When i think about my journey through alcoholism, I am stunned sometimes to think I have gone through so much shit and I am only 32 years old. Like, I am an alcoholic and age 32? What the hell! How did this happen?
Well, I was predisposed as an alcoholic because i come from a long line of them! My biological father (sperm donor more like it) is a huge alcoholic and his father was one, and his father before him. Basically, addiction is in my blood. I grew up with my mom always telling me to be careful when i grow up and drink. She was very honest about why. I never once thought I had inherited the disease. I never realized that my unresolved resentment, anger and sadness would be a contributing factor to my alcoholism. Those feelings are what got me started! That first drink was AMAZING! I felt so numb. That fuzzy feeling came over me and it was an instant love at first drink! I felt pretty all of a sudden, desirable, I felt like i was somebody who was fitting in with the crowd, i felt courage to talk to guys, and girls who I was otherwise intimidated by! It transformed all of my insecurities. I was the girl I had only dreamed of being.
During my teens my drinking was “normal experimentation”. I was not addicted, or was I? I could go weeks without it. However, i had no choice because i couldn’t buy it on my own! And when I did have it? I couldn’t stop drinking it. I couldn’t put it down after 1 drink. I was the girl drinking beside the guys and holding it down like them! And the hangovers? Oh-my-GOD. I can count many times my mom found me in the bathroom passed out around the toilet. “AMANDA MARIE!” Oh shit – the middle name! But the hangovers passed. And i chased the feeling i got after ONE SIP. The instant love at first drink. The warm fuzzy UNSTOPPABLE feeling like i was on top of the world. I was confident! I was happy and fun!
And then I turned 19. I didn’t stop drinking from that day on. But, i held a job, i went to college, i passed with honors, and I managed my life. So, to the outside it appeared as if it was normal drinking for my age. I secretly knew i was an alcoholic when i started sneaking a bottle of wine into my bedroom and staying in there all evening and all night. But, i didn’t want to admit it. I did not want to live without it. It made me feel ALIVE.
Three years later i got pregnant! I bought a bottle of wine and a pregnancy test at the same time. Negative? Ill drink! But….it was positive! The next 9 months was the first time i had been sober for that length of time since i was 15 years old. I was happy, and I was the Amanda I had thought i could only be with a drink! I thought….I AM CURED! It was just a phase!!!!!! Oh i was so happy that I was not following in the footsteps of my deadbeat alcoholic father. But, a few months after my twins were born, i had a drink. Oh-my-GOD it was instant love at first drink again. Pure bliss. All the stress of being a new mom, the stress of my relationship, the insecurities with my body after giving birth, all of it went away. Nothing else ever took the emotional pain away this fast. I thought I could handle it since i went so long without it.
Two years later when i became a single parent, the bottle become more like my best friend. It was always there to console the pain I was in after my relationship with the father of my sons, failed. It was the only thing that I could count on to take the pain away. I held a job, my sons were fed, and taken care of. I managed things just fine. For awhile.
Like a snowball, my life started becoming more unmanageable. I was miserable. The instant love at first drink was gone! GONE! I didn’t enjoy it anymore! My body was shutting down! I had the shakes! Oh-my-GOD i was physically dependent on it! Even the nights i didn’t want to drink i had to. I didn’t tell anyone how bad it was. I couldn’t. I was an absolute failure at life. I was the loser i had always thought i had been.
My unresolved resentment, anger and sadness had never been dealt with! All of these years i had been stuffing it down to the core of my soul where it sat and now, i was going to burst. Physically I felt like i was dying every day. Emotionally I was at my rock bottom. Spiritually I was lost and had been disconnected for a very long time.
Alcoholism is more than just taking a drink too many. It involves a spiritual malady, a mental obsession and a physical allergy. I COULD NOT put down the drink once the poison was inside my body. I was 100% obsessed with drinking from the time i first tried it and fell in love. And, I had always been suffering from a spiritual malady. My alcoholism began before I took a drink for the first time at 15. I have always been an alcoholic, from the moment i was born.
AND IM OKAY WITH THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I accept it today. I am NOT a loser! I am AWESOME! And only sobriety has helped me realize that! Completing the 12 steps helped me get rid of a lifes worth of pain, resentment and anger so i could be FREE. And the obsession? GONE!
Don’t drink & do the work!