Updated: Feb 9, 2020
I’ve struggled with an addictive temperament my entire life. As a child, my temper was energetic and creative. I had many imaginary friends. A significant amount of energy to play with them all. In my teens, my energy manifested into being a rebel without a cause. I was a wild girl. I pushed all social norms until they busted. In my early twenties, my energy became obsessive. I was obsessed with perfection, and that obsession allowed me to succeed reasonably quickly.
My obsession for perfection also allowed for anxiety, a massive amount of anxiety. As I grew older, my anxiety became destructive. Primarily because I had ill-adapted behaviors when coping with anxiety. My actions could no longer be dismissed as youthful. The older I got, the more outrageous my behavior appeared to be, and the more consequences followed.
In my early thirties, my anxiety came to ahead, and I experienced my first episode with manic depression. I got very sick with fear and was diagnosed with bipolar depression. I was glued to my parent’s couch for three months. I barely moved or showered. I went in and out of suicidal thinking. Eventually, with the help of antipsychotics and Lithium, I did get better.
As I began to recover, from this episode, my anxiety unleashed. I threw myself into three things: 1) Work 2) Exercise 3) Alcohol, in efforts to cope.
With time, alcohol became my priority, second to work, and exercise. I do not think this happens to most people - especially to a smart, reasonable, and responsible (all things I continue to be) person. Many of my friends have dealt with similar life adversities and did not turn to alcohol to cope. Even I did not realize I used alcohol to cope with life until I got sober, which is why I believe I become an alcoholic only after I stopped drinking.
Only when I was able to see the devastating impact alcohol had on my life did I consider myself to be an alcoholic. Alcohol became a problem when I realized it had become a problem and struggled to stop. Up until October 20, 2018, when I thought (for the first time) “oh shit, I am going to die if I keep drinking,” did alcohol stop being fun.
When my body began to shut down, I made alcohol my problem. It turned out, I did not want to die. When pushed to the edge of the cliff, I did not want to jump. So I got sober.
It has not been a perfect path since then. I’ve had a few splits. However, what is different is that I know, without a doubt, that if I drink, it will be an alcoholic woman drinking. It’s not just me having fun; it’s alcoholic me drinking to cope. Gross! The last thing I want to become is an older woman with an addictive temper who drinks alcohol. That sounds fucking boring.