BEING OK WITH BEING SAD

Today my daughter, Kylyn, would have been 27. She died when she was 9, just days before Christmas in 2003, after struggling with a rare syndrome called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (cdlsusa.org). I turned to pills and alcohol to deal with the uncomfortable feelings that came from her death. For years, I avoided feeling sad by chemically-inducing myself to feel some other way. Unsurprisingly, I became addicted to those substances because I liked feeling that “other way” — a lot.

It’s been almost 13 years since I used any substances to avoid feeling a way that I don’t like. Becoming clean and sober May 7, 2009, showed me I could be sad and it wouldn’t kill me. Sure, being sad sucks. But so does all the harm I caused by my abuse of drugs and alcohol just to feel the way I wanted to feel.

If you’re struggling with an addiction — drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, sex, whatever — what are you trying to run from? What are you trying to avoid? Facing that fear you don’t like is critical, if you want to stop letting substances control your life. Give it a shot and face what you’re avoiding. It’s worth it.

Gassho – Dale Chappell

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