Priya’s Battle With Addiction Blog Series : Part 2 of 12

Posted by Reboot

Towards the end of my drinking career, all my near and dear ones were convinced I had a problem with alcohol. Personally, I was still sitting on the fence.

At age 23, even though I was emotionally and spiritually shattered, I believed that mostly I had it all together. On the surface I had a great job and was doing very well at it, I had a large social circle and was always the life of every party, my family really loved and cared for me-they were obviously just worried about this ‘phase’ I was going through. As for romantic relationships, I was still looking around for my “Mr. Right” and enjoying the search to the fullest. The bubble of denial I was living in was very strong and self-destructive.

What started off as a commitment to myself soon became a full time job – managing my substance use.

Within a few months I got exhausted of constantly being on my toes and decided to cut myself off from the social circuit for a while. I thought I needed this break from people and social affairs and began drinking heavily all alone. I had no idea of the despair that lay ahead and that every drink and drug was taking me closer to my bottom.

For almost a year before I came into recovery, I made several attempts to control my drinking- enough so that the consequences were manageable. Prior to this last year of drinking, my blackouts had become more frequent. Emotional breakdowns and violent outbursts after drinking also became a regular feature. The practice of starting my day with a swig of alcohol or a whiff of dope became a daily ritual and people could see I was dependent. During this time, I also encountered a near fatal accident under the influence and had a narrow escape from death. I didn’t stop drinking or using.

I knew something was wrong, but could not in my wildest dreams, fathom the depth of my problem and where this road would take me. I had decided to ‘watch’ my drinking and drug use from here on- careful not to get smashed unless in my own company, behind closed doors. On a daily basis I made new strategies to manage my substance use- beer only, just a little weed a few times a day, never drink on an empty stomach, only wine, a few cocktails evenly spaced out through the evening. What started off as a commitment to myself soon became a full time job – managing my substance use.

Within a few months I got exhausted of constantly being on my toes and decided to cut myself off from the social circuit for a while. I thought I needed this break from people and social affairs and began drinking heavily all alone. I had no idea of the despair that lay ahead and that every drink and drug was taking me closer to my bottom.

At age 23, when I walked into the rooms of recovery I was stunned to hear everyone share exactly the same experiences with drinking and substance use as mine. I was also shocked to realize how similar my story was to everyone else’s in the room. What really fascinated me was that they all claimed to have not had a drink for days, weeks, months and had NO desire to drink or use again. This was a concept that was unreal to me. “How was it even possible?” I thought to myself, “Not a drink in days?”

I heard one fellow share about the disease of alcoholism being twofold- “we have a physical allergy, a mental obsession” he said. Our years of abuse of the substance eventually made us slaves to it and we had lost all power to control the desire and the consequences of use. Our bodies too, metabolized the substance differently, the moment I had one drink- it triggered a vicious cycle of wanting more and more. Ultimately, one drink and I couldn’t stop.  I believed him immediately.

As I recapped my journey of 7 years of drinking and using I started to clearly see how truly powerless I was when it came to a drink or a drug. How easily my earnest desire to stick to ‘just one’ melted away within seconds of taking that first disastrous drink. There were the other times I simply wanted to be social and have a fun evening, but I saw I was hardly ever successful towards the end.   The countless number of times I told myself  ‘not tonight’ and failed or couldn’t keep up a promise to my loved ones astounded me.

I now clearly saw, I was a victim to an obsession and an allergy so subtly powerful that my human will would not work. As I raised the white flag, I finally admitted I was powerless. Knowing that I would not be able to do this alone, I opened my arms out to the help and guidance of the 12 step program. There has been no looking back since then.

A day at a time, staying sober and working the steps, my life has been a journey of self-growth and personal victories. Today I have most moments in a day filled with gratitude, love, joy and peace and thanks to the 12 step program, a desire to be a productive individual for my loved ones and society.

Admitting the simple fact that I was powerless over alcohol, lifted this heavy burden of hopelessness from my shoulders. Through this admission I was now willing to receive help and guidance, I now have at my disposal the power of the 12 step program which I see is far greater than what my lone will could ever do for me. I’m a grateful member of a 12 step program.

“Find out what happens next as Priya shares how she was constantly surrounded by shame and how freeing herself from shame helped her heal”

About Priya:

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.