Gifts of Sobriety
My name is Cassidy and I’m a recovered alcoholic and drug addict. To be recovered is to no longer suffer from a hopeless state of mind and body, meaning that I no longer struggle with the mental obsession to drink and drug to get through each moment of each day. This relief is more than I could’ve ever asked for.
In active addiction, I couldn’t get out of bed without putting a substance in my body. Even before the physical withdrawals set in, my mind would be obsessing over getting my next fix. I didn’t care about getting to work, paying my bills, or seeing my family because nothing was more important to me than my drugs. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t scrounge up enough mental strength to not get drunk or high.
Time and time again I would promise myself that I wouldn’t get high that day. I could never last more than an hour or two before I was mindlessly drinking or drugging once again. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I saw others sitting at the bar, having a drink and leaving the second glass half full. It still astounds me to this day how normal people can drink half of a cocktail and throw the other half out. To me, that is wasteful. I can’t fathom wasting alcohol like that, because I am not normal. I am an addict and an alcoholic, and to me, there is always the desire for more.
Eventually, drugs and alcohol became too much for me to handle. I had lost everything in my life. I had no friends, I had nowhere safe to lay my head at night, I couldn’t maintain a job, and my family was convinced that I was going to die. I reached a point of emotional emptiness and became extremely suicidal, but couldn’t get the strength to kill myself.
I finally went to detox to clear my system of drugs and alcohol followed by three months of inpatient dual-diagnosis treatment. In treatment, I did group therapy where I learned how to build sober relationships with sober people, individual therapy where I worked through traumas of my past, and holistic therapy where I was introduced to yoga and meditation. Through the different tools and techniques I was taught in treatment, I was able to develop a sober, healthy lifestyle.
I use my relationships with sober people to learn from them. I can learn from their experience of what worked for them to keep them sober, as well as what did not. I learn from others experience so that I never have to use drugs or alcohol again. I have built these relationships on the basis of honesty and integrity. When I was in active addiction, my relationships were based on what I could get out of them. I was dishonest and manipulative, which only led me to loneliness and despair. Through genuine relationships, I have a sober support system that holds me accountable. Not only do they check up on me to make sure I am okay, but they listen and understand when I need somebody to talk to.
I have incorporated healthy habits into my lifestyle today. I regularly exercise, meditate, do yoga, and try my best to eat healthy. I didn’t care about my mental or physical health because drugs were the only thing that was important to me and I didn’t care if I lived or died. Today, I am grateful for the second chance that I have been given at life, so I take care of my mind and my body by using these healthy habits.
The biggest gifts I have experienced in sobriety is the trust and love I get to experience today. My family trusts me again, and I have the privilege of being an aunt to my two beautiful nieces. I get to be emotionally present to support my family when they struggle with health issues instead of running away to go get high. I get to help others get sober today, by telling them my story and guiding them in their journey to recovery. There is nothing more magical than watching a hopeless individual have the light come back on in their eyes and the color come back to their skin. I get to watch people recover today and live a life filled with love and joy.
Cassidy Webb is a 24 year old avid writer from South Florida. She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.