I heard this phrase, ‘a scream looking for a mouth’, in relation to recovery earlier this week and it floored me. I cannot think of a more perfect description of that agony within me that caused me to self harm through food deprivation and alcohol abuse. My using came from a deep deep place of unhappiness and spiritual malaise, a place I haven’t been for a very long time.
Hearing this horrible wonderful phrase has come at a time when I am experiencing acute pain in my recovery. I have been under large amounts of stress and despite trying to manage it, deep down a chasm has opened up. This chasm doesn’t stem from a specific place; it’s a cocktail of fear, a sense of impending doom, anxiety and ego. It is brewing away inside me, looking for an outlet- either I self descruct, try to treat it or let it poison me from the inside out.
I have drifted away from the blogs a little, after trying to cut down my online time, and doing so has been unhealthy. Just as cutting back on my AA meetings to give myself more rest has backfired. Just as abandoning my gratitude and step work. Just as…
Recovery is a treadmill. A never ending cycle of maintenance just to stay upright. On a good day, this feels like a wonderful natural momentum that pushes me towards self care: health, rest, running, yoga, spirituality. Right now, it makes me want to jump back into a vat of wine for the sake of an easier life. (I know the reality would be very different).
This quotation from Gabor Mate summarises it perfectly:
“Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience. A hurt is at the centre of all addictive behaviours. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. ― Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
At the moment, I need to look at my recovery afresh, to salve that pain in the healthiest way possible. Yesterday I had a meltdown that made me realise how serious this is. Recovery must come first.