I didn’t have a very high opinion of myself when I came into AA, but you never would have known it. I overcompensated, deflected and did anything I could to keep the attention off of me. I acted like everything was OK, even though deep in my heart I knew it wasn’t. I was a loser, but didn’t want to feel that way.
Putting Up Walls
I really had no idea that the last time I used drugs that it was, ultimately, my last time. Even when I agreed to go into sober living for 90 days following jail, I was certain that I was going to get high again. Because of that fact, I put up a huge wall between me and the help that was being offered. I didn’t want to change. I knew I had an issue, but I also had a solution. That solution was drugs and alcohol.
Drugs and alcohol let me forget that I had such a problem with who I was as a person. They allowed me to live my life normally, or to the extent of what I thought was normal. I had no social or interpersonal skills and was so riddled with doubt in my professional life that the only way I got past it was to be high enough that I didn’t care.
Drugs Ultimately Failed Me
Drugs did so much for me that I never had any thought that they were my problem. I thought I was a victim of circumstance that the world was just out to get me. If only I could do drugs in peace, I would be OK and everything would be fine! But after losing my job, family, car and even being served an eviction notice, the writing was on the wall. Drugs ultimately had failed me.
It took the better part of a year in sobriety for me to even be able to see this fact. Drugs helped me from feeling like a failure so well that I was in complete denial of how I actually felt about myself. It wasn’t until I found myself in Alcoholics Anonymous that I came around to the idea that it was normal to feel that way.
Finding A Home in Alcoholics Anonymous
I really had no clue that there were other people that felt the same way I did, using drugs and alcohol to push that feeling down. But the moment I put down my walls and really began to listen to people’s stories of hope and recovery, I realized I was not alone. I had an immense community I could relate with. I found out that being a loser was OK. I found out that I used drugs as a solution to my problems.
Through the twelve steps I have learned ways to pinpoint what makes me feel the way that I do, and how to change that. No one comes into Alcoholics Anonymous on a winning streak. But now I realize what had made me an alcoholic all along were the reasons I drank and used, rather than how much. I treated drugs and alcohol like a solution, when the real solution was inside of me all along.