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Sharing my story ... and facing my fears.
I have always been guarded with my emotions.
I have never been one to share how I really felt. I grew up that way. I learned not to cry at a young age, and to act tough like my dad. My dad seemed proud of me for being a tough kid, and my mom and sister were jealous that I could be so strong.
I actually grew up thinking that I was strong in denying my feelings. Boy was I wrong! I wasn't strong, I was weak.
Denying my emotions was a dangerous game, one which I carried in to adulthood.
Never let em see you sweat!
Hide how you feel!
suck it up!
You want to cry? I'll give you something to cry about!
... you get the picture...
after what has been for me a lifetime of denying how I have felt, I realized that I often felt like a fake. Like I was wearing a mask for the world to see.
Put on a smile. Always loud and laughing.
Sherry the party girl.
I also realized early in life that drugs and alcohol could help me cope, and to not feel the feelings I didn't want to feel.
No matter what was going on in my life, a drug or a drink could fix it. And no one was none the wiser, except for myself, the one person I couldn't fool.
My therapist once told me that drugs and alcohol have helped me cope, but the side effects are devastating. And eventually they are.
I'm at the point in my sobriety and life journey that I feel I could share my story.
But there's one problem ... fear ... and it's a biggie.
I write a lot, and I have always felt that my writings were supposed to be used for a purpose. Writing has helped me process and heal, and maybe my writings can help another fellow alcoholic or addict. I would love to help someone else that has similar struggles.
I am hesitant to share, guarded with whom I choose to share with, and nervous for several reasons.
1. I have kept my feelings and addiction a secret for so long, how do I come clean?
2. What if I relapse?
3. How do I put my name out there in print and share my struggles?
4. I have never shared freely since I was a kid, how do I do this now?
5. It is way out of my comfort zone!
6. It's scary!
But here is the truth. I have an answer for every fear.
1. We are only as sick as our secrets!
2. If I were to relapse, I will get back up again. I'm human.
3. It takes faith over fear to share, but I know it can be done.
4. I take baby steps, just like sharing at a meeting.
5. We only grow out of our comfort zone.
6. Sure it's scary, but fear is a liar. And I have not been given a spirit of fear!
Today I realize that if I continue to give in to my reluctance to reveal my true nature, I am giving the secrets even more power. When secrets are in control, it drives a wedge between myself and God, and the things I value most about my recovery.
I also realize that my single biggest fear in life has always been that I would be found out, that I would be exposed to be world as a fraud. Everyone shocked when they realized I was not the person they thought I was.
I know that makes me a people pleaser, and shallow to worry about what others think of me.
Why do I think I should be exempt from addiction? Like I'm too good for it?
I'll end with this fact.
Fear is a basic human emotion. It is there to protect us from danger.
Sometimes real danger, sometimes perceived.
There are many times that I perceive as scary or dangerous territory, and I allow fear to take over. Yet it is simply my emotions.
These weird, and strange emotions that I am not yet comfortable with ...
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