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Leaving the Lifestyle Behind

Photo courtesy WikiHowAs most addicts and alcoholics will tell you, getting sober by itself is difficult. Going through the physical detox, feeling crazy because of the mental and physical cravings and a whole host of other things make physically getting off of drugs and alcohol seem impossible to using addicts and alcoholics. I never anticipated that, in addition to leaving drugs behind, I would have to leave the lifestyle that I had grown so used to behind as well. I never imagined how difficult that part of my journey towards sobriety would be, and it has proved to be one of the hardest parts of truly being sober for me. When I was using, I lived a dangerous, unhealthy lifestyle – unsurprisingly. My life was consumed by crime, from dealing drugs to stealing to fights to prostitution. It was chaotic on a good day, and terribly frightening on a bad one. Somewhere along the line, I fell in love with that way of life. I thrived on the turmoil and I felt more at home with the people whom I surrounded myself with than I had with anyone else. I knew that many of the things we did on a daily basis were wrong, but I didn’t care. I felt comfortable, excited, and as though I belonged. When I started getting sober, it never occurred to me that one of the things I would have to change is the way I lived my life. I was willing to put down the drugs, I was willing to go to treatment, but I drew the line at not talking to the people who I thought had been there for me when no one else was. Who else did I have? In my mind, I had no one. I had no other friends, I have never felt comfortable with my family, and I was sick and tired of being so lonely. All I really had were drugs, alcohol, and the lifestyle that comes with them. Also, what else was I supposed to do? I was tired of being seen as a ‘good girl’. I liked the illicit lifestyle that I threw myself into, because I was constantly flooded with adrenaline and never knew what was coming next. Normal life seemed monotonous. I didn’t want a 9 to 5 job or a white picket fence; I wanted to live on the edge. Even though I was across the country from my old ‘friends’ and stomping grounds, I found replacements quick enough. Then I started hearing that more and more of my using buddies at home were getting locked up, overdosing, or in other types of trouble. I ignored all of that and found that I could not stay sober while I was still doing the things that I had been doing when I was in my active addiction. That lifestyle is not conducive to recovery or a happy life in general. As I took myself out of that lifestyle and tried to look at things a different way, my journey towards sobriety took a good turn. It was painful to realize that the people who I thought were my friends did not particularly care about me – and I didn’t really care about them. If I was locked up, they wouldn’t bail me out. If I died, they wouldn’t come to my funeral. Our whole lives were wrapped up in the way we were living, but really all we were doing was surviving. We didn’t trust each other, because we were so untrustworthy. We didn’t really like each other, because we were despicable. Getting sober was just the beginning of changing my life in a positive way. Leaving that life behind was one of the hardest things I have had to do, but it has opened doors that I thought were forever closed.

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A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Addiction, Life, Recovery · Tags: addict, Addiction, alcohol, alcoholic, drugs, lifestyle, sober, sobriety

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