I peered out at the God awful sunlight creeping into my kitchen windows and realized that I had to be at work in just over an hour. Immediately I ran upstairs and threw together what I hoped looked like my uniform. My eyes had big bags under them, but not to worry, I had cover up. As I applied layer upon layer of beige paste under my eyes, I realized I had quite a case of the shakes. I was coming down from the coke and it wasn’t pretty. I had done this many times before but something was different this time. I actually felt guilt. I could feel shame as I thought about facing my co-workers, my family and especially my boss, who had given me chances time and time again.
Upon arriving at work thirty minutes early I found an empty store, and started sweating heavily with anxiety.
When would someone get here?
Would they know?
Was this the final straw?
I was scared shitless.
I had scooped up a referral by a well respected local businessman for a five line port-in, and he was coming into the store that day. The customer came and I made it through — hardly. It was then that I realized I couldn’t do 12 hours in this condition. I had to go home. I started texting my boss and came up with an excuse — again — as to why I couldn’t work. He (of course) trusted me.
I got home, closed my door and lay on my bed. The sweat didn’t stop, but rather continued to get worse. The toxins were pouring out of my skin. Dripping across my skin. My body was shaking uncontrollably, trying to tell my brain that it hated me for all the shit that I had put into it the night before. So many thoughts were going through my head but overriding them all was the thought of facing Matt — my boss. He was the one person who through it all had stuck by me, he had always been my biggest cheerleader. It was then that I decided: I cannot live like this anymore.
That was a re-cap of the after effects of my last “hoorah” in the world of disco. It took me losing university, almost my losing my thumb and losing my job countless times to see the light.
I had finally come to accept that everything that had gone wrong in my life has been because of drinking and decisions I made while intoxicated. I have to make a conscious effort to keep the memory I just described to you fresh in my mind, otherwise I believe I would slip back into the negative world I was a part of only 26 days ago.
I’m fortunate, most people aren’t as blessed as I am to have a supportive family, but also a caring boss and friend. He is truly the reason that I’m alive. I feel that I owe him my life; my recovery is the only way that I can pay him back.
In true Confessional spirit, I would like to leave you with a lesson to take away from this story. The message here is that my addiction may be drugs and alcohol, but I really believe that we all have some sort of addiction, be it love, sex, drugs — whatever! We all have some unhealthy behaviour that constantly bogs us down and prevents us from achieving our FULL potential. Discovering who the real me is has opened my eyes to how many people are so wrapped up in their own heads. Life should be scary, it should be risky, but more importantly it should also be fulfilling. You should know that every decision — big or small — will have a profound impact on your future. Know that although you may not be perfect, if you’re in touch with the right “self” then you will be able to sense what will lead you to success or to an inevitable demise.
I look forward to writing to you in the coming weeks. I’ve really missed this outlet as a sense to get it all out there!