“If you desire healing, let yourself fall ill…” + Rumi
I made a mistake. Whatever I decide to call it in the end (a misstep, a relapse, a downfall, a misjudgment, a failure, a trip-up, a boo-boo… or, as the voice in my head tends to put it: a fuck up), it happened, I fell down, and now I have to get back up and move on. & not just move on, but keep moving forward.
The morning after, plagued with anxiety, humiliated that I didn’t remember walking home from the restaurant with my mother, and terrified because we couldn’t find her [extraordinarily expensive] scarf I had been wearing, the thought that wouldn’t leave my head, that made my eyes well up with tears, and the pang in my stomach grow unbearable was: I have to start over. I have to tell the world I failed, and my dear 120 days are *poof!* gone. Last time I decided to drink again after a hiatus, I planned it. I talked to people about it, I justified it to no end, and I convinced myself it was OK. This time was different, this time I was blind-sided. This time, I lost control (Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?…I️ sure hope so).
It truly is amazing how powerful denial can be.
A few days later, I drank again. And the next night I drank. Then a few days after that, I drank for a forth time. Two out of the four times I got hammered, the other two times I was “fine”. In the moment this actually makes it easy for me to convince myself I can handle alcohol because it’s not a consistent “take a sip and black out” or “drink and get arrested” type of thing. I was in France with my mom, and boy, let me tell you: It is easy as hell to tell yourself you’re fine when you’re 1) around another regular drinker 2) in another country 3) addicted to alcohol.
I could seriously write 10+ pages about the thoughts leading up to my decision, or the details of the nights that I drank, and get super stuck in a spiral of overanalyzing everything.
“The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results” + Einstein
This quote helped me finally decide to get sober, and now it is helping me again to acknowledge what happened, learn from it, and move forward.
What I have learned from this experience:<<
elapse is part of recovery.
+ I haven't said "I am in recovery" or "I am addicted to alcohol" or "my brain chemistry has been permanently changed by binge drinking for years" out loud enough.
+ I haven't been honest with myself or told the people I love the true depth of my addiction.
+Holly Whitaker, from Hip Sobriety, always says something along the lines of "there are just simply things in life you learn you cannot fuck with; alcohol is one of those things for me" — I'm finally ready to accept this for myself and see it simply for what it is. No need to complicate it.
+I have not lost my sober time.
+I will rebuild a stronger recovery because of this.
While we were visiting my French “host mom” in Uzer, staying in her magical 13th century castle turned hotel, she told me, in the midst of me explaining how confused I was: “Listen to the great Antoine Saint-Exupéry, and make your life a dream, and that dream a reality.” The truth is, I can’t live the life I want unless I stay sober from alcohol. Plain and simple. So, here I am, starting again, and here’s to making my life the reality I have dreamed about for so long.
Love + Light.