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Saturday, December 8, 2012

The beginning of the end (Part III)

This is part three of a three-part blog series around alcoholism. I decided to write about alcoholism and my personal journey because I continue to see my communities affected by it, as well as addiction.

When one is consumed with self hatred and fear and has found that the only thing to help them deal with that is to drink (or do drugs) the thought of not drinking is equal to or more than the fear that already consumes you.

I first dealt with the terror of a life without alcohol when I was 18 and in an alcohol treatment center. It was bearable there. Like many treatment centers it was group therapy type things during the day and then trucked off to AA meetings at night. By the end of my time there I was convinced that I could live without a drink. By the evening of the day I got out of rehab I was drunk.

That was the last time I had attempted to not drink. Aside from the terror of thinking about not being able to drink for the rest of my life I also kept thinking that alcoholics were old people, not teenagers. I was sure I had many years ahead of me of drinking before I would have to look at not drinking.

Back to the end. I was sitting in a bar in Norfolk. I didn't know how I was all of a sudden drunk. I decided it was time to go back to base and could not find my car.

The next day was December 30th. I was excited as I had decided to try to quit smoking for the new year. A great resolution I thought. On the outside I was trying to hold everything together, and failing. My boss had brought up the fact that based on my military record, I should not even be drinking. I weighed 138 pounds at 6'3". To give you a good picture, I now weigh 198 pounds.

That evening I was at the enlisted bar on base. Simply Red's video was on the screen and I was settling in for a night of drinking with friends.

I don't know what happened. No, this time it wasn't a blackout or a lost car. It was me standing in front of a Navy alcohol rehab guy on base, a few blocks from the enlisted club, asking if he could tell me where the closest AA meeting was.

This was the end. Due to the "anonymous" part of Alcoholics Anonymous, I am not going to go into what happened after that. I will say that if you know me, you know that I am in recovery and that is something that I am not shy about sharing. I share about it in my daily life, on Facebook, at work and at social events. I share it because people who know me today (and did not know me when I drank) cannot possibly conceive the person I used to be.

I have not had a drink since that night.

Alcoholism kills people. It destroys families and relationships. It shows up in different ways. Some people drink daily. Others binge drink. Others only drink beer.

For more information on alcoholism and on Alcoholics Anonymous click here:  http://aa.org/?Media=PlayFlash 

I feel that it is important that I offer information about alcoholism after writing about it. There is indeed help for those who think they might be alcoholic. One does not have to die, kill someone in a car accident or live an entire life consumed with fear and disgust.

There you have it. If you have read one or more of this blog post series, I thank you. It is not easy sharing an ugly part of ones' life. I also appreciate the huge amount of love and support I have gotten from our readers.

If you would like to connect with me but do not want to share a public comment, my email address is vegandude@msn.com

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your sobriety. Alcoholism is an addiction that many glamorize or discredit. Thank you for sharing your story!

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    1. Thank you so much Destiny and thanks for your support!

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  2. It must have taken a lot of courage for you to share this publicly. Thank you for doing so.

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    1. I really appreciate that Narelle! Thank you!

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