addiction, alcohol, recovery, sobriety, strength, the end

Treatment Diary

Day One. July 3, 2019

Here you are – you took the risk, the step, the plunge. This was no easy decision it’s likely the hardest one of your life. I still feel ashamed, embarrassed, but part of me feels like this is where I should be right now.

The first meeting was introductions in answering “what do you want from Powell CDC?” I responded with something along the lines of “I want to dig deeper into the steps to gain a better understanding of them. Clearly they have worked for so long and for so many people in the past that I now realize what I have been doing just simply won’t work. I need to try something else and I hope leaving Powell I will feel proud and confident that I have gained the tools to beat this.”

Second session was a meditation AA meeting which I actually enjoyed a lot. We discussed the 11th step – I’d write it out, but at this point I don’t even know what the 11th step is. We did a 10 minute meditation prior to four people discussing their thoughts on step 11. After that we had a Speaker share her story of growing up: through her journey of trauma, addiction, poor decisions, and it really hit home for me. She expressed that bad decision after bad decision she simply couldn’t stop the drinking. I became overwhelmed. I felt every ounce of her pain and I broke for her. She made me feel like I wasn’t alone, like there were more people out there like me. Maybe I can do this? Is it possible? I’ve been sober for two days and while that is only two days I need to remember and be proud that I made those calls and that I walked through those doors. Wanting to change, dying to change, and needing to change. I made it. I made it here. I made it back. Just need to hang on.

addiction, alcohol, hope, recovery, sobriety, strength, the end

I See You

I know you follow me around everyday. 

I can see and think of you every moment of every hour.


You’re sort of this distant thought on a lot of my days.

Which can be good or bad,

Depending on who you ask.



You seem to be doing well.

Staying strong and ready for me to come back.

But truth is - without you,

I’m doing alright.

Life has been different since we separated.

I wasn’t sure how to have fun,

And I didn’t know how to live my life without you.

I had to unlearn everything I knew.

And relearn everything all over again.



I will say that it is nice not to be obsessing over you.

Not hurting those I love because of you.

You really messed things up for me for a while.

I honestly don’t know how I sustained the energy,


To keep you in my life for so long.



I am thankful we parted ways though.

You made my life hard, sad and difficult.

Your darkness - it’s so powerful,

Powerful enough that not even the smallest glimmer of light could find me in those days.

Some moments I miss being comforted by you.

While others, I could not imagine still being attached to you.



You have this innate ability to find the struggling, the sick and the suffering.

You have the power to hang on for as long as they will allow.

You destroy their lives, their relationships, their love,

And do so unemotionally.



Many people don't like speaking about you.

Theirs a stigma that follows you.

A lot of times people turn their nose up,

And they wonder why those of us who suffer cannot just quit.

But how do we quit something that lives within us.

How do we quit something that is biologically connected to us.

The short answer is we can't.


Not alone.

Its going to take an army of soldiers to overcome this battle.



If there is one thing I can promise,

To you and myself.

It is that my experience with you will not fall in vain.

I will continue to show up and speak out.

To show those who suffer the compassion,

The grace, and the support as I have seen from those before me.



Your existence may never cease.

But my hope is with time you become more widely discussed,


And your presence more accepted,

That for those who experience you are not forever a lost soul.

They simply need help finding the light while they search for the drive to survive.



-x

Written by Bri Jean

addiction, alcohol, hope, recovery, sobriety, strength, the end

Hello, my name is

When I woke up yesterday I had absolutely no intention of writing any of this. I opened my phone to see an email on this account which I had thought and intended to be and remain anonymous. This email was from someone I spoke about on here often. He is one of the most important people of my life thus far. Somehow and someway he found this anonymous blog and I have no idea how. My curtain on our life together had finally been ripped down. To experience someone who meant so much to me for such a long period of time to see me for who I truly am and truly was while we were together was quite shaking and unnerving to say the least.  

I didn’t know what to expect from the email and what I got was of course nothing short of compassion, understanding, and kindness. It’s so overwhelming when all you have done is hide in the dark to protect who you are because the guilt and shame are far too much to bare. 

I have spent so many years hiding behind these shadows that I have done absolutely everything in my power to not let people see me for who I am and who I turned into. For people to be able to connect the dots to all of these terrible moments in my life and terrible decisions that I made, I would have done anything to not let them put two and two together.  I have come a very long way since the beginning of this blog in 2014, but by no means has this been an easy road, a fun road nor an enjoyable road, but nonetheless it’s been the road I had to travel. 

I am happy to say that I’m sober today. I have not had a drink since July 2, 2019. The morning of July second would go on to be my first ever true spiritual awakening. There was no longer a will to continue living my life the way I had been. I had completely and utterly given up everything I had known, wanted, or saw for myself in regards to remaining in this disease. I made a lot of calls that day. I put myself into a treatment program for six weeks and those six weeks changed my life. I thought with one day at a time I would be able to figure this out. I had figured it out, right? Of course I did.

I stayed sober for a while. Not every day was a good day, a great day, or a bad day. There was a healthy mix of all of those days. Then the pandemic hit and my program changed. I wasn’t really doing the necessary steps and working my program in order to maintain this level of sobriety that I had come to know and enjoy.

Around March 2020 I had decided to try cannabis and see if that was something that could fit into my life a little bit better. Let me tell you did I feel that switch flip. I felt that immediate rush of obsession, craving, my usual alcoholic behavior, sick thinking and tendencies came rushing back up. I began obsessing over it, worrying about it, being anxious about it. Where was I going to get it? When was I going to get it? How would I pay for it? I experienced all of the things we go through when our disease gets fueled and alcohol was no where near me.

It was a long couple of months and by a couple I mean six which is how long I regularly used. It was towards the end of my using cannabis that I had what I now know as my second spiritual awakening. I was able to truly understand and comprehend that I am not just an alcoholic, but I have a disease in my brain that’s called addiction. While I was not consuming alcohol anymore I felt very similar to how I felt at the end of my drinking days and that was a hard pill to swallow. I thought in my crooked mind that the reason I had finally given up alcohol was for me to be able to use a less severe vice. If that doesn’t give you an inside look to this disease – I’m not sure what will.

That experience while it forces me to start my recovery over I look back and I realize how incredibley lucky I was. There are many people who break their sobriety for their non-drug of choice and they do not make it back. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank my higher power for getting me out of that situation safely.

My new sober birthday is January 6, 2021. I have written on here countless times about day ones and what I have come to learn and know is that it is not about the amount of time you have for this life or recovery. It’s about every day we wake up with an untreated disease that we need to treat in the best way we know how. Each and every single day all of us only have today and we are no better or worse than any person who sits beside us in those chairs, regardless of how much time they have. We are all equal. We are all striving to maintain and achieve a sober mind. It’s with a new found feeling and eye-opening moment that I had yesterday when I opened up that email that I sit here and I write this: fully exposed, completely open, transparent, and in front of those curtains and shadows that I hid behind for so long.

Hello, my name is Bri Jean and I am alcoholic. 

addiction, alcohol, experience, recovery, sobriety, the middle

5 Years Since This Account

Hello World,

I am in aw. I have not opened or looked at this account in 4+ years. I hope you all have been well and a lot of honesty is going to come from this post. I have not stopped drinking. I actually should have died a year ago after being taken to the ER with an obsene alcohol level, March 7th 2018 to be exact. Eesh that pill is still hard for me to swallow. Went to out patient rehab. I went in with the mental thought of “forever” which utterly terrified me. How does one accept in early stages to not think of forever? But just for now? And hold true to that day in and day out. I knew I wouldn’t make it. I honestly was like, I got this. This all makes a bit more sense to me. I got this. I was clearly sadly wrong. While I’m not binging away for days on end (no longer Sauvignon blanc mind you. I’ve thus converted to vodka and spiked sparkling water). I’m still not living my full life. How does one counter this demon in ones head of “it’s ok. Just don’t drink 8 vodkas and you’ll be fine”.

I know I need to change. I can whole heartedly say that I cannot continue living this way. It’s my escape for the boredom and loneliness and to make the time absently pass, because I am in fact alone. I’ve contacted a therapist to meet for some unresolved issues I even talked about in this blog 4 years ago. I’ve considered short term disability or FMLA to fight this. I guess I just don’t know where to start now that I feel I’m so far gone. I’ve opened up a lot the past two weeks to my family about unresolved issues I was protecting them from. And working my way out of a failed relationship. These things are clearly proving to be triggers for me. Necessary though? I needed to let out things from my past I was hiding. I needed to end a failed relationship. It’s just so much at once. I’m feeling very overwhelmed and my family is concerned. Which. I don’t blame them. Based on how bad of a situation I was in last year. I definitely dont blame them.

So that’s my update. I thank all who have read this. Hopefully I can find my way back to where I need to be.

Xo

addiction, alcohol, experience, recovery, sobriety, the middle

Help with Life and Sobriety

I feel like everytime I come here to write about something it’s always about how “terrible” or how “bad” my life is.  That really makes me quite sad looking back on it because – my life isn’t bad. My life isn’t terrible. My first niece and nephew arrived this past Saturday and it reminded me how beautiful life truly is. I’ve never been one who wanted kids, but seeing them come into this world was truly wonderful. How is it that this substance and this addiction can make me feel so incredibly different about my life. I am not happy with this addiction, obviously. Who is?!  It’s making me hate myself and in all honesty has actually been progressively getting worse. To the point where everyday I wake up feeling like I am slowly killing myself day by day. 

Today is the day I ask for help. I am going to research therapists. I have always wanted to speak to a therapist and I actually think having someone to talk to and help me clean up the bullshit in my life would help me get on the right track to sobriety. I am inexperienced in this part so who has any tips on choosing a therapist and is this something generally covered by medical insurance?  Any help would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

addiction, alcohol, experience, recovery, sobriety, the middle, Uncategorized

A Different Mind Set

I read a blog yesterday that gave multiple things you realize within the first 30 days of sobriety.  One of them stuck with me immediately, “this is not the worst thing that could happen to you.”  I sat and thought… hm.  That is a great point.

Fast forward to this morning and like every Thursday I call my dad to chat about our weeks and weekend plans and then he says, “well. I am keeping your brother and sister in law in my prayers today.”  Uh… What?!  I have not heard anything so I am immediately caught off guard.  My sister in law is 30 weeks pregnant with twins, a boy and a girl, and there is potentially an issue with her pregnancy, the results will be out later today, but if the results are not in their favor she will be admitted into the hospital tomorrow and likely be giving birth early.  At 30 weeks the babies are of size to survive, but I cannot help but feel for them and just imagine how scared they might be or what they might be feeling.

That blog was absolutely correct, “this is not the worst thing that could happen to you.”

addiction, alcohol, experience, recovery, sobriety, the middle

The Beginning of the End

I knew walking into work today and tackling the day was going to be difficult.  The vibe in my office has been quite “off” and today was the day I could feel it would come to a screeching halt.  The boozing has officially taken its toll on my day to day life.  I have a rolling schedule of my choosing each week and more times than not can I say that I bailed on coming into work just so I could get drunk, home alone… on my couch.  So unbelievably pathetic.  I would tell them I’d be in and then “a meeting would suddenly come up and I couldn’t make it.”  This morning they sat me down and said the non-stability of my schedule was making them question if I should even continue working here.  Do I love working here?!  No.  But, it does help with my bills.  And if and when I choose to leave I want it to be my choice and not them choosing to let me go do to being such a flake and not dependable (which the booze is solely to blame for this.  As I am generally very dependable.)

I started hiding bottles from my boyfriend who would be disappointed to know I am drinking so much again – even chugging from the bottle when he is not looking.  No.  I did not make that up.  I am so embarrassed and ashamed that I had to write it out in order to read it back to myself so I can reminded of how far this problem has gone.  I look to the right side of my computer screen and I have been blogging since February 2014.  14 months I have been battling this (which its actually longer, more like November 2013 is when I acknowledged this problem.)  How have I not gotten a hold of this?!  So insanely disappointing and frustrating.

I got a lot of feedback from people after my last choice telling me “to change or modify my path to sobriety” because of my failed attempts, I am obviously not doing something right.  I got into a 30 kick start to sobriety today.  The daily activity was to listen to the podcast 3 times today and to put positive, sober, enthusiastic post-it notes all over my house, car, desk, wherever to be reminded of my sobriety.  I have every intention on doing both of those things today.  So for the sake of my relationship, work, and health – I pray to God this is the beginning of the end and the start to my recovery journey.

addiction, alcohol, experience, recovery, sobriety, the middle

And just like that – Darkness continues

I was doing so good for two weeks… and then I wasn’t.  Just like that in a flip of a switch I am back where I started.  How does our brain get so trained into thinking we need this substance on a day to day basis.  I woke up hating myself after drinking a bottle (and by bottle I mean more like a bottle and half) of wine last night. Somehow I always convince myself, “well you have no days under your belt, or only two days under your belt, so why bother”.  And back to the bottle I go.

addiction, alcohol, experience, recovery, sobriety, the middle

Struggling. 

Today and yesterday have been the hardest thus far. That sober stay-cation while relaxing may not have been the best option at this point. It through me into a realm which I was not ready for. Two full days of spare time with no plans to pass the time. Just to sit.  I even convinced myself at one point I could drink while I was away and come back to LA then continue this journey. My bf then referred to me as speaking and acting similar to a heroine addict. 😑 I was like “ah shit”.  So I’m back in LA now. Still sober. But I’m really not enjoying it. I was on a brief high of “yay sobriety – woohoo lets do this”.  Now all I really want to do is just say fuck it. Fuck all of it. 

addiction, alcohol, experience, recovery, sobriety, the middle

California Sober Stay-cation

This is a first… 10 days in and while I have secluded myself from all plans – tonight that comes to an end.  I have booked a two night stay in a small beach city for my boyfriend and I to escape the city of LA to just lay around and relax.  The sober part of me is so thrilled it is just him and I as he is not a huge drinker and he knows what I am trying to accomplish by abstaining from alcohol so will likely not drink while we are away to support me and to not make it harder for me.  I think about being in Cabo San Lucas three weeks ago and how I just sat on the beach, laid out and drank all day.  This weekend will be significantly different and in my head I am imagining a lot less fun.  :-/  I am trying to remain positive, but I do see the struggle which lies a head and is only a few hours away.