You are not alone

I am no expert on alcoholism nor do I claim to hold the key to sobriety. What I do have to offer is an open, honest telling of my own story, in my own words. 

In my early twenties I watched my aunt drink herself to death while all of her loved ones watched it happen, wishing they could just make or help her quit. I watched my mother lose her big sister, her best friend. I watched as my younger cousins lost their mother and there was nothing that anyone could do to stop it. At the time I did not understand why and I could not wrap my head around how she couldn't just put the bottle down. Why would she do this? Why lose everything for alcohol? 

The answers to these questions I will never get to know from her but what I do know now after my own battle is that I have the feeling that my aunt must of felt alone, like nobody understood what she was going thru, how nobody could possibly grasp or understand the hold that alcohol had on her. I know this because I had the same feeling, the feeling of being all by myself, like alcohol was a part of who I was, without alcohol I had felt like I was nothing.

It is like a mask that is worn but you are the only on that knows you are wearing it. I still have a tough time with the label alcoholic but every time I look back on the things I was doing to drink it makes it very easy for me to see how bad it had really gotten. Many people in my life knew that I got in trouble a few times but nobody and I mean NOBODY knew exactly how bad it was getting or had already gotten. The lies, the hiding, the manipulation, the excuses, it was all so real. After reading my blog people have told me how they never knew I had a problem, how I just seemed like everyone else. This tells me that I got to be really good at hiding my drinking and that my drinking had become who I was and how I acted, it had taken complete control. I had become so reliant and dependent on alcohol and I just couldn’t or didn’t want to see it.

It was never just one drink for me, never could it just be one. Even when I was openly drinking in public I was drinking alone in excess before I even went out. I was basically getting drunk so I could go out and get drunk. I could not function in public without at least having a buzz and that was just the way it was. I attended AA and I went to treatment and heard stories. I wasn't as bad as the stories I would hear, I had my shit together, I had a job and a place to live and people seemed to enjoy my company, I am not one of "those" people. Turns out, I was or am exactly one of “those” people, I just didn’t want to admit it. On the outside I may of seemed normal, average, just like everyone else. But on the inside I was sick and I was deeply hurting, bad.

I wish I could go back and be with my aunt during her time of need, I wish we could of talked about our problems and that we could of gotten through this together. I wish I could have shown her so she could understand that she wasn’t alone in this. I know first-hand how hard it is to admit you have a problem with the guilt and the shame that comes along with it. I can honestly say that I was probably unreachable for the majority of my heavy drinking days. However, I am here to tell you that if you have any of these feelings then know that you also are not alone. Do not be afraid to reach out.