Posted with permission from an email sent to Sober Courage by Robert
You can read PART 1 HERE.
I continued down this path until my senior year of college at the citadel. My junior year and that summer were especially bad, drinking so much during the week. I drank at my job all summer long where I worked at a camp with kids, which if anyone had known I would have been fired for it. I loved working with these kids too but my disease made it where I was risking my great job which I loved doing for alcohol. That summer I would get a hotel room by myself buy a shit ton of beer and go drink it by myself until I found friends at work who would go to a bar with me.
I had my friends telling me that I had a problem. I just was in denial. I didn’t accept it. Until my senior year of college. I was drinking more than anyone knew even my friends I would hide it from. There were months I went through during my college career where I got drunk every day. Drinking liquor or at least 12 beers a day. And until now even after I have been sober for over a year I never realized I was doing it because I was depressed. My senior year of college at the Citadel I got sober.
I did not decide to go see a counselor at the citadel to help me to be sober. I wouldn’t accept that I had an addiction to alcohol. But I knew when I was drinking I was depressed and my life was going to shit due to drinking and cocaine. My best friend convinced me to go see a counselor at school because he had seen him before. So I finally did. I can confidently say that councilor changed my life. He helped me make the decision to quit drinking and using drugs and it was the best decision I have ever made. I have relapsed since then and I have twice. Since September 2016 and it is now late October 2017. Every relapse I have had has made me certain I made the right choice. I relapsed and took a bunch of Benadryl in February 2017 and that was the worse relapse and feeling ever.
But I picked myself back up got my shit together and moved on. I also relapsed this month. Drank like a fucking fiend for about 5 days straight and finally got it together again. But after every relapse, I have become way stronger than before. I recognize what pushed me over the edge and how to cope with that in the future. Being sober is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I did it. I made the decision to quit. And I have done it.
Getting sober has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Not only was it physically painful at the beginning but it is a mental challenge every day and every second of my life. I wake up in the morning and think about drinking. That’s what I think about while I am teaching my students while working at the high school. But I push through every day because I know being sober is better for me.
Being sober won’t fix your life’s problems. But it will give you the ability to face them and tackle them. I can face and solve my issues because I am sober. I can face and deal with my emotions because I am sober. Being sober isn’t easy. But it is natural and it is right. Relapsing last week made me realize how awful my alcohol-infused life was. I couldn’t even go to work one day because I was slammed. I was embarrassed. But I have regrouped and am moving on one day at a time.
To everyone out there trying to get sober or stay sober. I wish the best for all of you. Make sure you have a strong support system. Something to do to keep your mind off the cravings. If you get stressed out that you have something to relieve that stress. You must find ways to cope. This is not my complete story. But it is a large majority of it. Alcohol consumed me, my life and who I was. It dictated my actions and emotions. Don’t live your life like that.
IF YOU WANT TO BE SOBER YOU CAN DO IT!
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)*, please check out the Sober Courage menu at the top of this page for an extensive list of support groups and recovery related articles.
*Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using (Ref: NIAAA).