Drowning Out the Pain

drunk

Happy and excited to finally have a job, she prepares for her first day of work. “This time will be different,” she thinks. With just a small sip, she heads out to start her day. The first day went great and that day turned into four, and one sip turned into several.

By day five, a few sips wouldn’t do. She downed the bottle and someone drove her to work.

With the smell of alcohol on her breath and her obvious intoxication, she was sent home only an hour after arriving. Standing on the sidewalk she cries, having failed again. Years of addiction had followed her. From years of cocaine, to alcohol every waking hour.

Her three children stayed at home, the oldest taking care of the younger two. They played together, happy about the new start that their family had been given, and excited to see what their future would now hold.

After only one week of work, she was sent home with alcohol on her breath and tears in her eyes. Her children were depending on her. What would she tell them? What would she do now?

She knew that the addiction had taken over her life, but the fear of withdrawal kept her from quitting. She couldn’t quit. She had to keep drinking. There were no other options. “I would die if I quit,” she said. “There’s no way out of this. It’s hopeless.” Ashamed and defeated, tears roll down her cheeks as she gazed at the ground.

She was so broken. We hugged, she cried. A stranger on the sidewalk, now a friend.

Sadly, her story is just one of many.

” In 2012, 17.7 million Americans (6.8 percent of the population) were dependent on alcohol or had problems related to their use of alcohol (abuse).”

Alcohol and drug addiction is not limited by age, race, background, or financial status. It can effect anyone, anywhere.

“In 2012, an estimated 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older—or 9.2 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month.” ~ Drugabuse.gov

percenthistomillions

“Drug use is highest among people in their late teens and twenties. In 2012, 23.9 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds reported using an illicit drug in the past month. [and] Drug use is increasing among people in their fifties.”

percentusinghistogram

Drugs and alcohol may wash away the pain, but its effects are only temporary. That temporary feeling is not worth a lifetime of consequences. It’s not worth the misery, and it’s certainly not worth dying for.

There is hope. Withdrawal symptoms may last a short time, but in return you will get your life back. A life you can enjoy and one that you will remember.

It’s not too late for a new beginning.


For information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your state, call the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service at 1–800–662–HELP (4357) or visit www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov.

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20 Responses to Drowning Out the Pain

  1. busy lady says:

    It is so sad to think of lives wasted in this way.

    Like

  2. amommasview says:

    Great post. So very true…

    Like

  3. If you can get through an addiction and come out alive on the other side, you are one strong human and I have met quite a few. There needs to be more posts on this subject it effects everybody. Thanks for sharing.

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    • mewhoami says:

      You are right about that. It does take a lot of strength, but with the willingness to try and the right help, it can be done. The success stories of those who do overcome are amazing and can help so many others.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. CharleneMcD says:

    I have spent years watching a loved one travel that road, watching him hit bottom and then finding recovery. We are celebrating 3 years this year. After trying several of the Anonymous programs we found one that has worked for us. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ centered recovery program that can be found around the world. It is anonymous also but it covers more than just addictions, anyone that has a hurt, habit or hang-up can find recovery there. It has been a blessing and at the end of the program every Friday after saying the entire Serenity Prayer the last thing that is said is “Don’t give up before the miracle happens.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • mewhoami says:

      Thank you for mentioning the additional program. In order for a person to overcome addiction, they must find the right program that works for them. Each person is different. The one you mentioned sounds like a great one. It’s wonderful that there are so many types of programs out there. I’m very happy to hear about your loved one’s recovery. It’s stories like those that inspire and motivate others to keep going.

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  5. Prajakta says:

    Excellent post!

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  6. Every day. There is no one I know who is not touched by this. They may think they are not, but in some way….lives are impacted every day. Great post MeWhoAmI.

    Like

  7. April says:

    Great post, Me. Full of information and encouragement.

    Like

  8. JoAnne says:

    Thank you for writing this post. I’ve worked as an addictions counselor for 30 years. The most frustrating and consistent thing I’ve seen over and over is that people underestimate the power of addiction to alcohol and other drugs, and the work it takes to fight it. With a few rare exceptions, most people at the level you wrote about have to work on recovery for the rest of their lives. But it does get easier over time. And life can be good. If withdrawal is physical, the person needs to go to inpatient detox. Too many people want to believe that’s all it takes. I know an alcoholic who has been sober for over a year and she still goes to AA every day. She’s learned the hard way, that’s what it takes for her. She calls her sponsor, prays and reads about recovery or works the steps every day. It’s possible to stay sober without this intensity, but in my experience, it’s risky not to work a daily program of recovery. Recovery is about learning to live life on life’s terms. It takes practice. For most people, it takes changing friends, activities and thoughts. A person who started drinking or drugging in his or her teens is often emotionally and socially stuck there. I’m sorry to go on so long, but I just felt I had to share some of my experience. There is hope. If you know someone who has a problem with alcohol or other drugs, consider going to Alanon, Naranon or Celebrate Recovery, or an open AA or NA meeting. Offer to share clean and sober activities with them. Be encouraging, not critical. Let them know you support them in their recovery program.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Excellent input. Thank you very much. You are right, that when their addiction is this sever they often require the help of outside sources and programs. It is too difficult to quit alone, and scary, especially if this has been their life for so long. It’s certainly a process, but with the right help they can overcome their addictions. My stepfather was an alcoholic for most of his life, and was finally able to quit in his 60s. It took some major downs to get him there, but he finally had enough. There is hope. There’s always hope.

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  9. Having seen the direct impact of drug abuse on my family, I have more empathy with the effect it has on other people for the addict’s decisions. Addiction is very difficult to kick but fortunately there are some great programs when/if they admit they have a problem and make the decision to get help. Another on is Teen Challenge. It is no longer just for teenagers… they take adults too. There are men only and women only centers all over the country and they work with people to help pay tuition. Thanks for writing about such a difficult subject! 🙂

    Like

    • mewhoami says:

      Thank you for the additional references. The more options that people have, the better. They need to know that there is help out there, and that they’re not alone. It is tough to quit. You are right about that. It breaks my heart to see people this way, but there must come a time (like you said) that they finally admit that they have a problem and need help. Ultimately, they must first want to change. Then they can start the path toward recovery. Thank you again for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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