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.