A Caged Existence

When I was drinking, my whole life revolved around it. Even the hours or days that I didn’t drink, my life still revolved around my drinking. And my drinking effected every aspect of my life.
I was living in a cage. The kind with invisible walls. Oh, I functioned all right. Did what needed to be done work wise- went on vacations, the gym-worked on the computer, paid my bills-normal stuff. But, now I can see, that EVERYTHING was effected by my drinking- Everything was dull-even the fun stuff was lacking some of the shine.

The thing is, I always had the key to get out. Could step through those walls at anytime.
But it took years and years to see that.
To actually do that.
And it’s not until now, at this point in my newfound sobriety, that I can understand that.
Only now that I can really see how caged in I was.

That’s what addiction does, it puts you in its’ cage.

I had a brief fling with cocaine in my 20’s (being honest here!) And, I loved it! Even though I’m a pretty high energy person-I loved something that was taking me higher.
EXCEPT, after doing some-all I could do was think about if there was going to be more-when would there be more, would there be enough-crazy, hyped up. Then one night, after being turned on to some Coke, I was in the bathroom with a jittery stomach-(great benefit right? and people pay for that!) I started doing that dance in my head-when are we doing some more, etc.
And all of a sudden, I just got this flash that I wasn’t having fun. I was sitting on a toilet in a bar with a nervous stomach, totally obsessing about getting more of what put me there in the first place.
And that was it-never did it again. I realize that I was lucky in that. I didn’t have a full out habit and only did it recreationally. But, for those few hours that I imbibed, I was in a cage.

Unfortunately, the message about alcohol was far easier to ignore. And so, I just let myself become more and more caged in by my drinking. I let my life become more and more enclosed.

If I didn’t think there would be enough alcohol at a party, I didn’t go.
If I was going to have to drive and couldn’t drink, I didn’t go.
Rarely would I meet people for “a drink” after work, because why bother with just one?
If I thought it would be inappropriate to drink my usual amount, I didn’t go.
I’ve missed parts of concerts, parts of movies, parts of plays sneaking off to the “bathroom” in order to go the bar for a drink.
I swapped having a full life for alcohol.  Even if I was “there” I wasn’t. Not totally. I was either on my way to getting tipsy or consumed with thinking about getting that way. I wasn’t allowing myself to have a full experience.
I was living each day with a part of my mind always somewhere else-the destination being a bottle of wine. Or regretting that bottle of wine. Or recuperating from that bottle of wine.

And now? Now I have walked out of that cage. And it feels SO great! I’m not doing anything different in my daily life-I’m just doing it in freedom. It feels so very different than doing it in a cage. I mean the other night I almost commented to my SO how exciting it is to watch TV sober! He would’ve rolled his eyes at me!

There’s a sense of a newfound  freedom in my life. It’s amazing.

So, the message is “Step out of that cage!” I know it can seem scary, but hey, you can always go back in-you’ve got the key!

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