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He is like an amazing lover who looks deep into your eyes, into your soul, and tells you that you are special. He draws you close for a slow, soft, sensual, and passionate kiss. He tells you that you are his one and only and without him, you will suffer. 

He is handsome, charming, and seductive with his promises and tempts you with his lies. When you’re with him nothing else matters. Selfishly you want to constantly feel his warm embrace. You want to hold him close and never let go. You want the temporary numbness that comes when you’re alone with him. He is yours and you are his. 

With him, you feel no pain, only pleasure. As time goes on, you want more – crave more. He implies you are nothing without him. His empty promises lure you in for one more dance. The more time spent, the more you lust after his attention. He tricks you into letting your guard down. You let him in. You open your heart to him and you become vulnerable.
Time passes, and as the night draws to a close, you feel loose. You feel free and you say and do things you wouldn’t normally. You are weak and although you stumble some; he catches you because he wants you to feel safe. He wants you to feel loved. 

Then it happens. Every single time. The night ends, and he leaves you. You look up and he’s gone. He disappeared. You struggle to get home and as you pass out in your bed; you wonder if it was all a dream. You try to sleep, but you are restless and longing for a little more time with him. You are alone and you feel sick now. It’s 1 am and you make it to the bathroom just in time. You puke in the toilet. Where is he now? You feel abandoned and have a terrible headache coming on. 

It is now that you see him for what he really is. He is an illusion of something you desire. He numbs the pain, but only for a short time. The next day you are still facing the same realities of the day before. The same stressors and the same sadness. There is joy too, but you are too blinded by the agony of the night before to see it. 

You knew deep down all this time, but you didn’t want to admit it to yourself. You knew it wouldn’t last. You didn’t want to face the reality that you were played. How could this happen to me? I am smart. I am worthy. I am wonderfully made. How could I have been so blind? Next, the self-loathing and self-berating begin. You feel nauseated, confused, and exhausted from this relationship. 

You wake up one day and say today I choose me. I choose the happiness you cannot bring me. I choose joy and self-care. One day at a time starting today, I see him for who he really is. He is an addiction (nicotine, food, sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.) He is a liar, a fake, and he is no longer controlling your days and nights. For today, you choose sobriety. 

I’ve known addiction since childhood. An alcoholic step-dad who was verbally abusive raised me with my mom from 14 to 17 years old. Mom and I moved out when I was 17, and he sobered up then. He’s been sober for over 20 years now, but I’ll never forget the painful memories of his drunkenness. I have aunts, uncles, and cousins who have all struggled with addiction.

It doesn’t make anyone less than because of the struggle. We all struggle. Some just struggle more than others. Some seek treatment from professional counselors. Others choose AA groups, Facebook groups, an app like I Am Sober, or any other group for accountability with like-minded people who struggle the same. Sharing your story with honesty about how difficult it is to overcome these addictions is a form of therapy. 

I too have found myself in ruts where I had too much…regularly. Today I choose to take better care of myself for not only me but for the people I love; for my family, my friends, and my readers. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of changing habits that do not serve you well. I wrote more on this in my Our Habits Are Powerful blogs. The good news is that we can choose to be sober! It is not an easy path and sometimes feels like losing a close friend. But, these relationships are dysfunctional and need to come to an end.

I’m more clear-minded, energetic, and sleep better. I have been more focused on self-care and pampering, goal setting, and finding joy in the little things again.  It’s nice to focus on what really matters most in life. This moment. Right now. Sober and grateful. There are always difficulties in life, but hiding behind addiction to numb any pain or distress is not the healthiest way to live. 

If you are struggling with any addiction. I encourage you to reach out for help. You are not alone. Many are silent about it. You are among friends who just want what’s best for you. Ask for help if you need it. Today is a great day to be sober!