This is gonna be a long read, I decided it’s time I shared my story in a little more detail than just “I’m an alcoholic”
It wasn’t until I got sober that I realized that all my egotism, pride, anger, judgment of others, all of that negativity was based around fear. Fear to an alcoholic is a very dangerous thing. It can lead you directly back to the bottle Facing your fears is something that must be done in order to achieve and maintain true sobriety. We run from our fears, that’s what we do. We pretend they don’t exist, we shove them under the rug and cope by sucking down a bottle of two.
I used to think I was the strongest of individuals. I survived several attacks, the death of a child and all of these tragedies that would make most put a gun in their mouths and pull the trigger. I considered myself a survivor more than most. It wasn’t until I got sober that I realized I didn’t survive anything, I simply buried it all and used drugs and booze to numb the pain that I didn’t want to face.
I am one of four adopted children and alcohol was a normal part of my child hood. In my house around the holidays, it was okay for us kids to drink “Bourbon Sours” when we were sick we got Hot toddies. As we got older, it was okay for us to drink with our friends. In our family, we didn’t talk about anything. As long as we looked perfect to the outside world, we were perfect. I was the rebellious one in the family (Go figure) and I didn’t quite fit into my mom’s idea of the “Perfect family” It wasn’t until I got sober that I realized how dysfunctional our family really was.
My life began to change drastically when I was 12. I was in a detention center where I went AWOL with my room mate. I didn’t care where we were going, all I cared about was that I was free. We hung out with her boyfriend and his friends. We ended up at her boyfriends house that night. I can’t tell you what time I fell asleep or what time I woke up. All I can remember is waking up and someone was talking to me, even then I couldn’t hear the words coming out of his mouth, it was if my body was already shutting down. The next thing I knew, someone grabbed my hands, someone grabbed my legs, there were five of them and you can figure out the rest of it. The next morning I told my room mate what happened. She thought it was funny and I couldn’t figure out why. (I found out when I was 16 that she set me up, they were paying her to bring girls to them.) When we got back to the facility, she told everyone…So to the boys, I was easy. To the employees, I was this traumatized child who needed help and they pushed me. I still hadn’t processed any of it, I was being pushed and I felt like I was being pushed into a corner. My only option was to “run” I didn’t know where I was going and I didn’t care. I walked the streets for hours trying to process everything in my head. Night fell and as I walked the streets with no concept of time or anything else, a man came up from behind me and threw me to the ground. He attempted what had happen the night before, but this time I fought back with everything I had. I called the police and they found him. You may think that that is the worst of it, but it’s not.
While at the police station, they called my parents. Most parents would be concerned when someone hurts their child, but my mother walked into the station, looked me dead in the face and said, “How dare you embarrass this family! You got what you deserved because you were in a place you shouldn’t have been!!” Needless to say the events of the night before never came out of my mouth. Wait, it gets worse……When we had to go to court for this individual, my mother must have thought it was going to be just us and the judge. She didn’t realize the judge had a whole calendar of cases he had to hear. When she entered the court room and saw that it was full of people, she got embarrassed and she got the charges dropped. Five days later that same individual raped and killed a five year old girl. I carried that burden with me my whole life
I got married and had kids at a very young age and thought it would “fix” me” but it didn’t My whole life, I felt incomplete. The marriage didn’t work, and I was smart enough to leave the kids with my in-laws. When I was 19 I started working in the bars, I discovered alcohol and cocaine made me feel whole, it gave me the strength I needed to face the world.. No matter how ugly I felt on the inside, the drugs and booze always made me feel like somebody on the outside. They made it easy to cope with my own self loathing on a day to day basis. No matter how much I did, I still felt empty. I got into a relationship that seemed right at first, but he must have seen how broken I was on the inside which made it easy for him to break me down even further. The beatings started, the emotional abuse followed. Yet I couldn’t leave. I was convinced that I deserved every bit of it. In the time of our relationship, we had the death of a daughter and the birth of a son. There came a day when for no particular reason at all, I tried to strangle him. I knew at that moment, one of us had to go because if not, one of us was one day going to die.
I found the strength to leave and found myself having to raise this small child. I went back to what I knew, working in the bars. My addictions began to take hold over the years although I didn’t see it then. I spent more time working in the bars and getting high in the after hours than I did raising my son. I was blind to the destruction and havoc I was calling. I got reunited with my children and moved to be closer to them. I figured it was a fresh start. My drinking continued though. By the time my youngest was 11 or 12, I was out every night with the older kids in the clubs. My attitude to my youngest was, “You have a house key, I taught you to cook, you’re on your own” Of course I didn’t see anything wrong with that, it didn’t seem unmanageable to me at all. When my youngest was about 14, he enraged me while I was in a drunken stooper. I tried to throw my child out of a second story window and was stopped by the people who were in the house at the time. I didn’t see the damage I was causing to my son or myself. I simply chalked it up to, “He pissed me off.” Life was one big party and that’s all that mattered.
As out of control as I was, it took me five more years before I got the rude awakening that I needed. Getting drunk and blacking out on my wedding night wasn’t even a clue that I had a problem. In May 2010 I screwed up real bad at a show due to my drinking so I decided I would go to meetings, get my white chip and when everyone was done being mad at me, I’d go back to being me. I didn’t think I had a problem, I didn’t drink every day so I couldn’t be an alcoholic. I was also a black out drunk, so my attitude was, “If I don’t remember it, than it didn’t happen.” THAT made it very easy and convenient for me to live in denial. I did stop drinking for a total of 44 days. Not by choice of course, I just wanted to make it look good to others. The details of my relapse isn’t important, but I can say in all honestly that my relapse saved my life. In a moment of desperation, my friend video taped my last drunk and made me watch it the next day. I didn’t recognize the person on the TV screen. My face was swollen from the alcohol consumption, my hands were swollen. I couldn’t hold myself up in a sitting position. Watching the person on the TV was like watching Jekyll & Hyde meets Sybil. Any denial I may have had left, went right out the door. I finally saw the “me” that everyone had been telling me about for years. A true monster. I haven’t had a drink since and I had to finally face my demons and fears if I wanted to stay sober. It was those demons and fears that kept me sick for so long. The pain of today was finally worse than the fear of tomorrow and forced me to see things more clearly.
Why did I decide to write about this? Because I want you all to realize how sick I was. I had to be completely broken and then willing to change before I could achieve the things I have been blessed to achieve today. It was a long journey of havoc and mayhem. I didn’t get to this point over night and my demons were very real. If you’re suffering, you don’t have to suffer anymore. It IS possible to pull yourself out of the hole you’ve dug and live a life worth living.