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Vertigo: alcoholism and then some.

My name is Matt Bowman.  Since I was thirteen, I have been drinking heavily, and have experimented with just about every drug under the sun.  I can tell you now that I am still struggling with severe alcoholism, but am taking steps to quit entirely.  As a child I was privileged with the opportunity to live overseas in Japan, and travelled extensively throughout Asia.  Even now, I currently reside in Germany, which is quite the detriment for a raging alcoholic and recreational cocaine user.  It all started when I was 13 years old.  I was an overweight youth, and it was this "advantage" that allowed me to exploit the honor system that they basically install in Japan in bars.  I went to my first night club at this age, and it became a regular weekly occurance.  Along with the drinking, marijuana and designer drug use were rampant, often consuming chemical substances with little knowledge of its ingredients or possible detriments to my health.  This continued for years, when at the age of 17 I moved to Hawaii.  Upon reaching the isles, I quickly and easily made friends.  Most of these friends, however, would introduce me to cocaine.  Upon procuring a job in the culinary world, I began to drink daily, as did my fellow cooks.  This continued for years, eventually resulting in the loss of three jobs, two of them simultaneously for coming to work drunk, or smelling of alcohol.  I was even taking frequent breaks at work to do cocaine in the bathroom, and/or to drink and smoke.  My grades began to falter, and it cost me graduating with honors because getting drunk was more important suddenly than my academics.  Never the less, I graduated.  It wasn't long after that I received my first DUI.  My BAC was twice the legal limit, and as a result I was fined by the city of Honolulu and my license revoked for two years.  This did not deter me from driving, however, and upon leaving a party one night after drinking heavily and under further influence of ecstacy, I fell asleep while driving.  I crashed into several parked cars while driving down a mountain road, swinging into oncoming traffic, effectively destroying my car.  Due to incompetence from the Honolulu Police Department, any blood tests were not scheduled and the incident went largely unnoticed.  By this time, my relationship with my family was very strained.  I became violent and belligerent while drunk, and I was slacking severely in college.  I eventually dropped all classes except for drama until dropping out entirely six weeks later.  I was soon sent to a rehab program in Oregon, which I completed successfully.  However, a mere 4 hours after release, I was drunk again.  I stayed that way all the back to Hawaii and more.  Suggesting a more permanent change, I was accepted into culinary school and moved to New York City.  I was drinking bottles of vodka daily, and doing coke every other day.  This affected my attendence in school, but I was largely successful, and graduated.  I held a few small jobs, but my drinking led to slipped attendence and eventually I stopped going altogether.  I was spending rent money on drugs and alcohol, so I was forced to return home to Hawaii.  Shortly after, my father and I moved to Germany, where drinking is a national past time.  Suddenly, my obvious drinking problem in the States wasn't much of a problem in Europe, so it just compounded.  Soon enough, I could easily consume more than two litres of vodka daily.  I secured a job and worked there for nine months or so, but lost that job when I attended a second rehab stint in London.  I was so arrogant, I began drinking in rehab after my second week, thinking I could get away with it.  I was caught and removed from the program.  I can remember few times where I felt more shame.  I was dating a glorious woman, one that I would love to marry, but my drinking has cost me that most important of things.  I am writing this as I am on holiday with my family back in Hawaii.  I haven't had a drink since new years eve, and although its only been two days, being around family and the prospect of a healthy return to Germany without the shakes and sweats will severely improve my relationship with my family, and will almost certainly get the woman I love back.  I am writing this for you, dear reader, to hopefully solidify some instinct to seek help, and seek out others to get help.  I have lost everything because of my inability, or refusal to stop consuming something as minute as liquid.  AA says alcohol is "cunning, baffling, powerful".  They could not be more right. 

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Categories: Alcohol, Cocaine, Family, Father, Son, Other Drugs, Ecstasy, Recovery, AA


January 03, 2013 | Becky

Don’t give up, Matt.  You can do it if you don’t try to do it all alone.  Continue to reach out and perhaps check out a 12-step meeting.  As a person with almost 25 years of sobriety, I know how hard it is to get sober.  You have something to be proud of and are very courageous to share your story here!

January 03, 2013 | Jane

Good luck, Matt. It’s really hard, but so worth it!

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