most. They move forward with their lives (usually) and get out of the endless cycle of pain and despair that is the drinking life.
Approaching 50 is sobering in itself, but despite everything I don't feel old. If there is anything I could do in my life that would help me reach its end in a state of peace and acceptance, it's to stay sober.
So here I am again.
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