It was a very hard row to hoe for me to get sober. Very, very hard. I barely made it. It took everything I had to get and stay sober. Many times I almost lost this precious sobriety I hold so dear. Having alcoholism is horrible. It’s a horrible condition. It stunted my emotional and mental growth because of the way I metabolized it, I can only say this from the inside, I do not know what it’s like to be a non-alcoholic, but this is what I believe as an alcoholic.
I believe that it was my physiological body that was my downfall. I believe I was born with alcoholism. My first drunk was as a four years old when I was told I drained all the left over wine glasses from the Thanksgiving table and came into the living room drunk out of my gourd. Everyone laughed. They thought it was so funny.
I believe that, as an alcoholic, the way I metabolize booze in my body is unique. For me this is also true of sugar and white flour. It helped me sidestep the stresses that were necessary for my emotional growth from a child into an adult by removing these stresses from my body and mind, making them ‘disappear’ and putting me into instant la-la-land. Every time I drank it this effect happened instantly, so naturally I drank it as often as I could get my hands on it. When I wasn’t drinking it I was eating sugar/white flour. After all, who wants stress when you can get instant relief from it? Therefore on the outside I was physically growing up but on the inside I was staying a mentally and emotionally stunted child. I became what to all intensive purposes was a circus freak. A child mind in a grown-up body. Suddenly I found myself thrust into a grown-up world. And, here I was, face to face with the harsh realities of a grown-up world for which, as a stunted child, I was totally unprepared to cope.
This world of gown-ups demanded that I produce like a grown-up. No one could see me for the child I was inside. Meanwhile the way my body metabolized the booze was such that it continued to take the stress off of all this mess and to help me ‘feel better’ (de-stress) in regards to what was happening around me. More and more, the stresses kept piling up. First there was the day-to-day stresses that I’d evaded learning how to cope with but that wouldn’t go away no matter how hard I tried to evade them. Then there were the past stresses of the messes I’d created from my lack of coping skills and exacerbated by drunkenness. Then there were the future stresses that scared me half-to-death because the booze (sugar/white flour) had kept me from learning how to handle ‘future thinking’. On top of that there was the pain from childhood abuse that I was never able to properly process because the booze kept me from doing that correctly. All I could do with that was cry drunken tears for myself. And drunken tears never help process pain. Everyone I knew was either mad at me or didn’t want me around because I’d never learned out how to cope with people or with life. I knew I was a total failure at all of it and my self worth was in the gutter.
Meanwhile there was always the booze. Ahhhh the booze, and it’s allure.
I couldn’t stay away from it’s allure. I knew it would take all this horrible stress off my shoulders. It was so easy. It kept pressuring me;
“I will help you. I will help you. I will make you feel better and get you away from all this mess. Come to me and I can make it all go away for you…..”
But it’s promises always came up empty. The next morning reality would come back with a vengeance. More problems to deal with… even more stress to cope with. But then, after the waters calmed down there it was again, calling… always calling, pressuring me…. “I will help you…” Then I had to sober up to face hard, hard, reality again. Even the booze itself — my friend — played an evil part in adding to all the stress. Every time I ‘came to’ there it was… REALITY… right in my face again. Each time it became worse… and worse. More and more horrible. But then there was the booze again. The alluring booze that kept fooling me into thinking it was going to take the stress away but only added to it. Calling me. Pressuring me. Telling me this time it would really work! A merry-go-round of the macabre.
And it all started because of the way my body metabolized booze. It’s physiological and it’s horrible. I don’t think non-alcoholics metabolize booze the way alcoholics do. It doesn’t give them instant relief. I think they still must face life stress and grow up the way they’re supposed to grow up even if they drink alcohol or eat sugar/white flour during the process. I don’t think reality disappears when they drink booze or eat sugar/white flour the way it did when I drank or ate it. So they grow up and learn how to cope with life the way grown-ups are supposed to do.
When I got sober I had to learn life’s in’s-and-out’s and go through the whirling and stressful growing pains that children must endure to become normal adults while, at the same time, being a physical adult, I had to keep up with what life required of me in a grown-up world. It’s hard to go through growing pains as a youth but it’s murderous to have to do it in an old grown body. And even, 36 years later, it still is some times. Now I mostly don’t eat sugar or white flour and must grow up even more during that process.
This is not to excuse alcoholics for their behavior. It’s just a description of what it was like for me as one.