For as long as I can remember, I felt the need to escape. Life seemed dull..lonely..pointless. When I found my first high at age 17, shortly after I moved abroad for the first time, it was like discovering a secret passageway to a thrilling new world. Addiction gave me wings and let me soar, at least for a little while.
Those early days of experimenting felt adventurous. I thought I had life all figured out. I was invincible, special, and destined for great things. While my peers were studying or hanging out at the mall, I was exploring the outer reaches of consciousness and pushing every limit I could find.
Of course, it didn’t take long for the highs to fade and the ugly truth to emerge from behind the haze. My wings turned out to be illusions, and soon, I found myself in a free fall with no parachute and no way back to the sky. Addiction gave me wings, but it took away the very sky that made flight possible. The secret passageway led nowhere, and I was trapped.
Addiction Made Me Feel Invincible, Like I Could Fly
At first, drinking lifted me up and made me feel like everything was possible. I had liquid courage and confidence. Social anxiety vanished, and I felt charming and fun. The future seemed bright, and limitations fell away.
But soon, my wings started melting. Hangovers and blackouts grounded me. I couldn’t function without a drink. Relationships suffered, motivation disappeared, and life felt out of control. I kept chasing that high, but the sky was slipping away.
Drinking went from a social pastime to a compulsion. An obsession. My medicine and poison, all at once. Addiction gave me wings, but it stole the horizon. For a few brief, misguided years, alcohol made me feel like I could fly. But it was all an illusion. The sky was never really mine. My wings were wax, and the sun was coming up. Freedom was just a drink away, and yet I had never been so trapped.
When I think back to the peak of my addiction, it’s like looking at someone else’s life. The choices I made and the risks I took seem unfathomable now. At the time, though, the high of each drink gave me a burst of euphoria and confidence that made me feel invincible.
Little by little, alcohol took away everything that really mattered. My relationships suffered as I prioritized drinking over friends and family. I also called out sick from work a lot. I worked the night shift cleaning at a hotel. But nights are when you want a drink, right? That’s what I thought. So, I ended up quitting my job. I stopped exercising and ate junk food, too. All this really hurt my health. But little by little, the drinking took away everything important to me.
By the end, I was drinking from the moment I woke up until I passed out at night, consumed by an insatiable craving for more. Getting drunk was my sole purpose and joy. The life I had built was in shambles at my feet, but I was too far gone to even notice.
Learning To Soar Again – My Journey To Recovery
For years, I relied on alcohol and drugs to lift me up and help me escape my problems. But that false flight had finally ended. For good.
Accepting I Had A Problem
The first step was admitting I was an addict. This meant recognizing how much control alcohol and drugs had over me and how unmanageable my life had become. As long as I denied the severity of my addiction, I would never break free from its grip.
Finding Better Solutions
I used to find any excuse to drink or take one or two lines of coke – if I was in a bad mood, if the weather was bad, if I was stressed, even if my partner and I were arguing. Alcohol and coke seemed like the answer to everything. But once I fully committed to quitting with both of these, I realized there were so many better options.
If I’m grumpy, why not spend some time doing graphic design in Photoshop? That always cheers me up because that’s my passion. Bad weather outside? I can cozy up and watch a movie at home or catch one at the cinema. And if a relationship is rocky, talking with friends can help me feel better or decide it’s time to move on to something new.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ve found with a positive attitude, I don’t need alcohol to have fun, to be more talkative, or to deal with life’s incredible painful downs. There are plenty of healthier choices that don’t involve drinking.
Learning New Coping Skills
A few years ago, all of my friends drank alcohol. If you met them, you’d think that’s all we did. They supported my drinking habit.
Once I decided to quit drinking, I noticed my friends started to change. The ones who didn’t want me to stop drinking, I didn’t hang out with anymore. And people who were healthier for me started coming around.
It’s like that saying – you are who your friends are. Back then, my friends were all about drinking. But when I quit, I found new friends who didn’t bring me down and helped me stay sober. And I am wholeheartedly grateful for them.
We’ll grab a coffee, play tennis or mini golf, or drive our cars at night. Sometimes, we just walk around town and talk. I always feel better doing stuff like that than sitting on the couch or going to a loud club with people who are drunk or high. It’s more fulfilling and fun to just hang out together without all that other stuff. And when I go to a club, I only do so to listen to my favorite techno tracks and meet new people with a beer or two.
Staying Committed To Sobriety
Recovery is a lifelong effort. I had to make the choice each day not to drink to maintain my sobriety. Some days were harder than others, but my commitment to a better life kept me going. I will never forget how far I’ve come and never want to repeat the crash landings of my past.
My journey to recovery taught me that true flight comes from within. I soar higher now than alcohol ever took me, with the clarity and freedom of the open sky before me each day.
Today I Smile
Even now, when I see those bottles of vodka or whiskey in the store or airport, I don’t look away. I walk right up to them, make eye contact, and smile. It’s like coming face-to-face with my enemy. I’ve beaten my addiction, but it’s still there, trying to pull me back in. So I stare it down to prove I’m in control now.
Addiction gave me a temporary high and an escape from problems, but it stole so much more in return. My health, relationships, and ability to cope with life’s challenges in a healthy way—all gone.
Now, being sober, I’m still putting the pieces back together. But you know what? I’m doing it. And though I may never again experience the high of addiction, I’ve rediscovered simple joys and the beauty in each day.
The sky is open again, and I’m learning to soar on my own power and navigate life’s turbulence with a clear mind and open heart. For any still struggling, there is hope and healing on the other side. Freedom is possible. The sky is waiting. Trust me.