After The Party Is Over : The Search For Self In Recovery
When I put down the booze and the dope, I thought that life would get perfect and when it did not, then I began to fall into a deep depression and period of not knowing who I was.
Here we are nearly a year and a half later and that search for self remains and that challenge of living life on life’s terms continues to be something that I have trouble with, even more so during times like these with a pandemic and everything that is going on in our world.
The party is over, that is something that I must accept and something that we all who struggle with substances must come to terms with.
I Never Wanted To Get Sober and Live Life On Life’s Terms
When I got sober, the party had ended and things were not what they once were or what I wanted them to still be.
An old timer in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous once said to me, “When you stop drinking, your problems will not all be solved and your life will not magically be perfect.”
This was devastating news for this alcoholic and addict. I say that it was hard for me to hear because I thought that once I put down the bottle and the dope sack that life would become great and it has in many ways, but it does not get perfect and problems still exist.
Living life on life’s terms is no easy feat and when we are in recovery, there are things that we must do to recreate ourselves in recovery and develop a great life after the party has ended and some of these things are easy feats and some of them are not.
The party was fun for awhile and it was something that I never wanted to walk away from really.
However, I finally came to terms that life on life’s terms was the better way and the way that things had to be for me to have a life in general, let alone leave the consequences and the pain and sorrow of active addiction behind me.
Drinking and using was fun for a long time, until it wasn't and now living life on life’s terms becomes a challenge but it is truly the better way to go through this life and that is because we can only recreate ourselves if we become new people, sobriety allows for that.
I never wanted to stop living that old life and live a serene life, none of us do in all honesty — but what happens is that we end up being forced to by the things that happen and who we become eventually.
The Party Can’t Go On Forever, There Comes A Point When Enough Is Enough
All good things come to end, or shall I say, all good things become bad things and then they come to an end.
This is the essence of the “party”.
We drink and/or use and life is good and things are fun, but then they are not that way and we begin to develop consequences in life and the party suddenly is not that much fun, or it is fun with problems and then just becomes an array of problems and chaos.
This way of living cannot go on forever and there comes a point when we must put an end to the madness and begin on the road of recovery and try and find our way in this life and find a way to create ourselves into the versions of us that we always tried to hide from.
The party ends and the search for self begins, this is the way that it always happens, no matter who we are.
Enough is enough we must say sooner or later. There comes a time when the party is no longer fun and when we must put down the substances and pick up the tools of life and go after the life that we want, the positive and successful journey that we lost along the way.
The end comes or the end comes. It was fun while it lasted, but sometimes enough is enough.
Finding Who We Are Without The Drink Or The Drug Is No Easy Feat, But It Is A Necessary One
Finding ourselves in recovery can at times be a challenge, especially in the beginning when we are full of emotions and are so used to living life being loaded on a drink or a drug.
Once we get clean and sober, we have to not only live day to day life without these substances, but we must become who we always hid behind those type of substances to avoid or to try and become.
Now, we must become who we desire and who our higher power wants us to be and we must do it sober.
This is not always easy. We became so used to masking our real selves by being drunk and high that we do not know who to act or who to be once we no longer have these chemicals in our body and have to live life the way life is meant to be.
The way things are for many who are alcoholics and addicts is that drugs and alcohol are essential to do things like watch a game, enjoy a concert, have a cookout, or even do normal things like work or go to the beach and when the drugs and alcohol are no longer an option, doing those things becomes really difficult.
For so long we have associated living life with being loaded and when we no longer can get drunk or high, then we struggle to find who we are or even to have a sense of living life and doing the things that we are so used to doing and that can cause depression, anxiety, and pain for so many.
We can find who we are without these crutches though, we can be our best selves without being under the influence and the party can go on, although in a different way.
The Party May Be Over, But Our Lives Have Just Begun
I know for me that the moment when I realized that I could no longer use drugs and alcohol in the way that I used to and without the darkness and consequences that became my reality, then that was a hard pill to swallow and was devastating.
They were part of everything that I did for so long and I had no clue how to function without them.
I was at a crossroads, go on to the bitter end of jails, institutions, and death or find a new way to live. Thankfully, I found that new way to live and that way has been through the steps, which have given me another chance to live this life and become who I wanted to be for so long.
Yes, the party is over — but life has just begun.
I have this new chance at life and my message for anyone who is struggling with sobriety is that if the drink and/or the drug is causing more problems in your life than providing fun and relief and if you cannot go a day without those substances despite the chaos, then the party just may be over and it may be time to walk away.
Walking away is hard when it is all you have ever know, but sometimes, it is best to move on.
Finding You One Day At A Time
There is this book called “Man’s Search For Meaning” and in this book, it talks about how we all have a purpose and that we all have value in self and in this world.
Partying was fun, I will not lie, it was fun and I had a lot of good times out there.
There came a point though when there was more pain than pleasure within the partying and that is when I had to put it down and get into recovery where I could find out who I was and what was in store for my life, that is no easy thing to do when the party is ongoing.
There are times when we are out there drinking and drugging when we can find little glimpses of ourselves and who we are, but in my experience, we cannot find our true selves and our true calling in life until we are living a life on life’s terms.
The party is over and as it is said on page 417 on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today”, and today I accept that the clean and sober path is the better way to live and and that the path to finding my true self is through recovery.