Hi my name is Laura and…

6 Mar

Disclaimer to start out with that I wrote this once on Sunday night and was super into it and then the whole thing disappeared and didn’t even autosave. So now I’m frustrated and I haven’t even started yet. BOO.

Ever since I turned 21, I don’t think I’ve ever drank the way my friends drink. Honestly it was never even that I enjoyed being drunk so much, it’s getting drunk that I think I’m addicted to. That feeling right around the second and third drinks, where you start feeling it: your cares slipping away, that warmth starting to creep from the inside out, you get talkative and giggly and you just want that feeling to keep coming and coming and never peak. And I think that what really fueled my problem wasn’t just my lack of moderation, but my impeccable ability to pretend that nothing was wrong (this is kind of a recurring theme of my life, if you haven’t noticed). I could make excuses that no one could argue with, I could act like everything was fine, I could act like every time I went out was simply for a fun night like all of my friends. But I was miserable. Absolutely miserable. And it got to the point with no matter how horrible I felt the next morning, to me nothing felt worse than being sober. I hated sobriety and once I pulled myself together enough to be able to stomach some food without it coming back up, I was ready to get back out again. If I couldn’t go out drinking, it was whatever else I could get my hands on. Doing whatever it took to alter my mind enough to escape my own pathetic life. And even when I did stay sober for days at a time, it was agonizing. I could resist compulsion to drink but it was still all I would think about. Sure I could stay sober if I forced myself, but sobriety isn’t really genuine sobriety if you’re gritting your teeth and pulling your hair out through the whole thing, and if maybe the booze is absent but the obsession never leaves. It took a horrifying, drunken experience to snap me out of what I was doing to myself. I knew I needed to get help, but was still in denial about just how much help I needed. I started talking to a recovery counselor in the CLEAN program at CSS, and he challenged me enough to make me realize just how little control I had over myself, when all this time I had convinced myself (and everyone else) that I knew what I was doing.

Long story short, I started going to AA. Crazy, right? I was expecting it to be awful, but I was amazed at the number of kids my age at the meeting. And everyone’s stories were just nuts, and they were all so welcoming. It took a couple weeks of meetings for me to finally give up my drinking, but I’m proud to say that this week I’m celebrating my first sobriety birthday- 30 days. I never thought I would get 30 days down, and I’m super proud. I’ve got a sponsor, which has helped so much. And basically I just keep myself busy with productive activities, and surround myself only with those who support and encourage my sobriety. I’ve met some awesome people in the CLEAN program, and most (but not all) of my friends have been super supportive of me. I have to say, there’s a major difference between spending time with people who are sober just because, and those who have been where I have, and way worse. Those first couple of weeks, when I would go out and get wasted, I could go back to the CLEAN office, tell him what happened, and he would so genuinely just be like “I’m really sorry that happened…” and go on to talk about why I did it, and where I would go from there. There was no rebuke, condemnation, guilt, or anything like that. Only understanding, support, and encouragement. That’s what kept me coming back.

Alcoholism is a disease, it’s not just a bad habit that can be broken or something that you can “get over”. People think of an alcoholic being someone who gradually developed this addiction and the key is to just get back into moderation and they’ll be fine.  But there is no hope of moderating something that has consumed you mentally from day one. Maybe you don’t go out drinking every night, maybe you don’t drink alone, maybe you don’t steal money from family to get wasted. Does that mean you’re not an alcoholic? No. Not if you are literally obsessed with the thought of drinking again. Maybe you can go a week without drinking, but do you enjoy it? Was there ever a period of time longer than a couple minutes where you weren’t wishing you were drunk, craving that drink, trying to get some friends to come out with you? I mean, I’ll be honest with you, when I was first presented with the idea of what it means to be a “real” alcoholic: the disease, the allergy, the obsession; I didn’t really buy into it. Sounded like a pretty lame excuse for people too lazy to use any self-control. But as much as I want to get back out there, as much as I want to have another night of bar-hopping, just one– I know it wouldn’t be once. I know that I couldn’t drink one night and spend the rest of the week sober.

As far as my friends circle, obviously things are changing, but not really as much as you would think. I’m not trying to ditch all my drinking friends, I’m not morally against drinking, because hey if you can moderate yourself and you can party on the weekends but manage your life the rest of the week– more power to you. I respect that. Because I sure as hell can’t. The friends I’ve been dippin out on are the ones who have been blatantly unsupportive: pressuring me to drink again, belittling me for being honest with myself, disrespecting the efforts that I’m making and the struggle that it is every single day. And I’m not even really upset about that, because man have I met some amazing new people through this program. Anyways, I’m stickin with this thing. I’m doing the best I can, I’m spending time in the books, I’m working the steps, and most importantly, I’m being honest with myself and those around me. Oh, and I listen to a lot of this guy ;)

God grant me the serenity to keep doing what I’m doing :)

(and growing up everyone always does)

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3 Responses to “Hi my name is Laura and…”

  1. Auntie Angel March 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I love you soooo much, Miss Laura! And, so does your Uncle David! xoxo
    Auntie Angel

  2. Mel March 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    Awesome Laura! I was actually the same way, until I started going to church and really turned my life around. God can do awesome things! I’ve slipped a couple times, but I hardly think about any of that stuff anymore! Keep going girl :)

  3. conservatarianthoughts March 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

    A Cherokee Legend

    An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

    “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

    The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

    The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

    Feed your positive side and hang with those who support you!

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