Around 6 months into sobriety the brain fog starts to lift. You start to see your life for what it truly is. It is as if you have been walking through the world with the wrong-prescription-glasses on.
You also begin to feel in a way that you have not felt in a long time. Your emotions are more rooted in reality, and they cut much deeper.
This clarity brings on a variety of emotions and feelings that most are not very easy to consume.
And the worst of these emotions is regret.
It feels like a hole in your soul that you cannot fill, and you cannot get rid of.
You see the actions of your addicted self, and they are ugly, and there is nothing you can do with that but sit with it.
‘I’m sorry’ feels like a complete waste. There is not enough ‘I’m sorry’ to even start to fill that hole.
You wake up with it, and you go to sleep with it, and the worst part of it is that you cannot change any of it.
I have lived with this regret for many years now.
And for most of that time, it was the only emotion that I did not know what to do with.
It was debilitating.
And finally, I found a use for it.
You can call it motivation, you can call it a reminder, you can call it whatever you want.
It is regret that truly keeps me sober.
Sometimes sobriety must come through suffering.
You just need to suffer enough to finally be free of its hold.
For a long time, I did not know how to identify this suffering.
It felt like guilt, but there is a part of addiction that I accepted was not completely my fault.
And finally, I put an identity to this suffering, and that is regret.
It still is with me when I wake and when I sleep.
But today it is my friend.
It reminds me of the suffering.
It reminds me of the ugliness of using.
More than anything, it is what keeps me sober.
And as difficult as it is, I carry it with me with pride.
It is the worst of me, but I can stand with that, and use the worst of me for something good.