Twenty-three days without a drop of alcohol. Not even two months ago I fully believed that the only way I could go a month without alcohol was if I was in a casket. Let’s not count the chickens before they hatch though! It hasn’t been a month yet and my experience with alcoholism has shown me over and over again that the only day you can count as a win is today. As this is my first post on this particular blog (I did have one previously in which I tried to achieve sobriety but usually just posted while hungover) I will attempt to give you the short-story version of how I got here.
When I was nineteen I couldn’t wait to move out of my parent’s house. Like virtually every alcoholic in the world, I didn’t have an awesome experience growing up. Always quick to blame my parents for every negative thing that happened to me my brilliant teenage mind believed that living with a roommate in an expensive apartment would solve all of my problems. I suppose it’s sadly ironic then that this was the cornerstone moment at which my life began to spin out of control. Truthfully I can’t say that had I continued to live with my parents I wouldn’t have gone down this same road eventually but there were a few things that happened in rapid succession that likely wouldn’t have occurred otherwise: I dropped out of college, I started dating my first codependent girlfriend, and I had an older roommate who could buy me alcohol.
Dropping out of college was inevitable. Even without booze in my life, I didn’t have a disciplined mind. My codependent girlfriend was inevitable as well; my life since then has been an unending barrage of codependent and bipolar women because that is who I gave myself to. The roommate was the crux of everything. One night he took some friends and I to Windsor and I had my first drink: Mike’s Hard Lemonade! After my first bottle, I thought “This is it! This is everything my life has been missing!”. I was outgoing, funny, and boy could I dance! I could dance and I didn’t care that other people saw me dance.
It was slow at first. We’d go clubbing every couple of weekends and I’d have a couple of drinks which at that point were more than enough to get me where I needed to go. Over time we started finding more reasons to party and I needed more alcohol to feel a buzz. A few years later I followed that same codependent girlfriend to Georgia and lost any control I had left. I was drinking alone in my bedroom almost every day. When I didn’t have enough money to buy alcohol I would steal it from the market I worked at. I was always late with rent and utility money but people would always be there to help cover me. I was still in the honeymoon period, see, and people still loved the intoxicated me seemingly more than the real me.
A whirlwind of drugs, alcohol, and women of low moral fiber continued to tear the order away from my life for the next decade. I will undoubtedly elaborate on specific events in the future but for now, all I can say is that at some point everybody else stopped partying and I kept going. Alcoholism ruined my career, all of my friendships, and left me in such a low place that at times I couldn’t see the point in experiencing the rest of my life. When I finally snapped to and realized that it wasn’t fun anymore I struggled for years to quit drinking on my own. I read books, joined online sobriety groups, watched videos, hired therapists, tried medication… nothing worked. I’d have brief stints where I could go five to seven days “sober” (quitting drinking but changing nothing else about your life is not sobriety and I’ll get into this in another post) but inevitably would drink again seemingly for no reason. I would have emotionally painful arguments with my own mind as I was driving to the liquor store to pick up and I would always lose.
Finally, thanks to the help of several people close to me, I checked myself into Brighton Center for Recovery on May 17, 2018. I’ve been sober every day since and although I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that I will never drink again I do know that I won’t drink today and I feel pretty good about tomorrow, too. It is my hope that aside from cataloging my own journey to sobriety this blog will also expand on some of the things I’ve learned about addiction itself as well as dispelling some myths in an effort to help others achieve sobriety. If you are still reading this, thank’s for stopping by. Leave a comment if you can relate to something here and we can have a discussion. Otherwise: stay tuned.