- Mental Health»
Alcholism | Obsession and Progression
It Starts Out Fun
The Beginning: Teen Years
I was about 13 years old the first time I got drunk. Myself and a few friends, went into the woods next to the swim park that we hung out in and drank bottles of cheap wine that one of them had stolen somewhere. We got trashed! We went back to the park where "everybody" was at and attracted all kinds of attention. Everybody thought the drunk guys were cool. I remember throwing up in front of them all and hearing a big, " COOL, DUDE!" . And then, cheers. That was it! I was now accepted as part of the gang. I not only experienced the euphoric feeling of drunkenness, but also now, I BELONGED. Little did I know that up the road, those rewards would become consequences. Little did I know that was the first step down a long, painful road.
Progression's Journey Begins
From time to time, these times would repeat. At my age, alcohol wasn't easy to get. But as I grew older and started driving, access to it became much easier. I was still doing the same fun things with my friends.We were going to drive-in movies. We went swimming and camping. We did all the things kids our age did. But it wasn't long until I decided these times could be even more fun if we added alcohol. I mean, isn't everything better with a buzz? Oh yeah! We got caught a couple times, but other than reprimands, it was no big deal. I didn't recognize these things as consequences; only inconveniences. So, life went on.
This continued until I graduated from high school. At this point, alcohol was included in just about every get together my friends and I had. It had grown to be part of everything. It was no longer an enhancement for a good time. It had become a necessity.
After graduation, I lost track of most of my friends. Some got married. Some went off to college. Some went into the service. Their lives had moved on. Mine didn't.
Being Left Behind
Feeling like I had been left behind by all my friends, I set out to find new circles of friends. I did well at this because I was a chameleon. I could make myself fit in to any group, as long as they drank like I did. If they didn't, I'd persuade them to. Being of age to drink now, what was a better place to find these people than at a bar? So, those became my new playground. Beside the alcohol, I loved the loud music; the darkness; the pool tables. The whole atmosphere. I especially liked the girls. So, I had the long, cool hair. I bought the latest in fashion. I got the nice car, which I couldn't afford. It was impressive though. That made it worth it. I thought that I would meet the girl of my dreams at one of these places. That would be one that drank just like me. Well, I found that a number of times. Some I remember. Some I don't. But as soon as the relationships got more serious and we decided to take the next step and move in together, most of these girls were ready to get down to business, to a point, and be somewhat responsible. It didn't take long for them to figure out that I wasn't capable of doing that. So, they moved on. I didn't.
What motivates you to go to a bar the most?
As time went on, all the reasons I had for going to the bar, were starting to lose their importance. Since I realized that girls that were compatible to me weren't a dime a dozen, that would no longer be a priority. If it happens, good. If not, I still have all my other recreations. Who needs a girl around during the Super Bowl anyway? Now, I usually ended up too drunk to shoot pool. I paid no attention to the juke box. After all, it cut into my beer money. I still liked the dark though. That way, no one could see that I was wearing dirty clothes and hadn't gotten a haircut in 6 months. So, now I had one sole purpose in going to the bar. DRINK!
Consequences Pile Up
Skipping ahead, I had now seen 2 marriages end in divorce. I had lost numerous jobs. I no longer had a drivers license because of multiple D.U.I. convictions and I was living in an old, tiny efficiency apartment. I attributed this to a series of bad luck events. I never related my problems to my drinking habits. I started hanging at dumpier bars, as that was the only way I could convince myself that I was OK. What's that saying? Water reaches it's own level. And I continued to drink even more. I thought that was the solution to my problems. That's the insanity of alcoholism that people talk about.
So, now, not having anymore friends; not even drinking buddies, I took the next step. I had lost all them because even they found me to be dishonest, a liar, a thief and just plain undependable. I told myself," OK! I don't need them. I can't drive, because I lost my licence and now my car. It's cheaper to buy beer at the carry out. So I'll just stay home and drink." This progression thing doesn't seem to stop, does it? Well, it will. One way or the other. But not yet.
So I drank. And I drank. I drank until I passed out. Then I would come to the next day and do it all over again. Until I ran out of money.
Consumed By Alcohol
Now, my very existence was totally dependent on alcohol. I couldn't sleep without it. I couldn't eat without it. I couldn't hardly walk to the bathroom because I had the shakes so bad. I couldn't live without it. I had exhaust everyone that I knew to borrow (bum) money from and my tabs were no good anymore. I was stuck. With nowhere to turn, I decided the only thing left to do was to admit myself to detox. I did just that.
In about 4 days, they stabilized me to where I could walk again, eat again and had cleared my head a little bit. I stayed sober for about 3 months. I had found a different place to live. I found a part time job that was enough to at least eat and pay rent. I felt a lot better.
But, one night, I thought that I'm much better, which means I should be able to drink again. That is as long as I don't drink like I used to. That lasted about 3 days and I was off and running like never before. I was soon back to where I had been before and then some. When they say the progression continues even when you stop drinking, they aren't kidding.
After about 3 months of this, I went back to detox. This time I listened. It's been about 3 years now and I'm still sober. And I'm still an alcoholic. Always will be. I go to the meetings recommended to me. I have gathered a support group that has helped tremendously. And am trying to implement their suggestions into my life. It's working. Simply by deciding that I can't do it myself, I now am starting to enjoy life for what it is meant to be.
I know now, that the progression of my disease continues to grow. I also know that progression cannot hurt me as long as I don't drink. Pretty simple isn't it. It's a simple solution for complicated people.
They say you have to reach your bottom before taking action. Where is your bottom? Where ever you decided to stop digging. Just remember, you can always pick up that shovel again and start digging again. Only faster than before.
No one has to go to the depths that I did. Some do. Some even worse. Some die. Just throw in the towel and stop the damage before it goes any further. By doing this, you are at the very beginning of recovery.