Jake's Story: Alcoholic or Drug Addict? I don't really know ...
Am I an alcoholic? Possibly. Am I a drug addict? Probably. All I know is that my life is a mess right now and if I don't get myself together I'm probably going to lose everything ...
I've always been a binge drinker. It started at school where I wanted to fit in and be a part of the boys. There'd always be parties and girls and who could get the most wasted.
And that kind of pretty much continued through College. Luckily I did okay and once I finished College managed to get a pretty good job and got promoted pretty quickly because I worked hard.
Now my drinking didn't revolve around frat parties anymore, but corporate functions and socialising with colleagues after a hard day at the office. So there was pretty much an opportunity to drink Monday to Friday and on the few nights I didn't have anything on, I would still go home and have a few beers just to help me unwind.
Then there was the weekends - always something on - and of course drinking was a natural part of that. I never thought of myself as an alcoholic though because even though I knew I probably drank more than I should, I still did what I needed to, paid my bills and all that.
Through all of this I met my wife and a coupla years ago we had our son. So that meant I wasn't out after work most nights anymore, but the beers or whiskies at home still continued - how else was I going to relax after a stressful day at the office?
My wife even started commenting on how much I drink, even though I don't get like some people do when they've had too much, aggressive or loud or obnoxious. I usually just end up falling asleep.
Last year at a party someone offered me coke and because I'd had too much to drink I guess, I figured, 'why not?' I just loved the buzz it game me. I suddenly felt alive and super confident. My wife noticed something because she said I was acting weird, but there was no way I was gonna tell her. She would've killed me.
Not long after, things were really stressful at work and I wanted something to give me a lift. So I bought some coke, but promised myself I'd only take a little bit and stop as soon as I got over the rough patch at work.
That was almost a year ago. I'm doing at least a gram of coke a day now and it feels like my life is starting to fall apart. I get real bad mood swings and I'm starting to act all erratic. People are commenting about my behaviour at work and asking me what's wrong. I don't think anyone knows it's because I'm high.
My wife also suspects something serious is wrong. We fight a lot now because of my moods and strange behaviour and she's come out straight and asked me if I'm using drugs, which I denied totally.
Luckily because of my income, I haven't got us into any financial trouble (yet) and have been able to hide how much I spend on the stuff. I know I need to do something because it feels like things are starting to spiral out of control - I'm just not sure what?
I'm scared if I tell my employer they'll fire me - and then I'll be really screwed. I've got a mortgage to pay and family to support. Plus what if my wife leaves me because of all the lies and deceit?
I know I need to do something but I just feel trapped. I can't go on like this, but at the same time I'm scared I'll lose everything if I come out with the truth.