Priya’s Battle With Addiction Blog Series: Part 7 of 12
Posted by Reboot
Towards the end of my drinking career, I had started to turn a blind eye to everything that didn’t suit me. People, places, situations and things- if I was being pushed to make extra effort or move out of my comfort zone, I would simply look away. A slight chatter would continue at the back of my head but when this chatter grew, I would numb it out with a drink or a drug. Back then for me, dealing with emotional issues was a waste of time and didn’t always work. What would work was to block people and places out of my life as a punishment till they realized they had wronged me and apologized to me themselves.
My inability to see things as they were was growing at a rampant pace. In every situation, I was the victim. I was the poor thing to whom life or people were unreasonable and harsh. Whenever I was faced with a situation that did not suit me, I would simply block it away. Years of living using the blocking mechanism, I found a dark and negative space dwelling within me. I had no joy left in life.
When I came into recovery I heard some wise old timers share that emotional clutter within is sure to block the sunlight of grace and joy from us. I believed them. Not only was I trapped under the weight of some unreasonable issues, I also struggled with perspective and guidance in dealing with them. At one point I found myself sick and tired of being sick and tired. I longed for peace and joy within, I longed to receive and give unconditional love, I lacked freedom of being myself and was constantly knotted up in negativity.
In the rooms, I learned there was a solution. I needed fresh and unbiased perspective to be able to let go of all that I had buried deep within. The negative emotions I held on to were of no value to me, they would only keep pulling me down. I was willing to make a start, but the sheer volume of junk I had to delve into was scary. This was going to be a tough one. To start I was asked to re-live each hidden emotion that caused me pain, anguish and discomfort. Next, just as a narrator of a play, I had to write out my role in each of these situations.
Being completely ready to clean house, I had no idea what I was going to face. My sponsor told me I wasn’t alone. I had the strong support of a loving and kind higher power and I had my sponsor’s guidance. To keep the fear away, I had as testimony an entire fellowship of people who had gone through this very vital step at some point of their recovery and had powered through. I was told it would all be worth the pain!
The journey was quite an adventure. As I began to write all that I had anger with, fear of, insecurities against, I noticed the pen flow on its own. For about 2 weeks I went through this exercise of re-living incidents and situations to pen down, soon enough what I wrote became less about the others and more about myself. I began to heal.
This introspection has been one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. When I sat across the table to share and gain new perspective with my sponsor, I was pleasantly surprised! Yes, a lot of wrong done to me as a child was unfair and uncalled for. But living in the present, I had to accept and understand the situations of the past and let go of the pain. As we moved along, I was made to see those situations where my selfish and self-centered behavior had caused another to react. This was a bit more overwhelming as now I had to make some amends for my wrongs but by this time I was ready and willing to set my own house in order. My sponsor told me that from here on it would always be about keeping my side of the street clean. Holding on to pain caused by another and letting that take over my present, I would always find myself in a rut of negativity and it would cost me my peace of mind and heart.
This house cleaning journey has been the most rewarding. Finally, I felt my spirit feel clean and free. I felt joy flow in almost instantly. A lot of the things I made a big deal of in my head had to be right sized, I had to see things as they were, not more or less. Real growth in life began from here on. This step today has become a very special tool in my everyday living. Keeping the spotlight on myself- my actions, behaviors cuts out the time living in negativity. No more do I have to bury any emotion or challenging situation that makes me uncomfortable. I have seen and now believe, that the rewards of working on the pain is always sheer delight and a sense of true freedom.
“Find out what happens next as Priya shares how hitting a painful bottom at work changed her life and strengthened her resolve to pursue sobriety.”
Priya is an Addict and an Alcoholic who came into recovery at the young age of 23. She continues to work a 12 step program closely with a sponsor and has been sober for 5 years since 2011. Priya lives in New Delhi-India and has a joyous and fulfilling personal and professional life. In her free time, Priya enjoys reading, listening to music, bake and watching movies. She strongly believes that for her to keep what she has learned in recovery, she must share her experience, strength and hope with other recovering Addicts and Alcoholics.