The secret life of addiction is a lonely life. It can be exhausting and depressing trying to keep addiction a secret from everyone. There is no joy in the day as we struggle to keep a smile on our face. We can be in a room full of people we love and still feel outside of things. As a matter of fact being with the people we love puts more shame and guilt on us. They each mirror all the things we are feeling about ourselves. It is that shame and guilt that slowly destroys us. As addicts we punish ourselves more than any one else could.
The really sad part of addiction is that once we are sober for awhile we forget how bad we felt using and willingly go back to addiction over and over again. Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that the definition of insanity is” repeating the same behavior over and over again expecting different results”. In sobriety we usually felt wonderful and everyday usually held some kind of joy. We were able to hold our heads high and shame and guilt were no longer our constant companions. At the end of everyday we felt like we had accomplished something good. Why then do we throw all of that away to feel awful once again?
I am amazed at the power that addiction has over us. It is almost as if we are possessed by some crazy demon. Imagine if somehow we were able to channel the power of addiction into something wonderful. If we could take the drive, dedication, energy and singleness of purpose and put it into our families or a new career or even into volunteering our time, think what we could accomplish!
I have no answer as to how to combat addiction except that I believe in God and in the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. I try to stay sober one day at a time. I have fallen short a few times in my life but I always keep my eyes on the prize… Sobriety!