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Prospective Success Overcoming Alcohol

I am currently 21 years old. My father was an alcoholic and a drug addict, and my grandfather's alcoholism eventually led to his premature death due to liver problems - both of them abused their wives.

Two years ago, although I knew that alcoholism was in my blood, curiosity overcame me. I was studying abroad in South Korea, where the drinking age was 19. I decided to try some alcohol to see what it was like to get drunk. I had drinks before, but only small sips from relatives' drinks.

So, I drank a 250mL bottle of wine - the effects were negligible. When I came back, my fiancé and I decided to drink together for the first time, so we bought a bottle of Vodka (yuck!). With some of our friends' help, we finished the whole thing. That night, I dry heaved for hours, passing out in the trash can. It wasn't so much the amount of alcohol I had as it was the time span in which I drank it.

My fiancé, who has now become my wife, is a wonderful student who makes straight A's and works part-time. I lost my vehicle at 17 in a car accident in which my mother died. Since then, I have lived essentially on my own and have not been able to afford a vehicle.

I didn't need a job because, well, my academics were good enough to land me scholarships. Anyway, the circumstances led to me being home alone a lot. I am typically a very productive person, but living in an apartment complex does not give me any room to do things outside (which is where all of my hobbies are).

Alcohol was there for me. I started drinking heavily about a year ago. Well, I wouldn't drink often, but I got drunk when I did. My weekend parties with friends would leave bottles of whiskey half-empty around the house, so I would finish them throughout the week. Sometimes, I would go buy the same liquor and drink half the bottle before my friends would come over again so they would think I hadn't touched it. I have refilled bottles of tequila with water so that people would think the same.

The point of this story is that I reached the point I knew ruined my father and my grandfather's lives. I realized this on a deep level about 11 days ago when I bought two 750mL bottles of whiskey and stayed fall-down drunk for 3 days.

I woke up on the third day having missed a visit to my grandparents' house and a concert with my wife. Not only that, but I had light tremors for the first time. What got me was not the tremors, but an inability to think straight. I have had panic attacks, too, since I was young along with bipolar disorder.

I KNOW all of the ingredients for devastation are there. I KNOW that alcohol has begun to affect my personal and social life. I have shown up to class either drunk or hungover enough to know that it has begun to affect my academic life.

I am ready to admit that alcohol is not for me. I have been sober for the longest stretch in months - 11 days. I would always give myself 2 or 3 days to recover from drinking, so I only experienced minor withdrawal during the first 3 days after my last binge, and I never had the cravings.

I drank because I was bored, and I just couldn't limit my drinking once I started. Solution? Don't start. I told a close friend of mine this - as well as my wife - and, although I told them both not to stop on my account, my friend has decided to abstain with me (he does not have a problem like I do) and my wife doesn't drink enough to warrant abstinence anyway.

I am lucky to have realized the path I was headed down at this stage when my body is healthy enough to recover quickly and my relationships are strong enough to endure.

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