In one of my groups here at the VA Treatment Center today, the topic was grief. Not just grief for a lost loved one, but grief over many things in life that might have contributed to my alcoholism and my lack of appropriate coping skills.
As I sat there I drifted to my grief of the past 2 1/2 years or so; I was grieving over the loss of myself in that spiraling relationship. Day in and day out, relentless in its destruction. I was constantly reminded of my shortcomings, inadequacies, injustices, etc. If it had to do with who I was, what I was, how I was, she suffocated it to death.
Just two examples: She would rant that it was my fault my brother died because I let him take one more trip with his sled. when she had no clue what she was talking about. She blamed me for the abuse I suffered, telling me I probably enjoyed it. Crushing.
My grief danced a dance of death with daily rage, disintegrating my will to be present. My drinking matched my rage, which really was grief in disguise. My self evaporated and went into full retreat, replaced instead with a body and a bottle.
Well now I have myself back. I took it back almost the instant I left. I took it back with a vengeance. I haven’t had a drink since. I let go. I resolved my pain. I became the slayer of grief and rage. I murdered my grief. I slaughtered my rage. Strong words, but strong foes. What was lost is now found. This man’s cycle of addiction is broken.
I firmly believe that someway, somehow, we all must face the grief that is terrifying our minds or hearts. We must do everything that is within our power to defeat it. Easier said I know, but don’t let grief put one of your feet in the grave. Fight with all your might; be the death of grief, or grief will be the death of you…