It's comforting to be able to type this and know that others who have been in my position will be reading it.
I'm an alcoholic; I think there is little doubt of that. At the age of 21, four years ago, I went to rehab for alcohol abuse and major depression. At the time I was taking time off from college to deal with what was obviously becoming a growing problem in my life (depression/addiction). I returned to college about 6 months later, and with about a year's worth of school left, my parents came and "rescued" me from the wreckage of my own life. I was basically blowing off school completely, smoking pot and drinking all the time and living a miserable, aimless, utterly lonely life in my college town, all the while lying to my parents left and right. I would like to add that I have wonderful parents; they have been incredibly loving and supportive. They have kept me under their wing when a lot of other parents might have thrown me out. I have no history of abuse or childhood trauma; in fact, quite the opposite. I did, however, start getting some serious depression starting in 8th grade, and I was diagnosed with ADD in the 4th grade.
I left college about a year and a half ago; since then I have been living in my parents home, where they have been encouraging me, with varying levels of success, to get my life back on track. My parents do drink (they're "normies") but they've taken all alcohol out of the house on account of me.
In a lot of ways, my life has turned around remarkably, at least on the inside. On the outside, I still don't have a college degree, I haven't held a job in years, and - here's the clincher - I continue to relapse. On average, I don't go more than a month without a drink. The most recent relapse was quite devastating to my parents and destroyed a significant bond of trust that I had earned between us.
This is a hard time for our family because one of my siblings (older) is going through something extremely tough in his life. My folks went to go visit him over the weekend; they were gone for three days. This was the first time they had left me alone in the house for quite some time and this was going to be considered a "test" of sorts. Everything was going fine until I invited a date over for dinner on the third night. I know this girl really likes me, and I feel similarly. I will also add that I've only recently started dating again, and a healthy sex life has pretty much been non-existent since I started becoming active in late high school. I realize that I really haven't had any sober sex...
So of course, I wanted to have a few drinks w/ the girl, have a nice dinner, have some more drinks, and then what have you. We ended up having an extremely nice evening - good food, good conversation and good kissing. This was all a big deal for me (in a good way) in that I havn't had a wholesome, let alone physical relationship with anyone in quite some time. After she went home, I polished off more wine by myself, finished the rest of the bottle that next morning, and went out and got a tall can of beer after that. My parents returned home in the afternoon to find me in bed, reeking of alcohol. It was a sad, sad scene.
So yeah, there's this whole Jekyll and Hyde thing going on. On one hand, I had this wonderful evening, where I was all sweet and charming and together - but it was all based on a deception of sorts - I deceived my parents, and it's not like the girl knows that I have a serious alcohol problem. And I've dealt a blow to my beloved parents (I'm very close to them, generally) at a very difficult time in their lives.
I've tried AA at different phases - never for more than around 3 months at a time - I find that it ends up messing with my head more than helping it.
I chose the username "GoodGuy" because I do think that I am a good person (I've done bad things). I could have such a wonderful, fulfilling life if I do the right thing. But gosh, I am in a dark place right now. Things were starting to shape up nicely, and then this. I feel like a broken man right now.
Thank you for hearing me. I'd like to become a more regular contributor here and hopefully forge some connections with those who have been where I've been.
Hello and Welcome! Somehow up until now, I missed your thread. I found you NOW though!
I completely understand your situation Good Guy! Relapses happen and when they do (I recently just had a BAD ONE) we feel like crap all around. It's disappointing to us and also to the people who have helped you in a life of sobriety. Have you and your family tried any counseling? I was in counseling and it was a good thing and helped a lot until I relapsed then.... I quit going. BIG MISTAKE.
In order for you to have a good healthy relationship with a woman in the future, I think you need to work on yourself some more. I know my addiction affects my relationship with my husband because when I don't have the pills or are tapering, I am a mess and a crab.... it sucks for him and right now, he doesn't even know its happening.
please vent and tell us more... I would like you to make yourself at home here because it really can help to get it off your chest. AA is not for everyone I guess.. I have never gone to NA. I am too scared to go. However, there are other things that you can do since those around you know of your problem. For me, I only told my husband but he thinks it's completely under control and then my friends here.
I'll respond to your statements/questions in order:
I have personally seen a therapist relatively regularly since high school. As jaded as I have sometimes been with the whole psychotherapy thing, the fact of the matter is that it has been VERY important to me. My current therapist has had the most dramatic effect on me in that she herself is a recovering addict (almost 30 years sober). She has a very active spiritual life and that has had an influence on me in that I have learned how to become more personally grounded.
When I was in rehab, and for almost a year afterward, my parents went to Al-Anon meetings (although I never went to any meetings) and some counseling and in the process learned a tremendous amount about addiction and dealing with it in one's family. Like I said, I could not ask for more amazing parents. I seriously mean that. It just ends up that it hurts me severely every time I let them down.
I have been to AA meetings and I suppose that I am "that guy" who claims that "AA is not for him," and is widely believed, among the AA crowd at least, to be doomed (I hope not). I do believe that a large part of AA is filling a massive spiritual void in oneself, and so if I address that in other ways, the same positive outcomes could be expected (or so I get myself to believe)
The bottom line is that I have seen that I can have a happy, balanced life if I stay away from all substances. Almost every time alcohol or some other mind-altering substance becomes part of an experience, I'd say that 4 out of 5 times, that experience becomes "soiled" or "contaminated" for me, either because I behave erratically or irresponsibly under the influence, or because the resulting emotional wash causes pain and distress to myself and/or those around me.
In a lot of ways, it's a no-brainer. So that's where I get back to this original question of mine - why do I continue to sabotage myself???
Well, I ask myself the same question too. Why do I continue to sabotage myself. Here is what I have come up with so far.......
Part of me feels like the reason I relapsed is because life just got too much to take and for me, I took the easy way out and leaned on a pill instead of myself or someone else close to me. I have this issue that I feel it's my job to always try to fix the problem at hand. I try to be everyone's support system and in the meantime I am falling apart so what do I do? Pick myself back up with a pill that makes me feel like super woman so I continue that cycle even though I know deep down it's detroying me. I push it out of my mind as much as I can while using and try to "enjoy" the good feelings that the pills give me because after all the trauma and heart break for some reason I thought I deserved some sort of release and I didn't feel I was hurting anyone in the process but I know that is a lie too.
I don't know what your emotional triggers are but mine are stress mainly and then also for some reason I feel a need to amplify fun because I have grown insecure in regards to thinking I can be fun without the meds. That is what I think happened to you with you date. The drinks made you charming and you had a great time. Do you feel you could have been that same charming man with drinking a pop instead? You may not have the same issue I do but that is how I feel and I thought it was a good idea to share it with you.
In closing, sometimes, I also feel like I don't deserve to be happy. I am not worthy of happiness. So, I use because even though I know it will hurt me in the long run..... don't I deserve that? That may sound nuts but... I am sometimes brutally truthful about myself so there you have it.
Hi GoodGuy - welcome!
I am also new here, but I will give you my 2 cents. I think I keep using, despite all the reasons I know I shouldn't, because deep down I don't like myself. I feel inadequate. Other people see me as this capable, kind and thoughtful person, but I don't feel that way inside. As long as I can remember, I have felt inferior and less worthy than other people. Intellectually I know this isn't true, but that doesn't change how I feel about myself inside. Was I born this way? Did I become this way because of childhood experiences? I don't know. But the only way to change the behavior is to change the way I think - and for myself, I don't think I could do it without counseling.
That's why I think I keep sabotaging myself...
I am very new to this forum also. I know for me, activities are just not as fun as they are when I am on a pill or more. Sober, I am in a constant state of anxiety. With a pill I can relax, enjoy, and take head on anything life has to offer. I think after we conquer our addictions, we will need to learn to live all over again. That is a scary thought. It sounds as if you know you are a good person. That is half the battle. Just keep that in mind whenever you make a mistake. You are trying. You will fall down a few times but the day will come when you will finally be done with it. It sounds like you have great parents and with their love and support I truly believe you can do this. Recognize what your triggers are, and try to think through them or avoid them, if possible, all together.
Stay strong and keep talking through your struggles
Our stories collide in an identical way, though I'm now 46 yrs old. I decided to share mine, as by the grace of God I've been able to come out on the "other side".
I too, had depression as a young child. I was isolated, and afraid to interact with anyone outside my family. My parents sacrificed in a huge way to send me to camps, counselors, doctors, ect...and with each passing one, I had more guilt piling on.
Fast forward to college years. I lived at home, and of course partied as hard as I could. I always held a job, since age 13, but at 21 it was taking it's toll. The first of 4 or 5 rehabs/psych. units....where I actually felt like a king...I could relate to everyone, and was the nice guy...plus, lots of woman in rehab, lol.
My parents finally under advise of my older siblings, sold their home. I had 2 months to find my own place. Newly sober, scared to death to be around people period..my family doc. started me own anti anxiety meds...which started me down a long rode of drug abuse....to the point I was placed on ssd for depression/alcohol/drug abuse....
I was actually told by the evaluating doc, that I would never be able to work again...and thus I stayed in my room, as my wife worked. This went on for seven years.
I had a spiritual awakening ---- which gave me the courage to call ss and say I'm going back to work, full time. My point in rehashing all of this is that while I was on disability we depended on my parents for financial support, and this continued even after returning to the work force. I could not have felt more lower . Being 35 and depending on my parents to help support MY family.
Finally, I had drained everything my parents could give. They are older, and had/have many health issues. I started working 3 jobs, and finally found something that I excelled at. I've been promoted several times, and make an income that I never dreamed possible. That was 4 yrs ago.
Please heed my advice, and don't let 20 yrs. pass you by. Even if you have to tell your parents --- thank you, but I need to work this out on my own. They can be there to love and support you, but with boundaries. I promise you, as hard as it can/will be, in the end it will give you the courage and strength to succeed.
I still struggle with the depression --- not any drug/alcohol abuse issues. I know what I could loose, and I pray and put my "game face" on, no matter what. I can get through 10 hrs of work, and make someone elses life better. That is how I do it. I focus all my energy on helping others, period. I have always had a genuine love for people, and I guess through my many years of suffering, desire to help others.
Try to get out of yourself, no matter how sick you are. There is always something you can do for someone else. It can be as simple as a kind word.
Sorry for the book. If I can be of help, please don't hesitate to ask. I'd be glad to talk "off line" anytime.
Hey. I've definitely been known to drink WAYYY too much in my day. Then I got the bright idea to start doing dope (heroin) it made it so I didn't want to drink & in the beginning was much cheaper. Now, 11 years later I'm on this site for heroin dependency. I really hope you can beat this while you're still pretty young. At least it sounds like you're fairly young. I'm 32 going on 22. I feel like I've never moved past that time in my life when I first started having a heroin "problem". I pray you take advantage of your loving family. Not to be too much of a downer but they won't be around forever. Out of a family of 5 I have 1 sister left...at the age of 30. It's been almost 2 years since my absolutely amazing Dad passed & I can tell you, I feel like I lost my REASON to get clean. You want to show the people you love that you can be better than the addict they don't deserve. Don't waste your time away. You never know what's gonna happen. That's my greatest regret is him not seeing me get clean. Nothing good is ever gonna stick for you until you get this squashed. You'll lose good jobs you've put years into,your friends will slowly disappear, and good luck having any kind of real connection with a b/friend? g/friend? (didn't look at your sex). All you are doing is prolonging the inevitable & putting the people who love you through hell. Trust me...I know all too well. I really don't know why I responded to you- I never have before. But I truly wish you the best of...luck? You know what I mean. Now if I can only take my own advice.But really, hang in there. Do whatever you gotta do. And I SOOO understand the sex thing. Like I said I'm 32 & the cl;osest thing I've had to sober sex is rolling over in the morning with a hangover! I hope you make it.You're lucky to have the support you do...don't **** it away till it's too late. Best wishes...me