I had no idea how incredibly and deeply broken I was until I took away the tool I’d been using to hold it all together.
Here I stand, six years later, and I’m still working to glue back together the pieces of myself that fell apart when I ripped off the duct tape that was supposedly holding it all together.
Addiction is a funny thing. We don’t seek to turn to alcohol, food, drugs, or other vices. It happens quite innocently, almost MacGyver-style. It’s like when a button pops off your shirt in the middle of the workday and you life-hack it back together using a paperclip. Addiction is that paperclip—at the moment, we’re using what we have to hold ourselves together. So a glass of wine, a bag of chips, or a website works as a quick fix.
Our brains are funny things though and they easily get programmed to go back to what worked before. So while we intended our vices to just be a quick fix, our brain sees the opposite. It’s saying, “Hey, this worked when we were broken before. We need this again to fix it.” And that is how an innocent glass of wine turns into two bottles of wine a night. The paperclip transforms into an entire roll of duct tape, and what was working to fix us instead just broke us even further.
When you spend a decade or longer reaching for wine, food, or whatever it is to help you get through every unpleasant situation life throws at you, it’s an incredibly long, complicated, and sometimes painful process to heal how incredibly broken you are inside. This journey has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and the most painfully beautiful thing I have ever witnessed.
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