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.