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I am a person who has struggled with serious bouts of addiction for most of my life; I suppose it is just part of my personality,that now I realize will be the death of me if I continue. I have decided to work on sublimation; but more on that later.
I have struggled with alcohol for about six years now. I started drinking at 17 years old, and am 22. I binge drank from day one, at 17 around 100 lbs and had 7 shots of alcohol that first night.
Most of those years are blurry. I have blacked out more than I can count. My days and nights are unaccountable in my mind. They have essentially disappeared.
I have been, unbelievably lucky. I have had more than one life-threatening experience due to my addictions. I suppose for some people one of these experiences would be enough to scare a person straight. But my addictions were so overpowering that I had not one but approximately seven very serious experiences in which I could have either died, been raped, gone to jail, or put others at risk for injury.
The last experience I had was 23 days ago. I blacked out and the next morning woke up bruised and bleeding through bandages. I was lying in my bed only in my underwear. I literally felt so naked and unbearably ashamed.
What happened this time and how did I get home…
There were foggy images of my parents getting me the night before. And I knew that this time was different. I was totally exposed; my family saw what I really was. They were the people I wanted to hide this from the most. And everything caught up to me.
I do not know how to put all of my experiences into one letter. Just typing this out is so difficult for me.
I am not a bad person. I am not a low-class citizen; if anything, I am well respected in the workplace and by my peers, have great friends and a wonderful family. I graduated from one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. I am by no means a failure (though alcohol has made me question my identity time and time again). In fact, I know for a fact the way I look has saved me; strangers have helped me because I “looked like a good person. She was dressed so well and spoke well.”
23 days ago, after that last and horrific wake-up call, I finally decided that I cannot drink alcohol. I am learning to be okay with that. It is fifty percent finding hellosundaymorning, and fifty percent my family realizing the depth of my struggles.
These past 23 days ( 156 days as of 5/16 ) have been a true adventure. But I write to you, as do the others, to please, help us and help others. Our culture, American culture, is so twisted in ways that make it okay for alcohol to be abused, every day, by everyone. I would say I am an unexpected example of an alcoholic.
But I know so many others touched by addiction. And we need help. We need to have more conversations, we need to change the way alcohol is viewed; we need to talk about what it is like everyday in the alcoholic’s mind, how we became the we have, why we drink, what our thought processes are like. Because I can tell you right now, if you are not an alcoholic, (god bless you) you do not understand.
I also believe that more people are alcoholics than they know; as a person having dealt with eating disorders prior (and considering that another form of addiction) I can tell you that all addictions are different. The human mind is truly infinite and amazing. It is possible of anything, of giving birth to beautiful and seemingly impossible ideas; the human mind also can trap and asphyxiate itself in dark and torturous ways. HSM has released me from this trap. I am changing.
I will speak out as much as I need to, because I am a fighter. We are all fighting to lead better lives and to help those around us.