From Isolation to Fulfillment
I got drunk for the first time when I was 19. I loved it so much, I went back to the same place and got drunk again the very next night.
From then on, if I was drinking, I was drinking to get drunk. I never drank with dinner or just to be social. The idea of drinking without the object of getting drunk was -- and is -- as foreign to me as going to an airport, buying a ticket, and sitting on the concourse watching planes take off and land without ever boarding. I now know this is referred to as "the phenomenon of craving" which is not present in non-alcoholics.
A couple years later, I was introduced to marijuana, and I became a daily marijuana smoker. I also tried lots of other drugs -- various forms of cocaine, hallucinogens, cigarettes -- but I never used any of those on a regular basis. I did occasionally abuse prescription pain pills.
Although I was never a casual drinker, it took a long time for my drinking to become a problem. When I was in my early 30s, for reasons I don't understand, I became a daily drinker. Sometimes, I drank at bars and in social settings, but I began to drink at alone at home every night. It was in this time that I got a DUI.
My daily drinking began to take a toll. I was constantly hung over and my work suffered. My apartment became a pig pen and my self worth dwindled to nothing. I got thrown out of several bars, including one that required a trip to the ER. I fell backwards through a glass-top table. Most humiliatingly, I began to regularly urinate on myself when I passed out at night.
For me, the "bottom" came when I found myself drinking in the morning. It had been my habit to pass out in the living room every night, and when I came to, I would put whatever was left in my cup back into the fridge and go to bed. Eventually, however, I began to finish the drink when I came to -- early, like at 4 or 5 a.m. Then I began to pour another. When I found myself watching "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" and drinking vodka and orange juice at daybreak, I knew my drinking was unsustainable.
I wound up in rehab, and then in AA . I had been to AA a few times because of my DUI and one previous attempt to stop drinking, but this time my life had become so unmanageable I was willing to do what the my counselors at rehab and the other people in AA suggested -- go to meetings in a regular basis (daily to begin with), get a sponsor, read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pray and not drink.
One day at a time, it has worked for me, now, for more than 4 1/2 years. I still go to meetings almost every day. I still have regular contact with my sponsor, and I help others in the program by sponsoring them. I have lots of friends who don't drink or use drugs (and i have some who do). I do not miss alcohol and drugs at all.
My life is more full and meaningful than ever before. Life is not perfect . In sobriety, I have suffered the deaths of a close friend and my mother. I have lost relationships. I have had all of the problems that everyone has and I have not drank or used drugs.
I was a daily-drinking, pass-out, pee-on-myself drunk. If I can get sober, anyone can.