Alcoholism is everywhere in my family. It doesn’t just run in my genes, it gallops. Nevertheless, I was introduced to it at a young age. Having my first sip at 7, getting buzzed at a family reunion at 13.
At 15, my aunt challenged me to chug beer faster than her. She had thought I was pregnant. This was her homemade pregnancy test. At 16 my great grandmother moved in. The worst alcoholic in my family. She always needed to have a gallon of wine and 100 proof brandy on the counter.
With alcohol always available I found myself drinking regularly. I made it part of my schedule before school to have at least a couple glasses of wine. I could handle a few shots and be a functioning drunk.
Eventually, I needed more. I began buying mouthwash and going through two huge bottles a week. I had hiding places all over my house and never went anywhere without it. I also had nonstop diarrhea. None of this stopped me.
One day my mother walked in and demanded to talk to me. She told me if I wanted to stay under her roof I either had to go to rehab or Alcoholics Anonymous. I the latter.
I had a newfound sobriety I did not even really want. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin from panic attacks. I found myself developing horrible depression.
The closest thing I can equate it to is getting your covers snatched from you on a cold morning. Except it lasts three months.
I guess the reason I’m writing this is to let others know that addiction is out there, and it is definitely not a choice. Should I have not started drinking? Of course. But once I did I could not stop. It’s a bad relationship, but you feel like you can never leave.
I am lucky I came from a family of alcoholics. I knew what was going to happen if I didn’t sober up. Others are not so lucky. Please be supportive of what others are going through. Addicts do not deserve to die because of a bad choice.