My Substance Abuse — also known as My Escape

My substance abuse and my escape are one in the same. I know that now. I used to not want to quit drinking; I liked the escape it provided. I liked the way the alcohol could relax all of my muscles. I told myself I could stop drinking if I really wanted; I could stop all on my own. Then, I tried to stop. I promised myself I would stop, and I broke that promise to myself. Then, I promised my family I would stop drinking. I was more disappointed when I broke that promise. (Could I have a substance abuse problem? No way, not me!) After breaking promise after promise, I realized it was not going to be as easy as I’d fooled myself into thinking. Alcohol suddenly seemed like dependence and not an escape. I was letting my family down, and I was letting myself down. My daughter caught me reloading the fridge with my beverages and asked me, “Daddy, didn’t you promise to Mommy that you would stop drinking?” It was right then, right there, that I realized I needed help for my substance abuse problem. I also realized, finally, that my children knew what was going on too. It has been said that “it’s all about perspective.” Well, my children’s perspective is most important in this situation.

Every time they see me with a drink in my hand, the idea of drinking will become commonplace for them. I grew up watching my father finish a six-pack every night before bed. Of course, I always knew that I did not want to become my father. What I did not know was that I already was my father, and I had a substance abuse problem. Sometimes, we just need someone to show us something we can’t see for ourselves, and then we can keep our promises forever. I will break this cycle. It is not an excuse for relaxation; it is an addiction. I will ask for help; I will recognize that my escape is synonymous with my substance abuse.

Jesse R.
High Point, NC