A Deadly Secret

Recently, I’ve had a lot of people tell me they have developed an addiction. They’ve realised they have a problem and shared that problem with me.

Those actions make those people incredibly brave. It takes enormous courage to accept you have a problem. And it takes even more to tell another person, which is effectively asking for help.

If I had not eventually taken those actions when I was drinking, I would not have recovered.

But I fear many addicts are doing the opposite. I fear many are either not accepting they have a problem or are putting all their energy into keeping their problem a secret. That secret will only make the problem worse.

I hid my 24/7 drinking for as long as I could. Luckily for me, the way I drank meant that it wasn’t very long before it was obvious to everyone that I had a problem. I think this sped up the process of me eventually accepting I had a problem and asking for help.

Five years apart. Me in 2020 and me with alcoholic liver disease in 2015.

Addiction takes no prisoners. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve come from, how old you are, or your family history – addiction can creep into anyone’s life at anytime. It will tear your life apart. It will break you and everyone you love, if you let it.

I’m sure there will be people reading this who desperately need to do those two all important things.

  1. Accept that you have a problem.
  2. Ask for help.

I understand how difficult those two things are. In fact, they are two of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.

One of the reasons they’re not easy is because they have so many feelings and emotions attached to them. Embarrassment, shame, weakness etc

But accepting you have a problem and asking for help does not make you weak. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and you certainly shouldn’t be ashamed.

As I said earlier, facing up to your demons takes immense courage and should be admired.

Some people will look at you differently because you’re battling addiction. That’s because unless you have experienced it yourself or watched a loved one go through it, it’s very hard to get your head around.

Like I said, it can happen to anyone. Especially with what everyone is dealing with at the moment.

People are struggling. In my four years of recovery I’ve never known anything like it. But there is always hope and there is always a way back.

So, take those first steps. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get your life back. And believe me, you CAN get your life back.

Thank you for reading, Toby.

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