It took my personhood (yes, that's a word) and my soul.
It stole the essence of my being - who I am as a human and spiritual being.
It left me an empty shell of addiction and misery.
Sobriety and recovery have retrieved and returned to me these very God-given gifts that alcohol took from me many years ago.
I'm not willing to give them back.
I know who I am today. I think that there are a good many people who love and respect me and, amazingly, seek my advice (sometimes on things other than alcoholism I might add).
I feel pretty good about who I am today, although I know there is still plenty of work that I need to do to get to where I want to be as a person.
I know no shame and I accept no shame if someone slings any of it my way.
My parents died 6 or 7 years ago, so that really doesn't occur today.
I grew up in an alcoholic, shaming environment.
As I grew to be a young adult, I didn't know who I was and I had terribly low self-esteem, but drinking alcohol seemed to make me feel much better about myself.
So I constructed this fabricated image of myself as a happy, go-lucky kind of guy who was always quick with a joke and a beer, but not much more.
When I would awake in the morning and realize what kind of disaster I had let my life become, I would, of course, again be filled with shame and low self-esteem.
But then the alcohol and drugs would come out and I would, once again, be at peace.
This happened for ~10 or so years until they stopped working.
But I kept drinking for 3 or so years beyond the time that alcohol quit working.
I was addicted and I kept hoping to get back the feeling alcohol previously gave me - all to no avail, of course.
All I was left with was a completely addicted drunk who was empty inside.
I don't want the misery and emptiness refunded, so I continue to ask for help and not drink.