At one point where do we cross that imaginary line when our drinking or using goes from “fun” to necessary and destructive? Some us can pin point it, some of us can’t but no matter how you look at it, we ALL cross that line sooner or later. I used to be a loud, happy go lucky drunk. It was all a bout the party and having fun. In the end, I was a mean, destructive, hurtful drunk that didn’t care about anyone but myself and that next drink. When did I cross that line? I couldn’t begin to tell you and believe me, I’ve thought about it a great deal since I’ve gotten sober. I just can’t pin point it.
Most of us (surely not all) start out in the party phase. We get together with our friends, hit the clubs or house parties and get trashed on the weekends. When Thursday comes, you’re already planning on what you’re gonna do on Friday and Saturday and most of the time, the booze is included in those plans. Then before you know it, you’re partying a few days during the week. You’re going to work with hangovers which makes it difficult to do your job to the best of your ability. In spite of all that, you justify your actions. In fact, justifications are becoming second nature to you.
There are a few ways you can pretty much confirm that you have crossed that imaginary line. One of the sure signs is when the drinking and using starts to loose it’s shine. It’s not fun any more yet you continue to do it and you don’t know why. You feel absolutely miserable, yet you continue with the behavior. It starts to become almost automatic. You’re happy, you drink, you’re upset, you drink, you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you drink. People irritate you, you drink. No matter what the situation is, guess what? YOU DRINK. Even if you have occasional moments of clarity and you start to think that maybe you have a problem, your disease, your fear and your pride will stop you from going any further if you allow it to. If that little voice inside you says that there’s a problem, even if it only happens briefly, LISTEN TO IT. For some of us, the hardest part of recovery is actually admitting AND accepting the fact that we are out of control and need help.
A second tell tale sign that there is a problem is when your friends whom you party with are starting to tell you that you are getting carried away and they start to back away. Your family members are telling you the same thing. Rather than taking what they are saying into serious consideration, you get angry and resentful. You come up with excuse after excuse as to why THEY are the ones who are full of it and how YOU have it under control. Here’s a reality check for you…..IF everyone in your life is starting to get on you about your alcohol consumption or drug use, they can’t all be wrong and they see something you don’t. It would be a smart idea for you to listen in stead of jumping on the defense wagon.
Yet another sign is when you find yourself feeling completely alone even if you’re in a room full of people. When you feel miserable all the time and you don’t really know why. You don’t like the person who stares back at you in the mirror and picking up the bottle seems to be the only way you can make those feelings go away however temporary that may be.
DING DING DING….HELLO??????
Alcohol is a depressant…so if you’re feeling depressed, the booze will make it worse. It’s a vicious cycle and one you find yourself in before you know it. You don’t want to get out of bed, you don’t want to take phone calls, you deem yourself as hopeless and your only friend is the bottle or the drug. Yes ladies and gentlemen, that would be the ultimate sign that there IS a problem and you can NOT deal with it on your own.
Yet for still others, crossing that imaginary line is so massive that they don’t come back from it. This disease is not picky on whom it kills. NOBODY is exempt from that possibility. We do not control the disease, the disease controls us and no matter how long it may take, the diseases sole purpose is to destroy you IF you let it. No matter how deep the hole you’ve climbed in may be, you can always climb your way out of it if you have the willingness to do so. YOU must be the one to face that reality and be willing enough to do something about it. Noone can make you do something you aren’t ready or willing to do. But know that no matter how bad it may be, it will continue to get worse and the end result WILL be death.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist