Addiction is a running theme in my life. I have been addicted to many things and I know that there is a root cause. I know what that cause is and it goes back a long way and has tentacles wrapped deep in my brain and my heart. It is not any one substance or activity that has power over me. No bottle has ever chased me down, tackled me and poured itself in my mouth. I have never been forced to eat one more sugary thing or buy one more pair of boots. I made those choices and others because I didn’t want to feel pain. I made those choices because I was desperately trying to fill an empty spot in myself with whatever gave me a thrill and made me feel alive. Sadly, whatever it is becomes something I learn to hate because the thrill never lasts and sometimes the substance can kill me.
Now, my mom will say that there is only one answer. That answer never worked for me. I did the religion thing. I had a personal relationship with Jesus. I dedicated my life. I did all that. I jumped in completely at one point. So anyone who thinks this is a God shaped hole I can tell you that for me that is untrue. I have been a pagan for many years and the most satisfied I have ever felt was during the times I was in circle with people I trusted and loved. But the past few years I have been on a journey and like Persephone it has been a dark time for me. I have been wandering in the underworld and now I am longing for the sunshine. I no longer find joy in activities that have become shallow and meaningless to me. I no longer want to drink till I cannot feel so I can let people I do not know do things with me or my partner that I would not do sober. I no longer want to be the Queen of the party or the Goth Queen. I don’t want to go to parties or clubs and pretend I am having a good time listening to back stabbing and watching people hunt for someone new. I don’t want to have people striving to be like me or follow me who really don’t know me at all. Don’t get me wrong I have met some wonderful people and have made some acquaintances. I can count my real friends on two hands. That is just being honest. If I was in dire straights there are only a few people I know that would be there for me. This is not just true of me. This is true for all of us. If you do not believe me just watch the next time you really need someone. I have experienced it first hand. Words are just words and actions speak much louder. Those who swear allegiance are many times the first ones to look away. I am not saying they are bad people I am just saying that people have their own lives and have to make choices that are right for them. It is better to not make promises or vows to people. Maybe you are one of the lucky people who has a strong group of friends who would do anything for you and follows through. If so I want to have that in my life. I am however grateful for the few true friends I have.
So now I am four months sober and I am slowly working on other things I have been trying to stuff in that space. I need to fill that space with healthy things. I need to walk away from people, places and things that are dragging me into the mud. I need to fill that space with love for myself. I am going to start a new life and make major changes. I am 56 years old. I do not want to be 66 and staring down the same bullshit knowing I did not step up and make a change. By the way, 56 does not mean you are not still young on the inside. There is always that young heart that travels with us and we never forget, even when we are 96.