The Never Ending Battle With Addiction

It has been seven months since I sat behind my keyboard and wrote about my battles with alcoholism, anxiety and mental health. When I wrote that blog it took a lot out of me, it was hard for me to express myself and be open on that level, on the flip side of that coin, I found it very therapeutic. At this point in my life, I really want to help as many people as possible, I have this platform and aside from writing sports blogs and fart jokes, I feel like it is my responsibility to write about these types of experiences and if it helped save one person, it would be so worth it.

I have been clean and sober for nearly thirty one months, 930 days, 22,335 hours to be exact. I have an addictive personality, my years of therapy have taught me that. It has made it abundantly clear that the things I enjoy, I want to do more of, it took me years to realize that drinking was a problem but when I stopped, I uncovered a whole new variety of problems. The drinking was my crutch, my medicine, it’s what made me feel good, got me to normal. Now, even nearly three years later when the anxiety creeps in, the emotions are prevalent and I have to deny myself the thing I know will make me feel “better”, I have to say no so that I stay healthy. It’s so tough to discuss with people and frankly, I think it is harder for people to understand, for them to put themselves in your shoes and your mindset is nearly impossible. Addicts understand it but people who have not been addicted to a substance struggle with the thought process and the actions of the addict. Why is this person acting different, they are acting out of the ordinary, why is that? Well, most likely they are dealing with an internal crisis. The judgmental behavior of people is something that still astonishes me to this day, I am not saying I am above it because before I got sober, I judged everyone. I looked at people and said I am better than them, let me talk about this persons past or what they are about and now, I realize just how big of an asshole you have to be to do that. Since I got sober, I haven’t looked at someone and thought they were beneath me, to the contrary, I look at myself and ask why I deserve the success, all the blessings and good things that have come my way, why should that be happening to me? I refuse to give myself credit, I have wallowed in impending doom for so long that when I finally take a step back to enjoy things, I turn and look for a way to self-destruct. Addicts will understand it, people struggling with mental health will understand it.

I grew up around men with strong opinions, personalities and I tried to repeat that behavior. When I decided to go into therapy, even though I knew I needed it, I viewed myself as less of a man. It was an added layer onto the bullshit, it was an added layer to what felt like ginger ale of the brain. I have been in therapy since the spring of 2018, a pretty long time, there are moments when I think, I don’t need this, so, I didn’t go last week and this week, I realize just how big of an impact those sessions make on me. Even when I don’t think I am getting anything out of them, so what I am saying to all of you that are struggling is DO THE WORK. Go to therapy, go to AA and you have to be the person who will get better. I had people tell me for YEARS to stop drinking and it was only when I decided that I needed to stop that I was able to get sober.

My entire life I have felt an endless need to please people, to have friends and to be liked. The more days I stay sober, the harsh reality of things is that people misread your intentions, they are not as trust worthy as you think they are and that need to be like, will hopefully diminish. My hope for you is that you shrink that circle of support, look around you, see the people who actually call themselves your friends, and then don’t trust any of what you see. Does it sound cynical? Absolutely, but when you make your addiction and struggles known, the ones who reach out, the ones who text or call you and tell you they are there for you, those are your people, those are the ones who have your back. They might be the people you least expect but in a pinch, they are the ones who will actually be there for you. You might say, hey Scors, but the people who reached out weren’t my “best friends” they weren’t the people in my wedding, they weren’t the people I talk to everyday. To that, I would say, exactly. Humans are universally known as the most least loyal and deceptive species to ever walk the face of the earth. In order to be successful, you need that support system, so all I am telling you is to take a look and shrink up the circle and focus on you.

I am a lucky man, I have a wife who deserves better, at least from my perspective. I can imagine that the addiction and the mental health problems that I bring to the table are not easy for someone to live with. I have people tell me all the time I am a good man and a good husband and even those compliments make me uncomfortable, any type of gratification toward me as a human being will immediately bring discomfort but at the same time I enjoy hearing it, will I believe it? No, probably not, but still nice. I said earlier that you have to want to get sober and get help, I believe that to be true but you can also get sober for other people, you can also use people as motivation. That’s what my wife has done for me. If it wasn’t for her I would be either a drop down drunk or dead, no way around it. I firmly believe that. In the days of the most powerful and painful depression I have ever felt, she was there, when everybody downplayed how I was feeling and brushed my alcoholism off as an excuse or my mental health problems as being soft, she was there. The days where I wouldn’t leave our apartment and be miserable or be upset for no reason, or have an excruciating feeling of paranoia, she would assure me that it was okay. We might not look like the most exciting couple ever but let me tell you, there is some surprises, some wildness and like Bruce said “I wanna know if love is wild, I wanna know if love is real” well my wife showed me that it is, she has evolved as a woman, a wife, a person and she is remarkable. She has made sacrifices and done things for me, not because she likes it but because she knows that they make me happy, that they make me feel alive, without taking a drink. She is everything. I hope I have given her half of what she has given me, as cliche as it is, it’s the truth. Not everybody has the luxury of battling addiction with someone like I have but I guarantee there is someone out there who wants to help you in a REAL way and can make your life better and easier as she has done for me.

These last few weeks have been difficult for me, they have been an up and down battle with fighting off the urge to pour a John Daniels on the rocks. Yes, when you know him as well as I do he’s John, not Jack. The good news is, I have fought off those feelings and have remained sober. The one day at a time thing is bullshit in a lot of ways, it is harder than that, it is broken down to smaller intervals. For me, I don’t know if I am going to stay sober today, I haven’t been certain for the last 930 days, but I know that if I focus and say okay for the next ten minutes while I write or go for a walk, or mow my lawn or watch this movie, I won’t have a drink, I will stay sober, then those moments turn into that aforementioned “one day”.

I just can’t stress enough to everyone that we are all human, that our world especially in 2020 is as messed up as it ever has been, I truly believe that we are better together as opposed to fighting one another and causing division. Try your best to learn about someone, their struggles and not just the perception of them. Addiction and mental health is tough enough, the support means the world, I can promise you that if you need it, you have mine.

One thought

  1. You sharing your experiences is going to be such a great help to sufferers out there. I myself won’t classify my habits as a full-blown addiction, but I do drink much more than is recommended, and your words resonate with me. Congrats on the 31 months, and here’s to wishing you a lifetime of being clean. Keep sending the message out there!

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