On this day last year I woke up confused. My confusion quickly spiraled into anxiety and fear as I tried to put together the events that happened the night before and the events of the week as a whole – the month – the year.
How did I get here? I kept asking myself that. Not just physically here, but here as in this low place I currently found myself. I was self destructing and I had lost my will to live. Did I really want to die?
I was virtually unemployed, staying with a partner cuz I had been kicked out of the room I was renting and so heartbroken that I couldn’t see any light at the end of any tunnel I looked down.
How many times had I drank, hid it and blacked out that month (fuck, even THAT week)? How many times did I call my dealer for more cocaine because I drank too much and needed to stabilize? How many times did I lie about what I was doing to hid my problem for everyone around me? But most importantly, how did I lose complete control over this thing I was convinced was not a problem?
I had gotten so good at hiding, but people were starting to see it. Those close to me were catching glimpses of my dark passenger. I was losing what little control I had over it. I was losing the battle and I had this deep relentless feeling that if this continued, I would surely die.
I showered off the night’s previous events and headed to Griffith Park. I sat there and had one of the ugliest cries of my entire life. I thought I had been broken before this moment – like the day I lost my grandma or the day I left my abusive ex. No this was worse, much much worse. I was doing this to myself and I couldn’t stop.
I started to scroll through treatment facilities. Did I need rehab? Could I be trusted to kick this habit on my own? The prices, geezus! How have so many people been through rehab – it all made my head hurt. I started looking up local AA meetings. Maybe I would go there, but fuck that sounds depressing and easy to cheat.
Why can’t I remember anything from last night? These text messages in my phone make no sense. Why did I text my ex so much? What did he mean that he felt bad for what he did to me? Who the fuck were these new numbers texting me not saved in my phone. Why are people pissed at me? What happened last night? Fuck fuck fuck!!!!
My instinct was to escape. So I did. I booked a hotel room to get away from the city, to get away from people, to get away from everything and find some quiet. I needed to think. I couldn’t do it here.
As soon as I got to my hotel room I crashed onto the bed and held my phone in my hand staring at a contact in my phone. He and I talked here and there for the last year or so. How we met was super unconventional and we had never actually met in person or even talked on the phone – but I saw that he recently celebrated a sobriety birthday. Maybe he could help me….I don’t know why he would want to and I wasn’t feeling very worthy of any sort of help in that moment. So I just started at my phone, not typing the message but contemplating.
If I do this, there’s no turning back. I’m admitting that drinking is truly a problem, I’ve lost control and I need help. Was I ready for that? Was my problem so bad that I needed to do this? My mind swirled around and around and around.
I texted my best friend and a few others to let them know that I was going to get help and I wasn’t sure if I was going to go into rehab and if they might take my phone, I didn’t want them to worry. Then it was time to actually ask for help.
I typed out the message and hit send. My heart sank. I already felt guilty for reaching out and bothering this unsuspecting person. Then….typing appeared in the chat window. My plea for help was answered and within 15 minutes help was on the phone with me. (This was that text. I was gifted this screenshot this morning by my friend who was monumental in helping me get help).
From there, I admitted I had a problem and that I needed help and he was there to offer guidance. He put me in touch with a sober woman and I talked to her that same day for an hour or two. I sat in that hotel room confessing my sins, sharing my story – for the first time, I was truthful about my addiction.
I chose to live.
I was starting to free myself from the chains of my addiction. It began on this day last year – my journey that has led me to this very moment.
Today I am one year sober and it still is the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. The journey continues but this closes out the chapter untitled: Year One.
“High and surrendering to the gravity and the unknown
Catch me, heal me, lift me back up to the sun
I choose to live, I choose to live, I choose to live
Catch me, heal me, lift me back up to the sun
Help me survive the bottom”
“I don’t want to be the one the battles always choose
‘Cause inside I realize that I’m the one confused
I don’t know what’s worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream
But now I have some clarity to show you what I mean
I don’t know how I got this way
I’ll never be alright
So I’m breaking the habit tonight”