C-P's Drug Addiction and Alcoholism Story
You may have read about my drug and alcoholism addiction story already on the 'About Page', but in case you haven't, and in the spirit of sharing and wanting to create a community where others share - I'd like to do so again.
My early childhood years were pretty traumatic. My father was away a lot because of his job and my mother had the responsibility of bringing up me and my sisters by herself basically.
And alcohol was her comfort - I don't know if it was the stress of having to take care of us kids alone, not having the companionship of my father around or what other possible factors were involved. Alcoholism also extended through her family - so I guess the genetic influence must have played a role with her to.
My memory of everything then, with it being almost 30 years ago, is obviously sketchy. But I do remember that when my father did come home for weekends, that often there would be massive fights, and that there was usually a tangible tension at home. I would often lie with my older sister in her room, while we could hear the screaming between my parents in the kitchen.
Another abiding image for me during my younger years is the look I saw on my Mom's face when she'd had even one drink - I could recognise it immediately and my heart would sink - because I knew what lay in store.
Anyway, this isn't about my Mom or my Father - other than to just help give you an insight into how things were and I guess the circumstances that would later play a role in my own path years later.
And I must add that I absolutely adored my Mom - she could give so much love and affection, except of course when she'd been drinking. I guess that's what made it hurt even more.
Having witnessed all this of course, I vowed I'd never let myself get like that (famous last words) - but as I grew into my teenage years things would change.
When I started school, thankfully my mother managed to stop drinking. She went to AA meetings regularly and for my 12 years at school, things were as normal as they would ever get for our family.
Growing into my teenage years were probably the worst years of my life - bad skin, no confidence, painfully shy - I just hated everything about myself. My only saviour was sport - I lived for my sport and luckily I was pretty decent - so I had a sense of belonging somewhere at least, otherwise I might have felt like a real outcast and misfit.
So, like for most teenagers, alcohol soon became a central part of all my social activities. Binge drinking and getting drunk with friends/at parties was the norm most weekends from the age of 16 onwards. And for me - alcohol helped me escape my feelings of inadequacy and also helped me communicate with girls, something I usually really struggled with.
This of course all seemed pretty normal - because I was just doing what almost everyone else was. Then of course we soon started experimenting with marijuana and by the time I was 18, getting drunk and stoned regularly were part of my life.
Then first year out of school, me and my best friends took a gap year and decided to go to the UK and travel through Europe. As 18/19 year olds, we were mostly living with people a lot older than us, and who were a lot more experienced than us. And this is where my love for harder drugs began ...
Soon we were introduced to ecstasy and LSD - and the first night I tried them both together - I absolutely loved the feeling. I thought I had found the elixir of life. I was in love.
And from that point on - for the next 7 years or so - I became obsessed with re-creating that feeling and getting high. Of course I never achieved that same feeling again - but getting high gave me something, maybe a comfort or confidence or sense of belonging, I never experienced being sober.
Of course this meant I went on to experiment in varying degrees with all sorts of other drugs - from cocaine, to heroin, to speed, to crack.
The difference between me and my friends was that they knew when to stop, could give using a break without thinking about it - but once I started, I never wanted to stop and when I did, I would immediately think about the next time.
(Side Note: That's why I mentioned my mother at the beginning of the story, addiction is hereditary, and I guess the genetic influence, coupled with my own insecurities, is what pushed me over the edge, whereas my friends walked away pretty much unscathed.)
And soon I entered a deep,dark pit of depression, anxiety, paranoia and fear that would stay with me for many years. At one point I honestly felt ready to die, didn't see the point in living, but didn't have the guts to take my own life.
By about the age of 25, after trying to use all my will power and every self-help method I knew about at that point to help myself feel better and stop taking drugs and alcohol, I went to Rehab.
That's where it all began to change for me. I didn't feel like such an outcast anymore - there were people there just like me going through stuff like I was. And there I vowed that I would do whatever it takes to never go back to the nightmare my life was.
And it's going on 8 years now. Sure, it hasn't all been plain sailing. Life can be a real pain in the ass. But it's still way better than anything from my drinking and using days.
If there is one thing I want you to take away from my story - and this whole website for that matter - is simply to have hope. Never give up on that. Life can change for you, as it did me. Sure - there may be some hard work involved - but I promise you that it's more than worth it.