Lifestyle

When Recovery Means Stumbling Around Drunk

Recovery is a beautiful thing. Whether you’re recovering from an addiction, relationship, depressive episode, or whatever it may be. It’s that glorious light at the end of the tunnel we all so desperately long for. Yet, sometimes we take a wrong turn down the wrong path and find ourselves lost again in the maze of tunnels, the light getting dimmer as we walk on.

The problem with the recovery process, is when we think we’re fully recovered. Sure, for some that day may come. For others, it never will. In my case, I believe it never will. And I’m okay with that. It’s not a negative view, it’s realistic. It’s actually safer for me to believe I will never fully recover than it is to believe one day my problems will all disappear. For the majority of my life, I’ve suffered from mental health issues. And one day, I’d love to honestly say I no longer suffer. But I know they won’t leave me alone.

Last night, my night started with plans to go to the state fair. Then, it changed to dinner and a beer. Well, I didn’t order a beer at first. I ordered a drink with whiskey and champagne. Sounds gross, but trust, it’s delicious. 

I was on a date I honestly did not want to be on. I didn’t get good Vibes from this guy, but I thought I’d give him a chance. A third chance. Me and my giving out chances like they’re freaking bad Halloween candy. 

After my one drink, I convinced myself I just had to order a beer, too. If I was going to make it through this date, I needed to be buzzed. And buzzed I definitely got. We walked around and I got sucked in by the college vibes and party scene. Just being around that environment gets me into this mindset where I feel normal. I get intoxicated just by that little bit of hope that for one night, I will be a normal college aged girl. For one night.

As I sat on the second story of an outdoor bar, I watched as the street began to fill up with a crowd. There were hippies with glowing hula hoops, Christians with Jesus Loves signs, and families in which I’m not quite sure why they’d have their kids there. 

I knew I was in trouble when the Bud Light promotion crew started going around handing out free beer. Thankfully, I had a friend on the way to save my drunk ass from this horrible date. 

I could have simply said after dinner, I want to go home. But I didn’t. That would have been too awkward. So, I decided to get wasted. Great job, Liz. I got home and drank some more, like the smart person I am. I went to bed, and now I have a mess to clean up because apparently I got sick.

I’m writing this because I have issues. Don’t we all. I have ADD, which causes my mind to function differently. I have depression, which causes my mind to hate itself. I have anxiety, which causes my mind to constantly worry. I have PTSD, which causes my mind to go back in time. And, I have a drinking problem, which causes my mind to act normally.

When I say I have a drinking problem, I don’t mean that I wake up and drink all day then pass out. However, at one point I had been known to do that. When I say I have a drinking problem, I mean I can’t stop once I start. Sometimes, I can keep a handle on myself. Other times, it doesn’t work out that way. 

My biggest challenge with recovery is finding a balance. I’m an all or nothing kind of person. I don’t like doing things half-assed. So, when I work on myself, I dedicate all my time to it. I forget about life. Then, when I decide to start living, that’s all I do. I end up ignoring what brought me so far, I fall behind.

The next few days will be tough. As I recover from my setback, it’ll bring me back stronger than I was before. While I got to experience a night of being normal, the normalcy ends there. I take medication, which thankfully is not life threatening when I drink. However, the alcohol takes top priority when it’s in our system. This means, for the next 48 hours, my medication will not work. I will have my ADD and my depression with me. The only help I’ll have is God and myself. 

It’s a choice I made and have to live with. The next couple days I need to be extra gentle with myself, reminding myself it’s okay to have a “lazy” day. I got out of bed today, that was a victory. I’m writing this post, another victory. I made myself coffee, I’m just winning at these small victories today.

We all have our vices. We all have our ways of coping, whether they be good or bad. The process of recovery is to replace the bad with the good. I’m proud to say that I’m replacing the bad vices. I may stumble, but I will not fall down. Part of the recovery process is when you stumble back into your old ways. It reminds you that you’ve still got some work to go. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. 

For me, I believe my next step is to finally do it. To finally quit drinking all together. I didn’t realize last night that I was drinking to escape, and I won’t let myself start that bad habit again. So, for all of you who are concerned, I will be pouring out the rest of my tequila and whiskey. I will pour out my wine. And this time, it all goes down the drain, not into a glass.

-Liz

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