Sometimes there’s an internal battle between the man I am now sober and the man I was in my addiction. Sometimes I feel like I’ve turned into Mr. Nice Guy. Sometimes I just want to be an asshole. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been being so damn good it hurts. Sometimes I’m not sure which version of me is the real Mike III.
Sometimes I just wonder, “Who the fuck am I, really?” After so many years of drinking, smoking and popping pills any time I wanted to, which was all the time, it’s still a bit of an adjustment to me. After so many years of going out to the bars nearly every single night, it’s still odd to chill at home on a weekend night. After so many years of doing what I wanted when I wanted, it’s still a little awkward being responsible and “grown up”. You see, when you’re so used to a certain way of life, change, even for the better, can be tough. Most of the time I like this new me but there are times when it doesn’t come naturally.
There’s a thing called first thought wrong. It is just what it sounds like, the first thought or reaction to something is probably not the right thing to think or do. It’s that addict behavior that’s become so automatic after years of choosing all the wrong thoughts and actions. Often times, even the second and third thoughts are wrong. That desire to say “fuck you” to someone who criticizes something you did. That desire to flip off the dude that just cut you off. That desire to hate someone who screwed you over a few years back. It’s all negative and it’s all first thought wrong. But you’re not that person anymore, right?
So how do you find yourself? How do you balance out that whiskey drinking, cigarette smoking, foul-mouthed asshole with the kind, patient, thoughtful and responsible gentleman (or gentlewoman) you are now? You embrace that dark side at specific, appropriate times. You find a creative outlet to express yourself. You write a blog titled “Who the fuck am I?” You take a boxing or martial arts class. You write a rap song. You drink too much caffeine. You eat too much sugar. Do SOMETHING to express that tension in a constructive or at least unharmful way.
These creative expressive outlets have to be calculated though. It’s so each to go overboard and take it too far. For example, gambling is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. However, it’s a very addictive behavior for me and has lead to a relapse for me in the past. So, unfortunately, while moderately controlled gambling isn’t harmful, I have to avoid it totally just like drinking and benzos. Instead, I find a non-monetary way to scratch that itch. A fantasy football league. A casino game that doesn’t take real money. If you put a little consideration behind it, there’s a way to express yourself without putting yourself at risk.
What have been your “who the fuck am I” moments? When do those first wrong thoughts creep up on you? What do you do for a release to balance out? Let me know in the comments below. And as always, please like, share and follow on social media.