I am an alcoholic.
It’s pretty hard to type those words. I think I’ve known for awhile now that I was but haven’t wanted to face up to it. Looking around the internet that seems to be a common trend. I would tell myself it was OK because I wasn’t one of those cliche’ alcoholics that you see on “very special episodes” of popular TV shows. Stumbling into work drunk off my second bottle of whiskey still dressed in a vomit covered suit. I wasn’t in a trailer park, beating my wife while the kids watched. Those are the alcoholics you see on TV, or else they’re sad men gathered around in a circle telling each other how much they want a drink but know they can’t. I didn’t see myself like that. I just got a little crazy sometimes.
Well my thinking has changed.
Let me back up a moment and say what I mean when I say alcoholic. To me, an alcoholic is anyone that physically can not stop alcohol from affecting their life negatively. When I apply this definition then I am most certainly an alcoholic. Those of you that know me might know that I quit drinking for 30 days at the end of October through November. So that means I’m not an alcoholic right? I could quit then so it shows I’m not addicted right?
That’s what I told myself. I told myself that I would get angry and lash out at people that loved and cared for me only when I disappeared into that dark place after a certain amount of booze shut down my higher brain functions. I told myself I had solved that problem as if the emotional scars that lead to that place can be cured so easily.
I learned the other night that I did not in fact have control over that part of me. I remember being happy and singing karaoke. The next thing I knew one of my best friends is pushing me and yelling in my face. We were outside now, I was confused and thought he was being an asshole for no reason. We changed locations and confronted each other again. I felt shocked and hurt and so lashed out. Told him to go fuck himself. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget the fear I felt after that. I went to the police in my confusion who were no help, maybe rightly so. I went on facebook later with a lot of wild accusations and scary pronouncements that rightfully worried my friends.
Turns out it was all my fault. I went to that dark place. The lights went out and I have no memory of what I did. I don’t really want to know any more details I’m so ashamed. I’m also not trying to make excuses. There is no excuse for the things I’ve done and allowed myself to do through total lack of control. The only thing that gives me the courage to move forward rather than slide back into the darkness and drink even more is the people around me that have seen this side of me, have been abused by this side of me, and yet still want to remain my friends. I know that can’t be easy. It’s not easy for me having this dark place inside me.
So what’s next? There is really only one choice that I can see at this point. I must give up alcohol completely. Here we are on January 1st of 2012. A rather easy date to mark and keep track of how long I’ve been sober. I wish that I could control my drinking. I know a lot of people think that it’s easy to control. This is something that I don’t think is possible for people to understand unless they are affected by it as well. But that’s why I go back to the definition of alcoholic I stated earlier. Unable to control it from affecting your life negatively. I wish it were possible for me to do that but evidence has proven that I am incapable of doing so.
After my 30 day dry out I was able to slow down my drinking a little. However, I so easily and slowly fell back into my regular drinking habits it was almost like I had never quit in the first place. The entire thirty days I was thinking about how much I’d like to have a drink. But it was easy to hold out because I knew that I would be able to again after my preset goal. Anytime anyone asked me if I would be giving it up for good I was quick to say “Hell NO!” “I can’t wait to start drinking again!”
Then why the fuck did I quit for that time in the first place? Because it was becoming a problem. I need to realize that now and I do. It’s not going to be easy to do here in Japan. The culture is just not set up for it. This is the city where all you can drink specials are usually far cheaper and more common than all you can eat.
That being said, I don’t want to leave. I’ve made a home here and I’m good at what I do. Most importantly are the friends that have shown support and care for me during this last ordeal. Not to say that other friends from back home haven’t been great either but it’s hard to keep up with people you can’t have regular face to face contact with.
I want to apologize to everyone I’ve hurt. I hope you can forgive me. I will need your help most of all in the future.
There can be only one goal for me now as far as remaining sober goes. That is death. Hopefully after many, many happy and healthy years from now but if I want those years to be that way, then this finish line is the only option.
Don’t be afraid to invite me to your drinking parties from now on though. I’ll still go. But actually there might be less reason to worry now. 🙂
Happy New Year 2012