Sunday, September 26, 2010

The beginning...

Today is day number two. I got my 24 hour chip yesterday at my first AA meeting. 

I'm finding it so hard to understand how I got here... I come from a LONG line of alcoholics (although none of them admits to it... we're Irish its what we do) and growing up watching 'alcoholism in action' since I was young I've always said "That will NEVER be me." Well... here I am, at 26 years of age, with a drinking problem. 

I'm not just a drinker. I'm the best kind of drinker, what I like to call a 'fully functioning alcoholic.' The guy who gets all out shit-faced 7 days a week, wakes up the next day for work, and does it all over again.  Ever meet that person at the bar that can drink and drink and drink, and rarely shows any sign of being intoxicated? I'm that guy. Sure, I know what your thinking... everyone says that. I my friends have proven the statement. Night after night, year after year, I've driven home so drunk I have to close one eye - breathe in through my nose, out through my mouth - praying I'm on the right track. I've been pulled over so many times while drunk I can't even count them, never once getting a DUI. I have the uncanny ability to make myself seem sober, that combined with my ability to pretty much 'talk my way in and out of almost any situation' has worked every time - to the point where I'm no longer afraid to get pulled over. I feel invincible. 

The best kind of drinker... thats the way I've always thought of myself. I'm the guy everybody wants to be around at a bar, the one who buys insane shots for EVERYONE, and never slows down. I'm the life of the party, and nobody parties like I do. 

There is no such thing as 'just 1 drink' with me. I go out all the time with the intention of 'just 1 drink' which quickly turns into 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 - until the bar closes. I always just need 1 more drink, then I'll stop. 

If someone asked me a week ago if I was an alcoholic I would have laughed my ass off. I'm not one of those people, my favorite line "I'm not an alcoholic. The only meetings I go to are at bars." 

NOTHING could stop me from drinking... NOBODY EVER STANDS IN MY WAY!

The last year I've taken it to a whole new level. I started leaving work to drink, not even going into the office some days. Getting drunk before work, during. 

I find myself craving a drink all day, every day. I recently went on a bender where I did nothing but drink and sleep. I'd wake up, drink, go to the bar - drink, come home - drink, go to bed, and do it all over again when I woke up at 2PM the next day. 

My most amazing 'ability' - nobody has ANY idea I have a problem. I'm just that bar regular, the 'Norm' of my 'Cheers'. All my friends think I'm just really good at handling my liquor. One of my closest friends called me a hypochondriac when I told her I went to an AA meeting. I've hidden my problem so well from so many people that mostly everyone finds it unbelievable that I have a problem. Hearing the stories at my first meeting last night I doubted it myself. It took me leaving the meeting having received my chip, and heading directly to the bar for a beer that made it seem believable to me.

I'm still not even sure if I 'need help' even after all my realizations. I know I need to stop, and my heart is telling me its time to quit. My mind just keeps playing tricks. I'm questioning my will power. I KNOW I need to stop, I need to get help. If it weren't for my best friend (who's the only person who knows me well enough to see it) I wouldn't have even gone to a meeting. I walked in to make her happy, fuck it... I'll go to a meeting. I don't need help, but I'll go so I can prove to her I'm not an alcoholic, fuck it! 

Something funny happened at that meeting... I got my 24 hour chip and almost cried. The feeling of knowing an entire room of people had all been at that exact same place, at the exact same moment touched something inside me. It set off a spark somewhere. Today at my second meeting, after hearing the story of today's speaker, It made me realize I'm not the only one. I'm not alone. 

I'm an alcoholic...

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