Join Date: Feb 2015
Just over one year ago I decided to take a step into the unknown..... to try once and for all to surrender to the fact I am an addict. To the fact that every time I get into the ring with my addictions I can only loose. I had just turned 28 and had lost sight of who I really was, downing in a hunger to simply feed my selfish needs, nothing and no one mattered and anything that got in the way of what I wanted..... I stamped on.
For me it all started with gambling and drink. as a teenager (and still to this day) I really struggled with who I was, obsessed over the fact others didn't like me. I felt like there was everybody else and then just below that there was me. It was an assumption I was hard wired with. I looked down upon myself unless others or other things told me different. I started seeking these things and people out....Ways in which I could lead my life to be satisfied with me. Anything would go, bullying class mates (picking fault to make me feel better with me), sleeping with girls (viewing them like toys, fit only for my ego boost) and then I got offered my first bet from a popular school friend, so of course I accepted the chance to place a bet, this made me feel good, it made me feel free and a feeling of such high worth when I won was like heaven on earth for me...Gambling gave me identity and when I won such a huge feeling of help empowerment! I felt like a god and I was something when I won and nothing else mattered! This soon became a daily activity and by 16 I was gambling daily, using my weekly Saturday job money to fund this, coupled with theft from my mother every now and then. At the same time I found drink, again this gave me identity plus all my pain went away when I drank, being drunk gave me the chance to be me, to feel free from my self hatred (although it's strange, in my later days drugs drink and gambling actually fueled my self hatred). I felt like a god when I was trashed. And so it went, I spent most of my life between 16-18 drinking and gambling. It felt great and I was on top of the world, peers respected me for these things and this allowed me to use girls to feel good about me....I didn't see girls as people, simply things to conquer to prove me self worth to me. These three things became my focus, parents and family soon didn't matter. I was slowly withdrawing and creating my own little bubble with drink and gambling). By the time I was 18, gambling was rife. Daily gambling funds were around £50/£60 a day. I was gambling everything I could lay my hands on and would not stop until it was gone. This is when the leaving the bookies in tears began. At least monthly I would loose money I shouldn't have and I was starting to down in debt....But everyday was a new day and the pain this addiction was doing would soon be forgotten. And so it went on, my drinking and gambling increased. I started university and the addictions travelled with my, on my first day I drank so much I threw up all over my new classmates. Three months later I had to deliver a phone call to my mum, explaining all of the funds they had set aside for me, I had taken out that day (around £1900) and blown in the bookies, I was broke and hours from home and university life was over thanks to my kind friend addiction...... This is when the drugs started......
Following on from my abrupt self ending of university my mum and dad we're furious. They could not believe it and started giving me a hard time. It was pissing me off and as my parents didn't fit into my carefully created addiction bubble, I turfed them out of it. I left my parents house abruptly after returning from uni for good, seeking cheap rent in a drug addicts house. I was down, full of self hatred and looking for something or someone to sooth me. An in stepped drugs, just like that my saviour (or so I thought)...instant release. I bloody loved it. On came the feeling of self worth, provked from cocaine and weed. Coupled with heavy gambling and drink abuse, I didn't have time to think about bad decisions. I was in the zone, my bubble was full and nothing mattered apart from self gratification!
And this is how things stayed. Anyone that got close I pushed away, I destroyed my parents. They did not exist as far as I was concerned and I honestly would have sold my mother for a tenner to have a bet of by a few lines! Although I felt in control at the time, with hindsight I was so out of control. My life then was all about addiction, I did hold down a job though this time, all I had to do was turn up and work then it was addiction time! From 19 to 28 I spent the days and weeks either gambling, drinking, snorting of being stoned, or a combination if I was feeling flush....... Life was going down the swanny. I found my self doing things I shudder at to this day. Nothing and I mean nothing else mattered. I had officially become a selfish addict. I stole thousands of pounds, used family, used people, used girls. Lost two relationships due to using. I told myself I didn't give a ****.....oh but I did, deep down I hated my self even more, who had I became...the very reason I started using gambling, drinking and drugs was to feel good. But no more did these magical potions work. Self hatred was at an all time high, suicide was attempted twice and everyone that had once mattered had been pushed away. I was sick of it. Sick of waking up everyday being angry, sick of the guilt, sick of life! This was no life, I was simply an empty shell, looking for a feel good feeling out of everything. The more I used the more I hated my self and would need to use. I was done with it. I had to stop.
One day I phone 'APAS when I was feeling really down. This proved to be the best impulsive thing I have ever done. I was set up with a meeting the next day and although I felt everything in me pushing against this. I went. When I arrived at my meeting in walked my councellor. I broke down in tears and told him everything about me, it had all come out, it was like a weight was being lifted, all of my inner hatred, self loathing and guilty, laid to bear, looking back not only was I admitting to him who I was I was admitting to myself. It felt good but it hit me like a sledge hammer. I felt so relieved and understood when I left, but strangely so alone. I felt lost, but I was somewhat resolute that I would beat my addictions. I wanted to be free and I wanted to be me again!
In the minutes, hours, days and months that continued life was the hardest I have ever endured. Everyday I felt so lost, devoid of any motive for life, so confused as to what life was all about, regular thoughts (every five minutes) plagued my mind with the question 'how is life good without my friends (addictions)' this is pointless, life was much better with them'....this I now identify as my AV (addiction voice). It was so powerful, it was me and at times it was hard to distinguish between my addition thoghts and my real thoughts. I felt I was going mad, I would breakdown and cry randomly though the weeks. Everyday I woke I felt so alone, I wanted to die for a long time, regularly hoping a bus would side sweep me under it's wheels. I was I putting my self though this! I did not know if life was good without drugs, gambling and drink. I could not imagine it would be! I had to do a lot of soul searching for around 3/4 months, every day was a battle.... a battle between my AV, depression and the declaration I had made to beat these addictions. It's the hardest thing I have ever been though. I was discovering who I was again, and looking at and coming to terms with the way I had led my life over the last 10/11 years was terrible. It was hard to accept. I did relapse during the first 2 months and I was gutted, a big bust up with my mum led to a two day cocaine binge. When I came out of this I felt so guilty but mainly afraid, afraid that I could never beat these addictions! I felt powerless! All this time I was still seeing my councellor, who himself was an ex crack addict. I could just relate to him and he helped me so much. He helped pick me up from the relapse and my recovery continued. I learnt from it.
As the days passed I was become stronger and stronger, I think it took around 3/4 months to start to feel sane again and around the same amount of time to feel passages of happiness in my life again. Oh but it was worth it, some of the times when I started to feel happy sober I could not believe it...what we're these emotions that I was having, it had been so long since i'd felt happy naturally I was stunned and yet buzzing that the question 'can life be happy without my addictions' had been answered! The recovery ball was well and truly rolling. Although I did have daily urges I had learnt, with the help of this site and my coucellor to battle them, identify my AV and the more I denied the urges the weaker they got. I was getting me back, a soul that had been lost for so long. I was starting the gym, putting more into work, re-building my relationships with the family (although this was very hard and bought it's own complications in recovery).
Approximately one year on from my last interation with my addictions life has improved endlessly. I have now realised I didn't know what a proper relationship was, I didn't know what it was like to be emotionally intimate with anyone. I have learnt to be happy in the smallest of things (a smile of a childs face, my brothers face when he had his first baby made me cry, my mums hugs,) , these things offered me nothing before and I could not feel anything from them. they offered me nothing! But now they mean the world to me and I'm so happy. I have met a girl, how I really love (not just need to make me feel good).... some of the emotions I am feeling now compared to a year ago I cannot believe. I am actually happy when I wake up. Pleased to be alive and pleased to be me. I am also expecting a baby, something which I could never have dreamed of before. I am looking forward to being a dad and experiencing life on it's terms. I am a lot better at dealing with lifes **** and have found a strength in me from all of this crap to help me. I feel I know my self so much better today than I could have ever done without starting my recovery one year ago. Boy it's been hard, but boy have I learned more than I ever dreamed imaginable. I know how important it is to keep working on me, to keep asking the questions and to keep improving. I do not ever want to go back there again. I was a slave to substances and sefl hatred. Now my life is full of the stuff that matters, love happiness family and friends. The best thing I ever did was start my recovery. I could not have taken this first step alone and wish to thank all those that helped give me strength when times were impossibly hard. Life without addiction is hard, but it's worth it. A sentence I had no faith in 12 months ago but I promise you it's true.
Just for today I am happy to be me, happy to be doing life on life's terms, happy to feel love and share me and my life in honest relationships, happy to feel a sense of love for me, happy to have made the first step, happy to be making amends and happy for the people I have met along the way.
Last edited by Opivotal; 04-18-2016 at 09:48 AM.
Reason: Correct Title