I took my first drink on a late evening in May, 2002. I was 17 years old. “Don’t think so much about how it’s going to taste, but think about how good it will make you feel,” was the instruction I was given while walking along a set of abandoned train tracks, my cargo shorts stuffed with beer cans.
As of the day this is published, I took my last drink on October 9, 2011. I was 26 years old. I didn’t care what it tasted like, I just knew that it would help me not feel the way I was constantly feeling.
I am an alcoholic. I am also a drug addict. God has blessed me with the opportunity to know Him in a truly personal way through my recovery from alcoholism and addiction, a relationship that I’m not sure I would have if it wasn’t for the dark hole that drugs and alcohol sucked me into and the suffering I put myself through as a result.
I drank or used drugs every day, and my life, in every way possible, was falling apart. As the pieces have come together, God has revealed Himself to me in some very blatant and very subtle ways. He had not given up on me like I had.
I can’t tell you how it all happened because it still remains a miracle that I don’t understand, but I can scratch the surface on telling you what my life was like, what happened, and what it is like now.
HERE IS MY STORY:
Not long after my first drink I began to find that alcohol (and later, drugs) could do for me what I could not do for myself. It offered me courage, apparent charm, and most importantly, a retreat from my worries and problems. Although I had a thriving social life, I was isolated in all of my fears and angst. Thus, when I found a solution to these helpless feelings I wanted nothing more but to return to the promised relief of these substances.
At the same time, I began to find that I was compromising the things that were once important to me. My close friends were seeing less of me as I spent time with those who preferred a more carefree lifestyle. Relationships with my parents and siblings began to slide as I withdrew from my family and those closest to me, oftentimes lying to them and deceiving them about what was really going on. These tools of manipulation were ones that I used even before I became an alcoholic as a means to evade short-term consequences, but became more prominent and damaging as I began protecting my poor choices.
While I did not grow up with a devout sense of religious obligation, I did have a moral compass that I credit as a gift from God and very loving parents. However, the code that I did my best to live by started deteriorating as I built a muffler to the Voice that was convicting me of doing wrong. Integrity was something of the past, and my selfish and self-centered behavior started affecting more than just myself.
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