I grieve for the people I may have hurt and for the people I lost to the addiction that haunts my every waking moment. There are a ton of people who understand what I am hanging onto when it comes to the thought of relapse being a possibility even after maintained sobriety. It is definitely a tough path to go down but when it comes to life I know it’s not going to be easy, it’s harder. When I was using I was unable to face my problems head on because I had a weak support system that lacked better morals than my own.It does sound mean the way I’m phrasing it but it’s my own fault I allowed it to happen because I am the one who was supposed to have a hold on my life, but I didn’t. For example: If I wanted to drink and I had money then they would ignore that I’m drinking, only if I gave them money to leave me alone. I know they didn’t think that they were my enablers, or that my problem was also creating a habit for them, which was allowing me to manipulate them by paying them to let me drink and for space because when I was broke and drunk they would be at my ear trying to talk to me and get me straight. I know there is no logic in that but it is true and I didn’t like hearing their advice because it was just a circle of stupid! My thought about trying to give advice to a person drinking is you can’t try to get anyone to understand anything when they are “heavily” under the influence because for me I would just agree so they would get out of my face. When I say heavily I do mean binge drinking with days in and out of being in drunk stupor stages where being sober was not an option because I hated withdrawals! I drank the whole day to feel numb so I could sleep and when I wake up I drink water and drink more liquor so I could feel straight and not feel the shakes if I could help myself. Some weeks were good when I could maintain and go to work for that paycheck and right before payday I was always cutting it close because the lack of money to feed the beast inside me would scream for release. Worst days would be dealing with me getting a hold of random people I knew, searching the entire house for any kind of change, or stealing a bottle if it came down to it. The desperate times were so bad that I would lose my job because I couldn’t handle my drinking and I knew I was losing to the inevitable truth of my weakness to alcohol. The faith and trust in me from the eyes of the people who knew or acted like they cared was starting to dwindle and I was just becoming this cycle of a forgotten alcoholic. All of my choices all warped into this benign person, who didn’t set up boundaries, made me difficult to deal with but also made it easy for them to take advantage. I was lonely and when your feeling emotionally crippled and insecure then that does make you vulnerable to the bad intentions of others. I think that thought processes like this does not happen over night and does escalade over a series of years which makes your mind assume this is right. I started working at a young age and I think I was fighting for favorite out of all of my siblings and all I got was the most naughty award out of all of them. My list includes a huge accumulation of troubles for my mom that I got her attention but I didn’t get it the right way which makes me sound like a petulant child throwing a tantrum wanting it all about me, I was selfish in all the wrong ways, but I wonder who isn’t this way. Every person goes through life wanting to feel special and that’s what I wanted and when I was using I felt invincible and detached from the criticism of other’s, like a bird soaring through the sky, completely free. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t all bad emotional drama for me on some days, I was functional on most and mellow. The pendulum of my addiction swings both ways which is why my own emotions are uncontrollable and I feel like a bipolar rollercoaster of crazy insecurities of my own self. My manipulation, lies, and mentality was all about me when I was drinking just to numb the senses to feel amazing. My youngest and only brother, three years my junior, was my partner in crime. I feel, in hindsight, that I was the cause of his alcohol and drug use as well because I got him involved in my shenanigans when I was 15 when I would’ve been a positive influence on his future, I was only fueling the fire, making it worse. In my own sabotage of life ruining I was messing up his life as well and I’m not proud of anything that I have done but to be able to get it out of sight and out of mind does help me remember I can’t be that person again. The person who influences the bad out of people to let them stoop as low as I felt so I wouldn’t be alone. To catch up on all the fun times does hit home for my brother and I because we did confide in one another about the monetary problem in our little family, because of the lack of it. I felt like I was supporting my family and still not getting ahead in life which made me angry so when I was hanging out with my brother, we just self medicated to get that crap off our minds. Just thinking of it doesn’t bother me so much in the present, but at that time I was angry and unsure about anything so every chance I could get I ran away because the overwhelming feeling I wasn’t going to make it. I ran away from my problems when I had to get sober because I was scared of the outcomes and that soon became a habit easily learned in time. It did not help me to resolve them except just build a tier of unstable blocks of mistakes. I think when your young it doesn’t matter because I know I was always using the word “tomorrow” and now I’m getting older and thinking “yesterday” trying to live in today, but feeling inadequate at making the right decisions then to make my “now” better. I over think it all making it a paradox of wishing and trying to make myself hope for a time machine thinking maybe I won’t cause a butterfly effect, which undoubtedly there would be a butterfly effect ruining my present. There are so many memories that remind me that I had a blast and makes me justify falsely to myself that maybe I can drink without causing any problems. It’s those kind of thoughts that are lurking in the depths of my mind and that’s when my mouth starts to water and I get a craving. Just that one thought creates over a thousand scenarios in my mind to make me feel like its legit and one won’t hurt which I already know the answer to that. “Addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful” and I know that to be true from experience. Rehab, counseling, AA meetings, and group sessions are common for me to maintain my sobriety but I faked it before just to please others because I wasn’t ready for it. Now, I can say with honesty that I have been working from my tool box of knowledge for my recovery that I’m glad I have recollections on all the times I learned about my addiction/recovery and ways to keep myself sober. Then my cycle would then repeat itself and I get scared I wouldn’t come back from it.So, trying to make yourself the victim of your own problems doesn’t help either because when it comes to staying sober and focusing on the goal for yourself, it has to be completely about you and finding ways to make yourself stronger in your mind, body, and spirit. For a long time, I had no faith in anything especially myself because I was stuck on feeling disdain, hatred, and all those negative feelings towards my whole being and the life I was given since birth. Why couldn’t my family be moderately stable and not only money wise but the surroundings as well? In my household drinking on weekends for my mom and dad was common and that was when they pack all of the kids up and head to a relative’s and drink. Then Sunday’s would be the day for forgiveness and act like it was no big deal. Both my parents were musically inclined in their church and revivals they went to but mix alcohol and boom that created an uncontrollable spiral for them both. It only got worse and they were so nonchalant about it that finally my dad left my mom and she became a constant weekend party goer.She did this for years and getting into her car crash was too late for us as a whole because my two older sister’s were getting in trouble in school with alcohol and drugs. All the yelling didn’t make any thing feel right in the house and I am the youngest feeling scared at times in the room because my mom would have nothing to say to me. I felt like the forgotten child and I still have a resentment for some of my past but I am letting it go just by staying sober and getting it out of my head. My mom and dad truly paved the way for my success as an alcoholic because I firmly believe that my childhood is where my cycle began. I was into the church and religion as well up to the point where I did gain knowledge in god. Whar can I say, I was growing up and once you expand a young mind to mind altering chemicals then it ruins it by setting it off track to an imbalance. I felt inadequate to everything in life and I let myself escape and soon I couldn’t come back from it. I strayed away from church and I felt like I had to use drugs and alcohol because it made me feel weightless and feel less worry, but it came with its addictive properties and my life changed. I didn’t think it would take me this long to understand that I use to say I don’t want to be like them but I did morph into them and I didn’t notice it until now. Kind of sad to have the realization of the truth when you say it out loud to yourself, but I am no longer afraid of it because I know my vicious time with the struggle is over. Every day that passes I am able to look at myself with more love than I could have imagine in my past and present. The insanity of it all is I had the most potential out of all of my siblings and I had goals and plans for the future at a young age, but I let the fact that I didn’t get closure about my dad leaving us just linger in the back of my mind. All those blocks of built up mistakes and regrets was so massive that the only thing I could do was look down and walk off the edge to fall and crash to my own demise. That sensation of ease and calming air about me now surprises my mom and siblings because I was the one who put a lot of strain and havoc in the family. It gets easier now to drop the past transgressions because I no longer feel the need to get into that phase of emptiness for that space is filled with more love than I could have ever asked for. Throughout my choices it has given me wisdom, strength, and to show humility in all that I do to keep myself sober. My patience for the life I had before shows me we all deserve love and we need to forgive ourselves and others in order to make true progress.