By Dave McCall
I was born and raised in a small, rather boring town. I always wanted to be loved and accepted for who I am. It was difficult for me to love and appreciate myself. I always seemed to find love and comfort at the bottom of a bottle. The truth is my love for alcohol prevented me from achieving and acquiring a lot of things. I dropped out of college because drinking was my major. I lost friends, girlfriends and family because alcohol was my one true love. I was a real-life Jekyll and Hyde when it came to being sober versus being drunk.
Alcohol made me feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin. The “liquid courage” boosted my confidence and ego. It changed what I thought was a cruel, cold world into my own fun, reckless playground. Alcohol was my medicine. I used it to drown in my own sorrows, mistakes and failures. I thought alcohol was always a solution to every problem rather than just a problem. I always tried to find an excuse to drink– holidays, sporting events, vacations, etc. I was a short-fused firecracker enough as it was sober. My drinking shortened that fuse, if not set it off completely. My family had told me on several occasions I had a drinking problem. I was too ignorant and stubborn as a young teen and young adult. I kept being told alcohol alters moods, brain chemistry and behavior even when sober. Knowing what I know now and feeling the way I feel now, I believe it to be true. I was an angry, irritable person in general. Drinking intensified it. I found myself frequently getting into fights and arguments with my family. The cops were called on a few occasions. I would also find myself getting wasted and initiating senseless fights at parties.
Alcohol: My One True Love
I was never able to maintain a stable love life due to my love for drinking. I was too ignorant to see the correlation between my drinking and failed relationships. Certain events throughout one particular relationship created jealousy, selfishness, arrogance, complacency and pride. I was a belligerent alcoholic. I said and did whatever I wanted without thinking about short or long term consequences. I could not slip out of the insanity of alcoholism. I could not learn from my mistakes. Every time I felt like a relationship was failing, I would resort to drinking rather than attempt to put any effort into changing my ways. I was a true alcoholic. I was selfish. I always put my love for drinking over love for myself, family, friends or lovers.
The Truth Comes Out
As I got older, I came to the sad conclusion that I was no longer drinking to be happy. I was drinking because I was insecure and unhappy with who I was as a person. How can anyone love me if I cannot love myself first? I thought alcohol hid my flaws and character defects. Instead, it only exposed my flaws and weaknesses. I loved alcohol because I thought it helped me love myself. I loved alcohol so much I thought it would be the death of me. Everyone who cared about me could see I was plunging myself into an alcoholic abyss. The truth is, I did not care. Why should I? My drinking had cost me jobs, higher education, family, friends and lovers. Why not pay the price with my own life? Alcohol took half my life away from me. Finally, a trip to rehab helped me understand myself and the curse of alcoholism. Since then, my sobriety clock keeps ticking, however, people such as myself can never get too complacent. We wake up with the disease of alcoholism every day. We must rely on a power greater than ourselves to not pick up a drink again. Sobriety has given me a whole new perspective on life. Sobriety has given me clarity. I can acknowledge and accept the error of my ways. I can forgive myself for the damage I had done to family, friends and lovers. I know it was not the real me. I hope everyone who was unfortunate to cross paths with me during that time knows it too.
Dave McCall is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He writes for websites such as https://www.taylorrecovery.com in hopes of spreading awareness on addiction and alcoholism. He stays active in his recovery community, encouraging others to live and enjoy a sober lifestyle.