No one knows what it is like to be an alcoholic, that is, unless they are one. Being an alcoholic encompasses so much other than alcohol. The disease that I carry around with me not only makes me different but it also makes me MORE human. Alcoholism in my opinion is humanity at it’s fullest. Why? Because it is all ego, selfishness, fear, instinct driven desire to just simply be happy. There are so many different facets that come with being an alcoholic, and there are a few I wish everyone knew. Alcoholism is more than just drinking too much. It is a way of living, a state of being, a mindset.
Let me explain.
5 Things I Wish People Knew About My Alcoholism
1. It Turned Me Into Someone I Wasn’t
When I say that I don’t mean it made me more outgoing when I was introverted at heart. I don’t mean it made me more impulsive either. I mean down to my very core I became different. All of the morals, beliefs, and ideas that I held onto while sober—all those ideologies we all have that kind of make us who we are, those disappeared when I drank. Every lesson my parents taught me, every idea of what I wanted to be and act like left me. Because of this I did many things I couldn’t even have fathomed doing sober. I would go from being honest, loyal, trustworthy, kind to a fault into a lying, backstabbing, cheating, and intentionally mean individual. I have dealt with a lot of shame and guilt because of this effect alcohol has on me. It has taken years of doing the right thing to be reminded that I am not a bad person for doing those things.
2. I Drank Because I Felt Heavy
This one is hard to explain because I don’t mean like heavy in the sense of weight. I think all human beings have felt this at one point or another. And I don’t know if this is how it is for all people but for me I can feel this heaviness for no reason at all. Everything can be going right in the world and I have the empty, sad, dead weight inside my soul that I just can’t shake. I drink to relieve the heaviness of that weight. I drank to felt light. I drank to handle life. Why? Because I am terrible at handling even the best days with that feeling inside myself. Some may say oh it is depression, but here’s the thing—once I got sober and started my path in recovery that heaviness went away—without medication. This wasn’t depression—this was something else. Something I have been told is called a spiritual malady.
3. If I Hadn’t Been Too Scared I Would of Killed Myself
I am really glad I didn’t today. But let me tell you something, and this isn’t unique to me, many addicts and alcoholics go through it, but being dead often times seems like a much better option than continuing down the road you are on. You may or may not be trying to quit, you may or may not hate yourself, whatever the reasoning—there comes a time where the drugs don’t work anymore. When, no matter how often or how much you put in your body there is no relief. It is constant pain, a constant struggle to just open your eyes in the morning and see the sunlight. Many people would call this a bottom. I don’t know if it is or if it isn’t, all I know is when I got to this point—which was multiple times I just wished I could die. I would be driving down the road wondering if I careened my car off the road at 100 mph if that would do the trick. I would think about slitting my wrists. I would try to overdose. But I never could really go through with it. There was a part of me that still wanted to live so badly—that very small piece, now looking back, that believed there was a way out of this somehow, some way. Now that isn’t to say that is why I didn’t do it then. I didn’t careen my car off the road because there was a chance I would survive, slitting my wrists was to gory, and overdose was a struggle. Either way I got to learn the beautiful lesson that I am here for a reason.
4. No, For Real, I Have a Disease
I wish you could just sit inside my body and my mind for a day. You would know. The world would know. I wish that I could take people inside my head through my using and drinking days. I have a mental issue and physical issue. I have a brain that will always make drinking and using sound like a good idea. I have a brain that tells me all the amazing things drugs and alcohol will do for me and not TO me. And I have a body that just really screws me over when I start using or drinking. The more I do, the more I want. The more I want, the more I do, the more I want. And it is physical. Not mental, not emotional, its like autopilot, its like being taken over. But yeah. I really do have a disease. I know because I wanted to stop more than anything in the world for a long time and couldn’t. That was until I got the spiritual help I needed.
5. I Cared More About Getting High Than I Did About You
Yep. Sorry to say but it is the truth. I cared more about getting high. That is because of the disease I talked about in number 4. It drove me to care about one thing and one thing only. It is kind of like having the real you trapped beneath this alter ego that has taken over your body. An evil alter ego that only cares about consuming substances.
Being an alcoholic isn’t easy. But there is an amazing other side to all of this and it is called recovery. Today I have learned more about myself and the world around me then I could have ever possibly imagined without this disease. This disease gives me a newfound purpose and I can happily say I am grateful for my past, and I am looking forward to my future. There is hope. This doesn’t have to be the end. It can be the beginning to a newfound wonderful life if you choose to get help. Today I am whole. I don’t carry that heaviness around with me anymore. I wake up happy for the little things in life. I just wanted people to know that alcoholism encompasses so much more than just, well, alcohol.