I have an addictive personality.
It doesn’t matter what it is, if I can use it to escape, I will. I have always been this way, with my earliest addictions appearing digitally through video games. What once was a way to immerse myself in other worlds, play and watch a character grow, and ultimately conquer all of the challenges set before them on this epic quest, is now a hollow awareness of a depressive escape from reality. In my teenage years, when life started getting more complicated, I used video games to shy away from those challenges that I took so much pride in my virtual characters ability to conquer so easily. I still try to play now and then for a just a taste of nostalgia that used to bring me so much joy, but I know it will never come back.
Fast forward to my late teens and early 20’s, when drinking was introduced. At the time, I thought drinking was merely a harmless enhancement to activities and events resulting in new friendships and solidifying the bond with older ones. All good things, right? Drinking quickly moved from an enhancement to activities or events, to becoming the activity or event, which for me became a new escape. I found myself drinking outside of parties, outside of weekends. Alone at home, having 7-9 beers on a weeknight and not feeling the least bit drunk. And when the beers ran out, I would go to wine, and then whiskey. Similar to my childhood, all of this was to escape challenges and problems, meanwhile they were piling up in the background even worse than before. My relationships suffered, my happiness was lost, and my creativity was muzzled by a bottle pressed against my face. On October 1st, I will have gone 4 months without alcohol, and the results from that sobriety have been nothing but positive.
I’m not writing this to demonize alcohol, and truly I don’t know exactly why I’m writing this to begin with, but I feel like its a step forward for me. Thank you for reading, and if you struggle with similar challenges, feel free to reach out to me, or someone you are comfortable with, and work through them together.