It’s pretty common to see our newfound sobriety as more than we can take. Sometimes, we’re just helpless (or so we think). When I was about to reach my 90th day without alcohol, I was engulfed in a shroud of negativity. Despite my best efforts, nothing seemed to work and I was strongly considering getting a drink. I felt that the only way to escape this tormenting existence was to give up and go back to my previous way of life.
Trading one bad habit for another
As anxiety and frustration were getting the best of me and I was on the verge of a relapse, I decided to see a physician. After explaining my problem, the doctor recommended I get some rest, exercise more, eat healthy, and find a hobby. He also gave me some prescription anti-depressants for the time when I felt that I couldn’t take it anymore. Perhaps it was my poor state of mind, but I only remembered the anti-depressant part from my visit to the doctor’s office.
Unfortunately, I felt that ‘I couldn’t take it anymore’ pretty often, considering that I managed to go through an entire vial of Zoloft in just a week. In other words, every little annoyance became an emergency in my head and an excuse to take one more pill. When I went back to the physician to ask him for more Zoloft, he simply said no and gave me a pamphlet with phone numbers and addresses to various drug rehab clinics near our city.
I was charging head-on into another addiction
Even though I wasn’t addicted to the anti-depressant, I was surely running towards that direction. In my mind, “when you feel that you can’t take it” meant all situations when I used to resort to alcohol as a coping mechanism. As an alcohol addict in the early days in recovery, simply saying “no” didn’t work. All I knew was that I was in pain – emotional pain – and that the pills made me feel better.
What I didn’t realize back then was that the whole purpose of rehab is to help you get sober and CLEAN. Clean in this case entails that you don’t appeal to drugs – yes, even prescription drugs – to process and cope with what’s going on around you. It’s not fun or easy, but in time you will learn several methods of dealing with difficulties and prepare for whatever life throws at you.
A final thought
Recovering from alcohol addiction is no laughing matter. If you’re attending regular meetings, then I’m sure you’re familiar with the trials and tribulations of the fellow group members. Moreover, chances are you shared a few stories about challenges and opportunities yourself.
If you hear anyone claiming that maintaining his sobriety is a piece of cake, then that person is either delusional or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. However hard the challenges might seem sometimes, don’t forget that it’s up to you alone to face and overcome them; not some chemical walking stick.
Newfound sobriety is a tough cookie; then again, if you believe in yourself and tackle it one small battle at a time, you’ll surely persevere.