Patient Blogs | Substance Abuse
How I Realized I Had a Problem
photo of man saying no to alcohol

I always knew there was a problem, I just thought it was everyone else – but not me. If I had a problem, it was with your problem. Especially if your problems were plural and distracted me from mine.

All I knew were problems, how to create them and run from them, before running toward a set of a different variety or brand. One more in my broken budget. Problems I could maybe make a buck or profit from.

That’s when I knew there was a real problem  -- when I was out of bucks to give and didn't know where to find more. Only in those briefest of moments did I ever stop and ask myself if it was the drinks, drugs, or substances.

Not at the funerals, after the drunken car accidents, or anything else related to addiction, alcoholism, or what I've experienced in my relatively short time on this earth. It was not until I was both broken and broke -- all at once -- and still coherent enough to recognize it was I finally ready to do something about it.

Then, I was ready to admit it out loud to another person, or maybe even a room full of them.

The right people, the ones who wanted to help me do something about my problem, as they did about theirs, at one point or another. Some, many more times than once, had the courage to keep fighting and keep coming back.

Everyone's bottom is different, and yours doesn't have to and probably shouldn't look identical to anyone else's, just like your recovery probably won't look like mine.

Our problem and what it takes for us to accept or recognize it for ourselves may be different, but the solution is usually the same, and it typically involves asking someone or something for help.

Or at a bare minimum, not doing more of the same that caused the initial problem in the first place, if we're able to do so on our own for significant periods of time, without the odds or numbers anywhere near in our favor, should we choose to be our own solution, exclusively.

That's not to say it can't, won't, or hasn't been done.

All I know is I got tired of trying to wrestle my problem on my own or pretending it didn't exist. Of being quiet about it in all circles I considered myself a part of, knowing I was different. Especially when all I wanted to do was talk about my problem because I knew somewhere

inside that conversation were steps toward a solution.

Realizing I had a problem, getting honest about it, and being willing to do something is where my help came from.

Solutions meet you halfway when you're even half serious about it. They hunt you down and find you in the dark.

It all starts with admitting you have a problem.



Photo Credit: GeorgeRudy / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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Brian Brewington

Brian Brewington

Diagnosed since 2014

Brian Brewington has been on the journey of addiction recovery since 2014 and was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder in 2019. A 34-year-old writer and freelancer from Philadelphia, his work has been featured in KEF Audio Magazine, and he runs the Journal of Journeys publication on, where his writing first became popular. Brewington still sees a therapist and attends 12-step program meetings regularly. You can read more from him here.

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