I ran into an old friend recently. Yes, she was a former drinking buddy of mine, but we go back a lot further than that. We were best friends since 6th grade, so I rationalized that we had more common ground than just alcohol.
Feeling confident in my sobriety, I agreed to a lunch date for the following week.
When the anticipated day finally came, and we began chatting, it soon became apparent that we were seeing the world through two different sets of glasses. Mine were clear and hers were blurry.
I had begun to see the world in a different light.
I was in deep denial when I was still drinking. I didn’t see myself as an addict, because in my mind, addicts represented unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. I held down a good job and lived well, therefore, I rationalized that I couldn’t be an alcoholic. When I finally did acknowledge my addiction, however, I was surprised by the the number of colleagues and acquaintances who offered their support. Due to my biased view of people suffering from alcoholism, I had no idea any of them were in recovery.
2. Asking for help
Before I was in recovery, I looked down on people who asked for help. I saw it as a weakness, that people were simply too lazy to put forth the effort to achieve their goals. Then I hit bottom, and I realized that people are not created to function independently, and that it takes real strength to admit you can’t do everything on your own.
3. Alcohol in today’s culture
Alcohol is everywhere, and it is much more socially acceptable than illegal drugs or even prescription medication. Even religious people say it is okay to drink alcohol, because Jesus drank wine with his apostles. While most people will respect you if you quit smoking, they tend to look at you like a pariah if you don’t drink. After I got sober, however, I was able to understand the greed that leads to all the catchy commercials that make drinking alcohol a prerequisite to any type of fun.
4. Higher Power
While I was drinking, I viewed people who relied on a higher power as weak, that they had to depend on someone else to guide them instead of working to come up with their own solutions to life’s problems. I have since learned that turning over our problems to someone greater than ourselves shows we are strong enough to acknowledge that we can’t do everything on our own.
5. True Friendship
It never occurred to me that my drinking buddies weren’t my true friends until I quit drinking. Suddenly, I wasn’t “fun” anymore, and they had no desire to spend time with me. I have since made new friends, sober friends, who support me through all the ups and downs of sobriety.
6. Other Addicts
As a functional alcoholic, I looked down on those who were unable to maintain the facade of a successful life. I even thought that if they couldn’t handle it, they deserved whatever misfortune came their way. Sobriety has taught me that my financial stability became a stumbling block to getting help, because I hadn’t hit bottom. Once my drinking had gone beyond my control, I realized that I had never been in control in the first place.
As each day passes, I recognize that I will continue to see many more aspects of the beauty of life without alcohol steaming up my lenses. From sunrise to sunset, each day is now a beautiful gift.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs, please contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today for help. One of our experienced treatment advisors will be happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Contact us today.