Accepting I'm An Alcoholic

How Accepting My Affliction Allowed Me To Ascend

Along With Other Advice For Addressing Addiction

It took many years for me to acknowledge, out loud and with gusto, that I am an alcoholic. I had known it in the back of my mind since I was around 23, but I didn't say it and mean it until I was 29. If I were to put my recovery on a timeline, that moment would be my beginning. The evening I leveled with myself and admitted I had a serious problem. It was emotionally intense, as though I'd been holding my breath for years and finally gasped for air. Even at the time, I knew it was a turning point. I had never before identified as an alcoholic, and it was a surreal assessment to process. I didn't want to be an alcoholic, I didn't want the stigma and shame, but it was mine, nonetheless.

I had to come to terms with the fact that an alcoholic is not always busted, bruised, and without a home. Actually, quite the opposite. I feel like there are more of us living with fine jobs and possessions, but without self-love or passion. We've turned to alcohol to fill a void that it cannot. And once I removed the false imagery of what an alcoholic is, I was able to recognize the disease in myself. I could feel where it had gotten its claws in tight, and it was overwhelming. I was filled with guilt and shame over what I had let myself become, and consumed by fear and doubt that I would never find a way out of this vicious lifestyle.

I fought and bemoaned being labeled an alcoholic for years, but that was my pride. Which was just my guilt, shame, fear, and doubt masquerading as something else. It wasn't until I leaned into the term, and embraced what it meant, that I was able to accept myself as an alcoholic. I had to learn that identifying as an alcoholic did not make me weak, less than, or any other foolish or negative attribute I could fling its way. It was imperative I learned that ownership of my problem was the best way for me to move on from it. But, you see, living in the truth, living authentically, was still foreign to me. Please don't make these same mistakes. Please don't senselessly tack on years because of your vanity.

For as soon as I could identify that I was, indeed, an alcoholic and that I did, indeed, need help, my life began to ascend. And I know that we like to make it much harder than it is, or blow it way out of proportion, but this only hinders our recovery. I would strongly encourage you to just go for it, get it off your chest, so that you can start the process of moving on. Once you say it aloud, you begin to take away its power. It is the earliest form of you reclaiming your power.

And maybe you can't say it aloud yet. But can you write it down, and tear it up? Or perhaps keep it, and look at it every so often? If you can't do that, please do not live in fear of the thought any longer. If all you can do is hold the thought in your mind, that is amazing, too. That is progress and it's perfect.

But I do promise you that once you release yourself from the stigma of identifying as an alcoholic or addict, you will begin to soar. Maybe your life won't come up daises immediately, but I do believe you will begin to find more light, and the flowers will smell better, too. And I know this sounds a bit strange, but it all goes back to moving past what is currently holding you back. As soon as you know what's holding you back, the better you can break free from it. It's scary, it makes your stomach turn over and palms sweat, but it's so much better than waking up from yet another blackout, y'all. 

If you need someone to say it to, I'd be more than happy to listen. And until next time, y'all have fun, now!


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