I should be excited right now since I leave for vacation Saturday morning, but the closer it gets the more anxious I start to feel. This is going to my first vacation sober. I don’t know how well I am going to be able to handle that, especially without a sponsor now. And what does every normal person do on vacation? They get wasted, right? I mean, that’s what I always did on vacation? That’s what everyone on my Facebook does on vacation? The same with my friend, my family, and most of the people that I am going to be with for the next week. I just want to feel like a normal human being again.
If I have to look on the bright side, I guess I can at least say that my boyfriend doesn’t drink or use and that I also know I have some amazing people that I can call if I need too. However, that still doesn’t stop or help, the anxiety that I am feeling now and will most likely feel at certain times when I see other people throwing back Tequila shots.
I am not at the point in my sobriety yet where I can even listen to people talk about getting drunk without me wanting to get in on the fun, let alone me being around people who are going to be drinking heavily right in front of me. I can start to feel the panic rise in me even just thinking about it.
Unless a person has dealt with addiction firsthand, they could never know what I am going through right now. Or why my thought process is the way it is, or even why I am making such a big deal about this. In order to understand the grip that addiction truly can have on a person, someone would have to witness it firsthand. Whether it be from struggling through it themselves or watching a loved one being brought down slowly.
Alcoholism and drug use is more serious than this, but I heard an analogy similar to this and figured it was worth fixing it up a bit because people who aren’t addicts would be able to understand this more than anything else. They would at least be able to catch the gist of it:
Addiction is like being on a strict diet. You know you are medically not allowed to have sugar because it is bad for you, so you have to stay away from it. You do all the right things. You eat right, you go to the gym every day, and you stay away from those donuts because those donuts have the sugar in them that will kill your diet. You do those same things day in and day out. One day, after being on your diet for a few months, you decide that one bite of a donut won’t hurt you. After all, you have been going to the gym every day and eating right every day. So you take that one bite. Next thing you know, the entire donut is gone, and you are on your way to Dunkin’ Donuts to buy yourself a dozen. All your hard work is gone and out the window all because you wanted a taste of something sweet.
That basically explains addiction and relapse in the simplest way it can be put for people who normally just wouldn’t understand.
I hope that I will have enough will power in me to be able to make the right choices on this vacation because I honestly don’t feel like recounting my days. That feels like too much work to me. 😀
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.