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I am an Alcoholic – Rob’s Story
My entire life has been a blessing. I do not believe in God but I do believe that some people are luckier than others. I am one of those people who I believe are more fortunate than others and I grew up in an upper/middle class family with 2 great parents who are still happily married. They gave me all the support I ever needed and were there to help me along every step of the way. For a long time I was like any other kid! I had struggles and bullying but I found friends and dealt with the same problems as everyone else.
My family has a history of alcoholics. The man I am named after has had a drug an alcohol problem his entire life. In middle school when I began experimenting with alcohol and getting into my parent’s liquor cabinet I had no idea what road I was leading myself down. I began sneaking in drinks on the weekends by the time I was in the 7th grade… I wanted to know what the big deal with alcohol was! It was mischievous and I was interested.
I did not start heavily and frequently drinking until I was in the 10th grade. And through most of high school…. I was drinking and doing the dumb stuff many of the teens in high school do. But even back then I realized I was drinking a lot… more than others… and a lot of times by myself. Even if I was just with 1 buddy we would just get hammered and do nothing. Any social event or anything I did I always wanted to be drinking or I didn’t think it was fun. I was an all-region track athlete and I would drink when I got home from a meet that night and wake up go to school and repeat. I did some dumb shit like drinking and driving, fighting, hooking up, and getting drunk at school and all sorts of stupid shit. I had many warning signs in high school and I never payed attention to them. I shouldn’t have been drinking a 24 case of beer by myself in a night at a party. I shouldn’t have been able to drink more than a liter of liquor and keep going as a 150 pound runner. I shouldn’t have been blacking out all of those nights and doing things like sleeping with my best friend’s sister. I shouldn’t have been drinking at school or by myself on week nights…. But I was in high school and I said fuck it this is what all high schoolers do. I had let myself believe that is what all high schoolers do. When it really isn’t.
I am an alcoholic.
When I had issues I always turned to alcohol. I was also addicted to tobacco in high school which I used for 2 years and quit. At this time in my life I never saw alcohol as a problem. I used alcohol to comfort myself…reduce anxiety…fill the void in my life since I did not have many hobbies or true friends.
I got arrested my senior year of high school and went through all sorts of stuff and got it off my record. I realized then I would not make it at normal college. SO I decided to attend a military college thinking it would make my life better. While there I learned many valuable lessons. However, my alcohol and drug problem steadily increased. I began doing things such as cocaine and literally drinking all the time. But once again I saw it as a college norm and not a big deal. I got a girl pregnant when I was drunk, was almost shot when I got in a fight, was always missing class, almost killed myself and my friend drunk driving, almost beat the shit out of my family members in a drunk rage…. Things were just piling up.
I continued down this path until my senior year of college at the citadel.. My junior year and that summer were especially bad… drinking so much during the week. I drank at my job all summer long where I worked at a camp with kids… which if anyone had known I would have been fired for it. I loved working with these kids too but my alcoholism made it to where I was risking my great job which I loved doing for alcohol. That summer I would get a hotel room by myself buy a shit ton of beer and go drink it by myself until I found friends at work who would go to a bar with me.
I had my friends before tell me I was an alcoholic, I just was in denial. I didn’t accept it. Until my senior year of college. I was drinking more than anyone knew even my friends I would hide it from. There were months I went through during my college career where I got drunk every day. Drinking liquor or at least 12 beers a day. And until now even after I have been sober for over a year I never realized I was doing it because I was depressed. My senior year of college at the Citadel I got sober.
I did not decide to go see a counselor at the citadel to help me to be sober. I wouldn’t accept that I was an alcoholic. But I knew when I was drinking I was depressed and my life was going to shit due to drinking and cocaine. My best friend convinced me to go see a counselor at school because he had seen him before. So I finally did. I can confidentially say that counselor changed my life. He helped me make the decision to quit drinking and using drugs and it was the best decision I have ever made.
Relapse is a Reality
I have relapsed since then twice. Since September 2016 and it is now late October 2017. Every relapse I have had has made me certain I made the right choice. I relapsed and took a bunch of Benadryl in February 2017 and that was the worse relapse and feeling ever. But I picked myself back up got my shit together and moved on. I also relapsed this month. Drank like a fiend for about 5 days straight and finally got it together again.
After every relapse I have become way stronger than before. I recognize what pushed me over the edge and how to cope with that in the future. Being sober is the best thing that has ever happened to me. And I did it. I made the decision to quit. And I have done it.
Sober is Better
Getting sober has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.. Not only was it physically painful at the beginning but it is a mental challenge every day and every second of my life. I wake up in the morning and think about drinking. That’s what I think about while I am teaching my students while working at the high school. But I push through every day because I know being sober is better for me.
Being sober won’t fix your life’s problems. But it will give you the ability to face them and tackle them. I can face and solve my issues because I am sober. I can face and deal with my emotions because I am sober. Being sober isn’t easy. But it is natural and it is right. Relapsing last week made me realize how awful my alcoholic life was. I couldn’t even go to work one day because I was slammed. I was embarrassed. But I have regrouped and am moving on one day at a time.
To everyone out there trying to get sober or stay sober. I wish the best for all of you. Make sure you have a strong support system. Something to go do to keep your mind of the cravings. If you get stressed out that you have something to relieve that stress. You must find ways to cope. This is not my complete story. But it is a large majority of it. Alcohol consumed me, my life and who I was. It dictated my actions and emotions. Don’t live your life like that.
IF YOU WANT TO BE SOBER YOU CAN DO IT!!!!