At 22 years of age, I had reached a point of total despair. I couldn’t pretend I was okay anymore, I couldn’t fake emotional balance, and I was hopeless and helpless and feared it would never get better. For over a year I had made frothy promises to my loved ones of managing my drug and alcohol use. I knew by now I was a little compulsive in my use and ‘didn’t want to get addicted’.
The process of hitting bottom began with me making all kind of deals with myself and my loved ones; drinking beer only, smoking some pot and drinking wine only, no hard liquor, white spirits only- I failed each time. I found it odd on how I could black out on a couple of beers and some harmless pot. “Maybe I shouldn’t drink or use on an empty stomach”. That trick worked for a few weeks until one disastrous evening – cockiness substituted sheer will and I was hospitalized after a bad accident. I survived a 30 foot fall from the balcony of a friend’s apartment and suffered a shattered pelvic, few stitches on my head and a badly bruised ego! Unable to walk, I was bed ridden for 2 months- the doctors had found copious amounts of alcohol and substance in my blood from that night and everybody knew it. I remember my mother walking into the ICU a day after the accident. I couldn’t tell if her expression and tears were of relief that I survived or anger that I had put myself in such grave danger again. As she sat beside me on that hospital bed, words automatically fell out of my mouth – “I swear I won’t drink again!”
‘Maybe I shouldn’t drink or use on an empty stomach”. That trick worked for a few weeks until one disastrous evening – cockiness substituted sheer will and I was hospitalized after a bad accident. I survived a 30 foot fall from the balcony of a friend’s apartment and suffered a shattered pelvic, few stitches on my head and a badly bruised ego! Unable to walk, I was bed ridden for 2 months’
I started to walk on my 23rd birthday and my friends had decided to throw a party to celebrate my recovery. I remember my mother’s stern warning to them – She needs to be back by midnight and no alcohol or pot at the party. My friends nodded in agreement but at the party things were different. A friend gifted me a bottle of champagne and I excitedly held a glass and made an emotional toast. Without realizing I gulped it down and the relief that followed was beyond words. A glass of champagne on this happy occasion was not a bad idea. This, I could keep up with for the rest of my life! Within no time I was making plans to meet friends for “a beer” every weekend. My mother was always suspicious but never got a chance to catch me. Soon “harmless pot” was also back in my life and I felt complete again.
Much to my delight I went back to work in a month’s time, “things are going to be different this time” I told myself. I needed to redeem my damaged reputation now, so I started to work harder, longer hours and more sincerely. A few times a week I would reward myself with a few glasses of sparkling wine – just enough to loosen up the shoulders. I started to find myself too wound up with work, so I began to smoke some “harmless pot” to get me going – sometimes at 6 in the morning to push me out of bed, sometimes at 12 noon to gather my thoughts and everyday at 7 in the evening after a hard day’s work. To me this was normal- my friends did it all the time!
On evening after a hard day’s work I was to meet some friends at a surprise birthday party. Another one of us turned 24 and this was a reason to paint the town red. I walked in and was greeted by a spread of all my favorite brands- name the alcohol or substance, it was all there asking me to use, begging me to abuse! All my human will had failed. The next morning I found myself at the floor of my bathroom. I was gathering myself and walked out to see a suitcase with all my clothes and a note in my mother’s handwriting saying “leave us to be”. I was back where I stood a year ago; I couldn’t pretend I was okay anymore, I couldn’t fake emotional balance, I was hopeless and helpless and feared It would never get better. I didn’t want to drink or use, alas I couldn’t do that alone. I fell on my knees and begged God to help me. I wanted to stop. I needed to stop. I just didn’t know how.
Priya is an Addict and an Alcoholic who came into recovery at the young age of 23. She continues to work a 12 step program closely with a sponsor and has been sober for 5 years since 2011. Priya lives in New Delhi-India and has a joyous and fulfilling personal and professional life. In her free time, Priya enjoys reading, listening to music, bake and watching movies. She strongly believes that for her to keep what she has learned in recovery, she must share her experience, strength and hope with other recovering Addicts and Alcoholics.