Congrats on your sobriety wish_me_luck! Your words are very close to my heart!
I felt that way in early recovery, and then when I started feeling better-I could use healthier and stronger coping mechanisms, of them, my favorite is humor. I heard this quote once, and tattood it on my brain: "Once one looses their good reputation, one can find a unique overwhelming liberty."
I wouldn't go back to the old Boston if I could! He was sickly, secretive, isolated, shy, fake, hopelessly depressed, anxious, paranoid, fearful, sleepless, and always waiting on the sky to fall. I knew admitting I was an addict to myself was going to be an earth-shattering amount of pain, and I had created such a sick, sad, and disgusting mess (felt like a hoarder inside, and everyone could now see the devastating mess I had made inside- especially since everyone thought I had it so together- Graduating Honors, went to college on a Sports and ACT scholarship- RN at 19, BSN at 21, 1 year of med-surg, 6 mos in to that started backing Up ER, then a year into it transferred to ER-worked another 6 months and signed a 6 month contract as ER/Coordinator).
All that looked good and successful was a beautifully constructed home exterior to house a disastrous mess that I guarded and closed off inside. It's lonely in active addiction, especially when the secret was kept from everyone including my spouse.
Epiphany- they helped clean the mess up, nurses the sore spots, and gave me a clean slate- I will use it to fight this foul, hateful, selfish, disgusting, lying, isolating, painful, manipulative, complex, mind-gripping, and fatal disease that robs GOOD people of their dignity, hope, and destroys their dreams, aspirations, friends, careers, family, and self worth, confidence, and strength.
We are survivors! Victors! We are living proof of human will to overcome, persevere, and thrive in the face of impossible adversity. I wouldn't trade my journey for anything- I am smart- not strong! I learned my weaknesses, and more important, my strengths!
One day, hopefully addicts won't have to walk in our shoes, and they will have better treatments with higher success rates. Prisons, Institutions, and Death be damned!