My Story- Brian316

Old 11-19-2014, 07:26 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Indiana
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My Story- Brian316

Hello, my name is Wade and I'm an alcoholic. I use screen names mainly because this is the internet and I have a history of relapse. I was embarrassed to come back here after a few of them, so I have changed names a couple times. Didn't want people I didn't know to tell me some truths about myself. Anyway, my sobriety date is October 24, 2013 about 13 months before today and I always looked forward to getting my year in so I could post here so here we go. What it was like, what happened and what it's like today.
I took my first drink of alcohol when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. I remember it was some cold beer my mom and a boyfriend had. I don't remember what kind, but what I never forget is this feeling it sent through my entire body. From my head to my toes, the simultaneous taste in the back of my throat and this weird tingle/shiver thing it sent through my whole body. I reacted physically, I remember them laughing. It must have looked like I has was having some type of brief convulsion or burst of energy of some type. I don't remember if I liked it or not, but I know I did not dislike it because obviously I did it more than once.
I had kind of a unique childhood. I wouldn't say it was bad or traumatic or anything but I was always the kid on the outside. I always felt apart from. I had eye surgery when I was 3 that required me to wear an eyepatch off and on through first or second grade. I remember hating that. Kids used to make fun of me for that alot. I had glasses on top of it, that didn't help. I never really knew my real father. The last time I saw him my mom took me away from him because he was drunk on a visit at 11am. You see, I never really fit it into any group of any type. I wasn't smart enough to be a nerd, strong, but not skilled enough to be a jock, and I guess I just never really had alot of interest in doing what everyone else was doing. I was, most of the time perfectly content to be by myself. I guess there's nothing wrong with that, except that that kind of thinking made me ridiculously selfish in many ways.
It wasn't until recently, in the last couple of years I've learned in reading and meeting other alcoholics and addicts and hearing their stories, that many of the characteristics, thought patterns and experiences I had growing up can be trademarks to the mental make-up of an alcoholic. Yes, I believe now that I was one before I took a drink.
Drinking became more of a fun thing for me in my early teens. My step-father had a liquor cabinet my friends and I would raid. We would also steal some beers from the fridge. I remember arranging the cans in a case so people couldn't tell I had taken any. It was probably between ages 12 and 15 I discovered that yes, I did like to drink. It wasn't just cool as an act of a rebellion I liked the way it made me feel. Took my problems away and I was "cool" all the sudden. I was everything I always thought I could be.
I think even then, close friends started to recognize that I was probably an alcoholic. It was the personality change I think. I was told it was pretty visible. When I was 18 I began smoking pot every day. Drinking was still a thing for me, but i could take it or leave it. I loved being stoned though. That went on for a couple of years. However, when I turned 21, that's when my drinking life was really born.
When I turned 21 it's like the numbers on my driver's license became a key to the city! I seriously made it my mission to try every beer in the liquor store. I think instantaneously I was drinking every day. Some days more than others, but every day. The marijuana then became secondary. I could take or leave that, but that booze. It had a hold on me like nothing else and it was cunning, baffling and powerful all over me at the time and I didn't realize it. I loved the taste, loved how it made me feel and I loved where it put me. Every place and everyone was alright as long as I had that drink in my hand.
I got my first OWI when I was 22. Flipped my station wagon in a farmer's front yard. Could have died, thank God for safety belts and being my passenger that night. I still remember hanging upside down and coming to with this guy shining his flashlight in at me.
After the OWI I got put on probation and sent to an IOP. So I couldn't smoke pot anymore. But back then they didn't have ETG testing, so I could still drink. And that I did. My alcoholism continued to progress and at the same time the wall of denial grew higher. Oh I'm not an alcoholic I said! I might have had a little problem in the past, but no way am I like those pathetic people in AA or living at the treatment center. To think of the heartache, years, time, money, hurt feelings and hurt people I could have spared if I would have stopped then.
But I didn't. I got off probation and went right back to what I was doing. Lived alone, drank every day. This went on for another 9 years until I got my second OWI. Wanted to have "one more night" before my daughter was born and got pulled over right in front of the strip club I was driving to.
I knew then that I had a problem. Matter of fact, I think for years I knew I had a problem. I mean you can only have everyone you know telling you you are an alcoholic before you start to examine your behavior a little. Doesn't mean you change it necessarily! It was around this time, I really lost control although I had been slipping for a couple of years prior. Drinking earlier, neglecting bills, more risky behaviors, etc. But I told myself I had to be a dad. Couldn't do this with a kid around! Well so we will find out if I am an alcoholic, I could be a dad and a drinker! Sure, I was just going to moderate! That was around 2010. That was when I first started coming here. I thought I was doing good cause I wouldn't drink for 3 or 4 days, but boy when I got to the bar. It was a blackout. Almost every single time. I would actually call the bar the next day to make sure I wrote them a check so I could come back! I loved that baby girl, but it was like I would walk out the door and she was in the back of my mind while the booze was right up front.
One day I decided to hell with work I "couldn't take it anymore". Walked out at 9 am and started drinking. Drank and drove all day. Filled out job applications and took out payday loans while I drank beer and drove around the backroads. Eventually I drove into a cornfield and got my 3rd OWI along with a few months in a county jail. While I was in jail I believed I found God. I came out with a vow not to drink anymore. That lasted a couple of weeks until I was in a friend's car with some beer he'd bought. I was back on the sauce but something was different. I began attending AA meetings and some of the stuff I was hearing in there really resonated with me. As did some of the people I met.
Unfortunately, just hearing the message and shaking hands while staying dry for 80 hours did not keep me sober long term. I began sneaking drinks. Running to the bar while my family slept. Hiding beer in my garage and in my basement. That's what I'd become. I remember the glory days. Drinking was fun for me at one time! But those were long gone by then. I had become an empty shell. And a thief, a cheat and a liar at that. I eventually got my 4th OWI after being T-Boned by a semi in a blackout. I had fought with my wife (also while in a blackout) and decided to run. I stayed out of my house for 2 days and was on my way back when the accident happened. I was hospitalized for a week. Had to have neck surgery. I could have died. I could have been paralyzed. It's by God's grace I'm here to type this out for you today. I'll probably always remember coming to in the hospital bed and the orderly telling me I had one of the highest BAC's they had ever seen come through there.
Well, I got out of the hospital after a week and I always remember looking in the mirror and not recognizing the person I saw. A shell, someone who looked like they'd been ravaged by evil.
About 2 weeks after I got out, I found I still had some beer in my basement. I was just gonna have those beers. One last drunk. And that would be it! I was done, I would do whatever was necessary to never drink again......after I had those last beers. Yeah, that didn't work. I was back off to the races once more. Except, I was so paranoid and racked with guilt. Didn't know when the cops were gonna come. But I decided if they did, I was gonna be drunk and that's how they could take me away and lock me up, as a drunk because that's all I was and that's all I thought I was ever going to be.
Well, this went on for a little over 5 months. I couldn't get a job, the cops never came, and I hated my life. And I hated myself really. Scratch that I think I loathed myself alot at that time. That was probably the worst time in my life. The darkest time.
I fought with my wife alot and one day while she was gone just decided to split. Not sure where I was going, but off to drink myself to death didn't sound like a bad idea. I spent a couple of days in these crumby hotels and drank myself out of money. Many of you know the rest of the story, for those that don't I ended up in the hospital for withdrawl (not the first time) and from there I dragged myself back to AA. Found a guy to be my sponsor and from there started living this new life I've been granted.
For me, I literally had to change everything. My divorce is on the courts, I lost my house, I see my daughter twice a month, but I'm happy today. I'm alive, I'm sober, I'm a grateful member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I really had to change alot of my habbits, but it hasn't been that hard. I read something on Facebook I liked the other day, that true change isn't necessarily the letting go of your bad habbits, it's practicing the new good ones. Well, I am practicing new things today. Rather then tell you my daily actions, I will just say the biggest is I am living today. And I'm doing it without alcohol. Having a higher power in my life, listening and talking to other alcoholics, trying to practice the healthy things. I'm glad to tell you that redemption is one of my life's greatest gifts and I thank you for reading this and having me here!
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