It begins with euphoria, a relaxed feeling or a sense of grandness and power. It is easy, take a drink, smoke a bowl, snort a line and all is good. it can progress to a sense of being needed to take ‘the edge off’ or get in ‘the right space’ then slowly to a hell of despair.
The party becomes a party of one or an empty shell of its once glittering promise of release and freedom to be who you are without restriction. For too many in the LGBTQ community and others that is the reality of substance use becoming substance abuse becoming an addiction.
It begins with a sense of defeat, a bitter realization that you can’t go on as you are and a feeling that you must break free or be swallowed whole never to return. It is hard, seeking help, being honest about what has happened and how you are feeling to virtual strangers. It progresses to a sense of relief that you are finally doing something to ‘make it right’ and get back to ‘being you’.
The loneliness fades and sense of community with those who understand without judgment and need you as much as you need them makes you feel stronger and better. For so many in the recovering LGBTQ community and others that is the reality of a new life-based in pride.
Written by Michael O’Neal – Clinical Director