This is my first post for a while and there's no point lying and trying to pretend that what happened didn't happen. A few months ago I relapsed and in true addict style, it turned out to not just be a one off but a messy, full on affair. A couple of drinks, turned into a bottle of vodka a day, within the space of a few days. From there they was no turning back. What made me pick up that first drink is pretty irrelevant to be honest, the fact is that I did and in doing so dispelled any myths or thoughts in my own mind that one day I'll be able to drink like a 'normal' person again! I'm two months sober today having been through rehab for a month and spending another month in a type of halfway house. I am returning home tomorrow and back to the trials and tribulations of normal life. Studying, looking for a part time job and filling my time with the stuff that everyday types do. I don't even know what that is anymore but for me it involves sitting in coffee shops, drinking lots of coffee and reading and writing lots. My relapse was bad, I let a lot of people down, again! But, I can't dwell on that otherwise I become one of those people who others expect to just fuck things up all the time! In my own mind that's what happens, stuff gets good then I mess it up. This is certainly what has happened historically in my life. What relapse has given me this time though is a clarity about how it happened. The things I'd left unaddressed, I was able to address. The things I need to change and the things I need to do every day of my life, I am able to change and achieve daily. It was a humbling experience, particularly given my professional background and my extended period of sober time. It was also an eye opener and made me see that it doesn't matter what you know, If you're an alcoholic, you're an alcoholic and you're always prone to relapse. If I leave things from the past that I need to deal with untouched then somewhere along the line the thoughts and feelings associated with those things will lead me to a bar or a bottle. I'm an alcoholic and I don't profess to get it right all the time. I do this blog to try to put my thoughts down on paper as it were and maybe to help my friends who are in recovery themselves. If I had to pinpoint why a simple thing like not drinking is so hard to actually do as an addict I would say that because addiction is a disease of the brain, your brain chemistry and what gives one pleeasure has altered to such a degree that alcohol is what it yearns more than life sustaining things like food and water and even air! Just becoming and remaining alcohol free is going against the logic of ones own brain, the thing that thinks and that drives us. Drinking is the logical answer to everything, though in the real world, given the disastrous results that come from it, it is equally and more powerfully the least logical thing to do! This is the inward battle that I have every day when I wake up and the reason that recovery is a moment by moment effort, one in which every new day sober is a miracle on its own. Trying to see any logic in the way that I think is illogical in itself. I feel as I feel, nothing more and nothing less, I am just better at getting in touch with these feelings now. When I feel sad, I allow myself, there's always a good reason but it generally does pass given time.
To me, my recovery is an ongoing process and I'm back. The difference this time is that I have a plan, I have a huge support network here in Cape Town and the main difference this time is that I'm happy and I am no longer carrying around the anger and resentment of the past. That's why, despite the pain of it all and despite letting friends and family down again, what seemed like the end of the world a couple of months ago, now feels like a big step forward. Recovery is fun, I'm currently attending an average of two meetings a day! Because, in my experience, above all else, it is the meetings and the friendships forged in recovery that ultimately keep us clean and sober. I'd just like to thank everyone I know for their patience and let's see what the next chapter has in store for the alcoholfreeme.com