By Jeff Hewitt
I always thought of myself as a underachiever. I can remember as a young child in elementary school, observing other children and wondering, how can they always finish their homework? How can they always get such good grades? Why is everyone so good at sports and I’m always the last to be picked? These questions and many more would continue to baffle me throughout my educational career and into my social life. As a child, I was always so insecure and my self-esteem was nonexistent.
I began to tell absolutely fictitious stories to give others a false perception of me. When I would tell people these false truths, it would give me a bogus sense of pride coupled with a sense of impending doom that if they found out I was lying or making up stories, then they would get to know the real me, and since I didn’t think much of myself, I didn’t think they would think much of me. Soon, the gamble of getting found out for my excessive lying, became a thrill. Sometimes people would find out, and sometimes they wouldn’t. The odds of this somewhat became an adrenaline rush.
Looking back, I now realize that this was the first manifestation of my alcoholic mind. Lying was the first drug I used to get out of my head, the head that told me I was not good enough. Then I was introduced to drugs. Having an older brother already addicted gave me access to substances and finally lower companions started to think I was cool, or so I thought. Drugs gave me the self-esteem that I never had. The only problem is that it was a phony sense of self-esteem. At this time my father and my brother were both addicted to various drugs. This created a giant hole in my spirit that I would try to fill by self-medication.
After years of trying to medicate and solve my emotional problems synthetically, it all came crashing down. Drugs and alcohol only work for so long. Then I decided that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. In my first couple months of treatment, I realized I had always tried to solve my problems from the outside in, what I did not know was the answers to my problems were already within me, I just did not have the tools to access them. I began to go after a quality life with the same fervor in which I used to get high. Now I am proud to say my father and my brother both have continuous sobriety and are living meaningful lives. Today I am a person that no longer has an empty hole of sorrow inside of me. I am filled with passion and purpose.
Now that my father, my brother and I are all sober. We share a relationship that cannot be matched. All the years of low self-esteem that I endured have now been turned into a bond between the three of us, for we all have gone to through the war of addiction and day by day are winning the battle. To me, it is amazing how when spirituality filled my soul, I began to live life. The trick was I just had to give my true self a chance. I believe that I, just as god has created me, am wonderful person.