One of the memories that is most important to me from my active addiction is a conversation I had with my brother over the holidays in 2015. We were sitting at my mom's house and he said to me, "I don't get it. You're smart, you had to have known that what you were doing was unhealthy. So how did it happen in the first place?" If you don't understand addict behavior, join the club. We don't understand it either. The best answer I could give my brother is that by the time I accepted and realized I was an addict, I had already torn my life down to the point that I really just didn't care. I hadn't been taking care of myself for a long time at that point. I'd changed jobs, gone through a painful breakup, moved apartments, absolutely wrecked my body, and that was honestly just the start. The fact that I was an alcoholic held little weight compared to all the other problems I had created, and it was far preferable to stay numb than to look any of that in the face.
Eventually I moved on from that set of problems to a whole new set. I was still drinking/using and although I knew I was an addict, I firmly believed that when "the time was right" I could stop on my own. Turns out that time was rock bottom, this exact week last year. I was discharged from a 28 day rehab program on the 5th of July, and within two hours I was so drunk I couldn't even walk. Why? I still don't really know. My best attempt at trying to make sense of it is just that if you're an addict, you'll know when you're ready to get sober. When you're finally sick of thinking things couldn't get any worse and always being able to prove yourself wrong. I guess I wasn't ready yet.
Don't worry about understanding an addict, because not even addicts really understand addicts. We know the tendency towards self-destruction and the comfort of just leaning into that behavior, but that doesn't make it logical. All I know is, I'm really glad I was finally ready because this sober life is THE. REALEST. SHIT.
Ps. If you're getting sick of this addict talk, bear with me. I promise I'll shut up about it soon.