How I Recognized I'm an Alcoholic

Reclaiming and Recovering

I was flirting with functional alcoholism from the age of 18 when I graduated high school. My family imposes their problems with alcohol on each other, with nobody really recognizing their problem. I was drinking port in my twenties. Somehow I could make it home at night without anybody noticing. I’m 36 now, and I have maintained my sobriety from 2010 until now. This is 8 years of sobriety. I get antsy in bars. I recognized my alcoholism for years but I kept it going as my own best enabler. The ex and I were drinking buddies.

Alcohol turns me girly. I also turn compliant. I become unable to set good boundaries, to say no. My cousin had to point out every last behavior I engaged in while drunk in 2007. Alcoholism can flat out kill a type 1 diabetic. Or somebody with hypothyroidism. I mean I can be classy for a bit when drinking, but it degenerates after the third drink. I could pound it. In college, I was encouraged by my roommates to continue to engage in my alcoholism. Alcohol really messes up your brain function and it can damage a schizophrenic even more. Schizophrenics are already born with a brain difference that causes your own brain to be delusional and to hallucinate.

While hearing weird things, voices, and commands, schizophrenics need medication to cope with this, as well as have the additional challenge of having a part of your brain that hears things light up as though you are actually hearing this. Schizoaffective as a diagnosis simply means you are on the schizophrenia spectrum and the bipolar spectrum or you have plain old schizophrenia if you are schizoaffective schizophrenic, which means you have schizophrenia including some bipolar symptoms that creep in. Medication is necessary across the board. If you skip your doses, you become instantly delusional and manic. Some people are addicted to their own mania or delusional state, so they don’t recognize they need medication to be adequately treated.

Alcohol is quite dangerous for me to be around. I do not drink as I’m an alcoholic. Those who drink should know better than to offer a recovered alcoholic alcohol. I go to occasional parties where this happens. Cool it, alchies, because I go to Pagan A.A. and I have been in recovery for eight years. I have been on my current set of meds around five years. Alcohol is a hard habit to kick. Especially because I felt so grown-up despite my behavior. Recovering from any addiction is a huge effort for those of us who are addicts. I went to my pagan recovery group for many years, I also have been attending my Fremont-based Pagan A.A. group since last year. But the kicker that bothers me is that there is no addiction program at Pantheacon this year. Conventions are full of fantastic triggers.

The one time alcohol snuck its way into my diet was when I was at the mall and accidentally had a bourbon chicken from the Cajun restaurant. I got woozy and went home. I felt weird the rest of the day. I can’t have alcohol in food like beer-battered onion rings at Buffalo Wild Wings for example. I don’t even do vodka spaghetti sauce from Trader Joes. I can’t. I do not bake with alcohol either and need to find some substitutions for more complicated recipes such as using fruit juice. I’m a solid alcoholic in recovery. I need to stay sober. It is why I have avoided my extended family for the holidays. I stay stable mentally only because I’m sober. I’m tempted to not allow alcohol in the house when my family is here, period. I do not crave it if I see it. I’m thoroughly done with alcohol. For good. 

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How I Recognized I'm an Alcoholic