Content Warning: This is a series that follows my journey using art while going into recovery for alcoholism. So there will be mentions of alcohol-related thoughts and behaviors.
‘I never thought this could happen to me’…sounds familiar doesn’t it?! I’m sure at one point we all thought that (fill-in-the-blank) would never happen to me. It definitely seems to be one of Murphy’s laws. I have been sitting here at home off and on, getting drunk and baffled by how truly cunning addiction is. A lot of praying and meditating went into trying to understand how I let myself get to this point. And then a painting fell off my bedroom door in response to my prayers.
When I went to fix what fell, I glanced over at a pile of paintings that felt too raw and ended up in the reusable canvas pile. One kinda stuck out and I remembered I had painted it when in an unhealthy relationship that year. Turns out, that this painting ended up being more prophetic and definitely a warning to be more honest with myself.
We all lie to ourselves in one form or another. Other times, it’s a matter of just surviving the stress of the day. Plus, with consumer culture, it isn’t that shocking, now that I think about it, how addictions are so sneaky.
It’s like those annoying infomercials… “Hey, got this problem you don’t want to deal with, then get this to make your life easier,” but really it’s just a toxic delay tactic.
Have a rough day with classes, ice cream sounds good. Can’t stand dealing with the in-laws during the holidays, well thank God for the liquor cabinet. Stressful day dealing with customers, happy hour! Or if it’s a really big whammy of a day that needs to be bleached from the mind, go on a shopping spree, then stop at the casino for a bit for both bets and booze. Yeah, feelings, stress, puh-lease. And on, and on, and on it goes. The lies we tell ourselves just to avoid that painful moment in life. And, that’s just for everyday stuff. That doesn’t even factor in trauma.
So, like a toxic butterfly, these things look oh so pretty but are really destroying the real joy in life, and for some will cost lives.
Thus, I sit here, hating I got to this point. Baffled at the power this drink has over me and the deep grip it has on my spirit. I am starting to recognize wherein psyche I have been screaming in pain, that had been buried under food and trying to drown with alcohol. It hurts a lot.
Awareness is truly the first step to recovery. It’s taking the step towards a beautiful life based on honesty no matter what it takes to be honest and stay honest with myself.