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Shane's Alcoholism Story: I Think I Could Be an Alcoholic or en Route

by Shane
(Dublin, Ireland)

I am 21 years old, and I have been abusing alcohol from the age of 14/15. I come from a broken home. My dad was an alcoholic and a drug addict. He walked out on me, my Mam and my two year old brother when I was 4years old.

The separation had a huge impact on me as I grew older, I had to go to a lot of counselling over the years because of it - and having to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts.

So no wonder my teen years would be harder then your average teen I think. I started drinking with a friend I had met in school when I was 14. I got on well with him because we were into the same music metal and + rock n roll.

His dad died from cancer and that messed my friend up a lot but that was 4 years before I met him. He’s one of my best friends still to this day. He is a year younger than me and he was already drinking hard (usually whiskey).

I started drinking with him not from peer pressure just because I wanted to. I continued drinking on weekends but the majority of my friends hadn’t started drinking then. I would get drunk regardless.

I loved the way alcohol tasted, how I felt, and I loved the feeling of just being drunk. I realized that when I got drunk I forgot about bad feelings my depression would back off. So I drank more to get drunk and used it as an escape.

As a teenager I got a bit of pocket money because I was too young to work. So I would not eat the day I planned to drink because my tolerance for alcohol was beginning to rise and I needed more alcohol which I couldn’t afford and alcohol hits you harder and faster on an empty stomach which I was happy to learn.

I continued to abuse alcohol as school life and family life got harder. I got bullied a lot as well. I never stood up for myself because I didn’t have any confidence and in majority of my classes I had no friends.

All of my friends were in classes together which I found hard. I became suicidal and started cutting myself with various objects because I couldn’t drink during the week. I found cutting myself a painful but good escape. Luckily I stopped because after I while when I got caught.
I thankfully have no scars from cutting myself but I have a shape of a cross on my right arm from cigarettes I used to put out on myself.

I had my first proper relationship with a girl I fancied for ages and we went out for 9months. During this time I was at my peak of hell with myself. We began fighting when she found out I was putting her second to alcohol. That made me feel worse so I drank more. Then she dumped me when shit hit the fan with my depression and mood swings. I thought things couldn’t get worse.

I was seeing the school counsellor a lot during this time and if I ever skipped a session with her they would come looking for me to arrange another session.

When all of this was going on my Mam hadn’t a clue and I was really happy it stayed that way because it would have broken her heart! When I was at home I would be playing my bass upstairs or I would be asleep on the couch with the TV on.

When I eventually finished school I was thrilled! But I did really badly in my exams and didn’t get into college. Even though I was out of school and life was better and I got into a course I really wanted to do - my drinking got worse.

I think it was around that time when people were starting to comment on my drinking because I would not be the same drunk being happy and the life of the party to being depressed.

I decided to take a break from drinking to see if I could get my head together which turned into a 3 month detox which was really hard and tough. I eventually crumbled and went back on alcohol really hard. I hadn’t stopped drinking since then. Drinking has ruined some friendships with people I once knew because they couldn’t watch me destroy myself any longer.

At the moment I still drink hard with friends usually twice a week. People are still saying just cut down. I don’t get depressed from drinking on the night out but I get very depressed the next day. I'm getting worried about my own well-being mentally and physically.

I have seen what alcohol has done to my family first hand and I don’t want that to happen to me. I'm moving to London in September by myself for three years for college to learn how to build guitars and I cant wait!

After my last binge session I drank a bottle of vodka and had 9 cans of Bavaria (Irish beer cans are full pints not little American girl cans). My friends have never seen anyone that drunk before in their life and they said they were surprised I didn’t end up in hospital to have my stomach pumped.

I have no memory of that night at all. That made me think that wow maybe I could be an alcoholic or end up being an alcoholic. I am now considering getting help as in AA but I don't want to give up alcohol so early in my life.

Comments for Shane's Alcoholism Story: I Think I Could Be an Alcoholic or en Route

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Jul 18, 2010
go for smoking instead of drinking
by: Arun

my suggestionis that to overcome this

you must stop drinking

go for smoking. it is bad I know, but it is better than driking

Aug 07, 2009
Alcohol is over-rated
by: Melissa

Hi Shane

You've got your whole life ahead of you. Don't let alcohol prevent you from being everything you can be. For the brief periods of pleasure it gives you, is the pain and depression after worth it?

Do everything you can to beat your alcohol addiction now. You don't need alcohol to have a good time so don't feel like you'll be missing out.

Once you give up the booze, the mist will begin to clear and you'll begin to see life and its potential in a whole, new light.

Believe in yourself and don't worry what others say or think. Don't be afraid to be different. Life is short, make the most of it.

Jul 23, 2009
Sounds Like You Are

Hi Shane

It certainly seems like you are an alcoholic. I can relate to your story. I went through similar things when I was about your age. Take the alcoholism test - which you'll see on the navbar to your left - and that will give you a pretty definitive idea. But I don't think there is much doubt.

I know because you're young part of you feels like you'll be missing out on no longer drinking and so the idea of no longer being able to drink scares you. But are you really? Think of the depression and how shit you feel after. The few hours of pleasure drinking might give while being out with the lads vs. how terrible and depressed you feel for days after? Is is really worth it?

It won't be easy - but I promise you if you can quit drinking and work on yourself - emotionally, spiritually and physically - you'll feel like a new person and going back to a life of drinking will be the last thing you'll want.

Going to AA is an excellent place to start. A proper addiction treatment program would also be ideal if you can get yourself into one.

Commit yourself to becoming the best possible person you can be - and I'm sure if you're honest you'll know that you can't do that with alcohol. Use that to drive you. And in time your life will be unrecognisable from what it is today.

Good Luck and Take Care

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