Step one – We admitted that we were powerless over our addictions and that our lives had become unmanageable…
The first step is the hardest. Admitting your life is a mess is hard enough. Admitting that you’re the one who got it in that mess is even harder.
I’ve haven’t touched drugs in 10 years. Been sober for 8. Haven’t smoked in 2.
The drugs I don’t miss. I was never that heavily into that culture and gave it up easily. Drinking and smoking were much harder.
There’s been a lot of study done on addictions, and I won’t pretend to understand half of it. Nor will I bore you with it. That’s not the purpose of this blog. Instead, we’re gonna talk about my experience with addiction.
I quit drinking to see if I could. To see what would happen. After repeated failing what I later learned was the CAGE questionnaire, which is as follows:
Two “yes” responses indicate that the possibility of alcoholism should be investigated further. The questionnaire asks the following questions:
- Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
- Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
- Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
I never said yes to number 4. Never drank before noon. 5 on Sundays. Don’t ask. I still don’t know.
The months that followed were terrifying. I had nothing to numb my emotions. For the first time since I was 12, I didn’t have my little crutch. I actually had to face what I was feeling and feel.
I was stone cold sober for 6 years before I went to controlled drinking which was halted when allergies prevented me from drinking beer which was the only thing I was allowing myself. So now I’m back to no alcohol.
I smoked for over a decade. I quit when I got so sick breathing was painful and I was in a nyquil coma for 3 days. If you don’t smoke for three days, why smoke on the fourth, right? Quitting smoking was initially easier than quitting drinking, but long term, it’s been harder to deal with.
Maybe it’s because of how ingrained smoking was for me, that it was such a coping mechanism, I don’t know, but I still miss it, 2 years later.
I still dream of smoking. I don’t dream about booze, but I dream about cigarettes. I dream about smoking, about having them hidden, and I’ve woken and been visibly upset that it was just a dream.
Addiction is a powerful thing. It’s not just physical. It’s got a psychological component, and that psychological component will permeate every core of your existence. The physical symptoms fade. The psychological symptoms haunt, even years later. I still get nostalgic looking at a whiskey bottle, thinking of good times. Of course, I also remember the stupid things I did and that makes it a little less of a fond memory.
Addiction is powerful. Years later, I still struggle. I know I can never touch whiskey or wine again. I know I can’t smoke. I know how easy it would be to pick the habits back up. And I know that I would stand to lose everything.
I came to step two: realizing that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.
And step 3: turned my life over to god, as I understood him,
My name is Agnese, and I am an addict. I’ve just been sober a long time.