Wednesday, May 18, 2011

REACHING FOR RECOVERY (Putting Down The Drink) Part 2

I had my first cigarette when I was nine. I hated it! I had my second one when I was fifteen. It didn't taste much better, but it helped me feel better about a troubling circumstance at the time. I would remember that at a later point. I began smoking in earnest when an elderly aunt died in my arms at the time I was seventeen.

I also had my first drink when I was fifteen. It was a strong one and I got drunk. My whole personality suddenly changed. It felt wonderful to be free of inhibitions! I would later remember that too.

On isolated occasions, I would drink in secret until I could legally do so at the age of eighteen. That was also when I discovered how wonderfully freeing marijuana could be. By then I was addicted to cigarettes, though I couldn't admit to that. I figured I could quit at any time – famous last words! Alcohol was a wonderful compliment to these other now established addictions.

I felt deliciously naughty and I also began to feel as if I was more a part of the crowd. Even though I still felt insecure on the inside, I came out of my shell when I was engaged in my addictions. Unfortunately I had no real idea about who I was. Truth be told, I had simply forgotten. I mistook the the unreal feelings of freedom that my powerful new addictions could induce for the freedom of unspoiled childhood innocence .

I almost invariably became drunk whenever I had alcohol. I also became drunk quickly. That would change over time as I began to develop more and more of a tolerance for alcohol. That would also take me a long time. Such is not the case for many fledgling alcoholics. As for me, as is the case for most of us, I was medicating a mood disorder that stemmed from an inability to get in touch with feelings. It also came from an inability to accept life on life's terms.

By the time I was in college, my addictions were well-established. Even though I was a serious student during my first two years, I would party every weekend. Of course, an occasional joint or drink on a weekday night was not out of the question!

By my senior year, I relied on my academic laurels to carry me through. Fortunately I still earned excellent grades, though I was now engaging in my addictions on a regular basis. Even so, it would be years before I might suspect that I had a problem with alcohol. Then I would simply deny it until I finally reached a point where I realized I was totally powerless; that would come much later.

Author Davis Aujourd'hui

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