Sitting here and reflecting on my own situation, I recall a Simpsons episode where Homer proposes a toast saying, “To alcohol: The cause of and solution to all of life’s little problems.” This ironic joke that was true for me and countless others who wound up needing alcohol rehab is that alcohol wasn’t the solution to life’s little problems.
Alcoholism has always run in my family; alcohol rehab has not. I am the first to have actually gone to and been successfully treated at an alcohol rehab. My mom and dad were mutually supportive alcoholics, so there were not too many bad feelings towards the disease in my home. Strangely enough, the desire to drink never hit me at an early age. I couldn’t even stand the taste of alcohol. Only after my 21st birthday, did my girlfriends begin to drag me out to bars frequently. I felt those dormant alcoholic urges I thought I had control of creep into my mind almost overnight.
I’ll be honest I wasn’t initially hiding from anything in particular, or self-medicating to deal with emotional pain. I still even hated the taste, but I loved the feeling it gave me. One of the few drinks I could stomach was Gatorade and gin, which in a matter of weeks became my coffee substitute in the morning and throughout the day. Not only was the disease genetic in my family, but I was totally new to the buzz alcohol gave me and quite enthusiastic about it. I began conjuring up any excuse I could that required me to get out to the bar again or to stop by the liquor store. Within 1 year of my newfound drinking habit, I had become a hollowed out shell of the person I used to be. It took over every aspect of my life along with replacing all of the former activities I had going for me. Relationships, my career, and everything else went down the drain, and I was following even more gravely in my parents’ footsteps.
It’s amazing how blind an addicted person is to the degree of their sickness. So many need help to realize it, but one day for no particular reason, I took a deep introspective look at myself and what I had so recently become. Then, I looked at my parents in their infirm and alcohol dependent state and realized that their situation is the best I can hope to expect from my current lifestyle. This consciousness washed over me in an awesome wave, and even though I was drunk when it occurred, I knew it might be my only chance to call for help right then and there.