OK.....so you have hit rock bottom with your addiction. Maybe you have lost your job, your family is not speaking to you, you are currently living in your car, or perhaps you are facing some consequences with the court system?
Maybe your bottom is a little different and there no tangible repercussions as of yet but you physically feel terrible and are drinking/using more and more, it’s just a matter of time before something happens. Something bad. It's just a feeling and you have to stop before it stops you, but you can't.
You are between a rock and a hard place. Welcome to addiction. Whether you have hit a “high bottom or a low bottom” it does not matter. What matters is that we have to ask for help.
For this alcoholic, there was no question, I was ready and I surrendered. Just please somebody show me what I have to do to get out of this deep hole I had dug for myself. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I was bankrupt. Continuing to live a life of addiction had to end. I had also lost 4 people in my life to alcohol related death and accidents. It truly was a matter of life or death for me.
I knew I needed to have and work a strong program of recovery, yet I also had a surprising revelation. I discovered I needed to get out of my own way. Alcohol had become my friend in a big way. It was my coping mechanism for life and all of its ups and downs. It gave me courage to face my fears, and helped me wind down after a stressful day (which was every day). I discovered there was going to be some bumps in the road to get to where I wanted to go.
Rather quickly and early in my recovery the excuses, justifications, and rationalizations started pouring in. In the rooms, you will hear the terms "cunning, baffling, and powerful", applied to addiction. Let me give some examples of what I am referring to:
"I don't need a sponsor; I can figure this out myself."
"I'm feeling pretty good lately, I don't need to go to meetings anymore.”
"I'm not calling and bothering anyone, they have enough to worry about without listening to what I'm dealing with."
"I'm sure I can drink normally after 6 months.”
There were more. Each one of these choices took me down a path that I did not need to go down. Each one took me away from my recovery and towards my addiction. We will have these learning curves in recovery, and they are expected to happen. We will have choices every day that we have to make that will lead us down different paths. Make the right choice! Learn from the choices you make quickly; be aware of the direction you are headed.
In the beginning of my recovery I did not see that I was throwing debris on my path and that I was getting in my way. My thoughts, words, and actions were not congruent, and I was struggling to find a firm foundation that I could build my life in recovery on. It is important to clear your path for recovery and to do the work necessary to bring yourself to an awareness that allows you to see the paths you have in front of you.
What helped me most was to keep it simple, and not get into my head too much. I became aware that EVERY CHOICE I make is moving me towards my recovery or towards my addiction. I have learned to give myself pause when I am making a choice. I have learned to remember what direction I want to go. I make the choice that moves me towards my recovery. I cannot afford to make the choice that moves me towards my addiction. I keep that portion of my program solid.
Recovery is a path filled with joy, deep riches, and beautiful meaningful experiences just waiting for you to get there. You do have a choice. You can possess congruent thoughts, words, and actions and lead a life beyond your wildest dreams. You can live in peace.
If you do the work on a consistent basis, and clear your path to recovery it is waiting for you. You are deserving and knowing that you were once between a rock and a hard place and found your way out will feed your confidence and give you strength to keep moving towards recovery. Being stuck between a rock and a hard place is the beginning…not the end.
Patricia V. Pavkovich works for MAP Health Management as a RSS coordinator, Recovery Support for Origins in West Palm Beach, FL, and South Padre Island, TX. Patricia has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Health Education and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. She has two daughters. Patricia ran the Marine Corp Marathon, is a yoga instructor, and enjoys riding her Harley in her spare time. Sober date is March 14, 2014.