Priya’s Battle With Addiction Blog Series: Part 8 of 12
Posted by Reboot
Towards the end of my drinking, I recall a cold and dark night when I caught myself wondering for the very first time “when was all of this going to end?”
A classic high bottom case- as I am often referred to in the rooms, was a painful space to be in. While my emotional self-was clearly in shambles, I had all the important physical aspects of a comfortable life pretty much intact. At this point, I caught myself sitting on the fence- the pain of which was constant and unbearable. I recall doing most of my drinking and using, only to numb the restless, irritable and discontent person that I had become. For years, alcohol and drugs stood strong by me and always successfully calmed the storm of chaos that brewed within.
The last months of my drinking were peculiarly painful. At an alarmingly fast pace, my drinking and using progressed. Not only did I begin to use in the mornings but also began drinking and using all through the day. I had also reached a point when the effect of alcohol and drugs just wasn’t the same. To deal with the anxiety within, I realized I needed something more. I began to mix drugs and alcohol on a regular basis- even then the effect wasn’t fulfilling enough but I kept at it relentlessly.
I recall one regular morning when I had just finished a difficult meeting at the boss’s office. We had a heated discussion and by the end of our meeting, my boss wasn’t happy and neither was I. As I left his office I was trembling with anger- I knew if I didn’t act fast I was going to explode. I immediately reached my department and asked for a glass of chilled cold coffee to calm down. Within minutes the coffee arrived- at once I reached out to the corner most cabinet in the area and pulled out a bottle of brandy swiftly pouring a big measure into my cold coffee glass. It was around 11 am and I needed to fix myself. Chugging half the glass at once, I could sense a beautiful buzz. I immediately relaxed, shoulders loosened and I felt lighter. By the time I finished my drink the anger subsided, I put on a smile and got back to work, “I’ll get my chance to show the boss what I’m worth”. Throughout the rest of my day, I put on a brilliant show, fast, productive and getting results. That night I realized how efficient a small drink in the morning made me. I found my new trade secret and I was going to be great at work!
For weeks I practiced my day drinking ritual. What started off as one drink at 11 am now becoming an all day activity at intervals of 2 to 3 hours just to keep the buzz going. Occasionally I would step out of the office premises and smoke some weed and come back with a spring in my walk, rearing to get on with work. I needed the buzz all day, it kept me focused, productive and acted as a shield against the negative attitude and behaviors of other. I had finally found a solution to life. I was going to make sure shot success at my workplace.
Finally, I hit bottom one day when I got caught drunk at my workplace. I was going about my usual day of sneaking swigs to get the buzz going and was equally productive and at some point in the evening, all the use of the day hit me hard. I can’t recall when I blacked out but around 8:00 pm at my workplace I came to my senses and was in the security office. My boss sitting across the table was as shocked as I was. “How could I let this happen? What can I say to cover up? What the hell did I do?” My head reeling in confusion trying hard to recollect the events of the day, I tried to muster up the courage and speak up. I was being faced with serious charges of intoxication at work, stealing from the organization, jeopardizing the company’s reputation and disturbing peace of our clients. I had nothing to say to explain my position. The security officer made me sign a letter and let me go for the day. I remember my boss’s parting shot “You’re in a lot of trouble lady”. I was numb with humiliation. As I made my way home that night, I could not stop my tears the entire drive back. When I reached back home my mother was waiting for me at door. From her stance, I knew she was aware of what happened. My boss must have called her at some point. I went straight to bed and passed out. The next day I woke up to a close family friend in our living room who had come to see me. He asked me a few simple questions and as I answered, it became evident that I had a serious drinking problem. Our friend told me that if I wanted to recover I had to get some help. I didn’t to go work that day or the day after that. I was swamped with fear and humiliation of what was going to happen.
3 days later I reported to duty and the HR asked me to go meet the general manager of the company. Shivering I made my way to his office. Before he could even start I broke down and the following words flew out of my mouth “Sir, I have a drinking problem, I need some time off from work to get help”. It was a relief like no other, I was being the most honest I had ever been and from my gut I knew this was the truth. The general manager put aside all that he was going to say to me and with a warm smile on his face said “Please file for leave immediately, I can grant you 2 months with pay and we can review your case after that. Finish handing over to your manager and you can leave for the day.”
Every night I thank god for his grace on me that day. I was told in recovery that alcoholism if not addressed, will have one of three possible outcomes – jails, institutions or death. I feel today that my God is loving and kind and he saved me with a gentler blow. I’m also grateful for the support and help my bosses extended. It was unheard of in our part of the world and I can only say with absolute certainty that it was the presence of a kind and loving God that the least expected people stood by me and encouraged me to seek the help I needed.
” Find out what happens next as Priya shares how her family coped with the disease of alcoholism and learned to understand and encourage the alcoholic“
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.