I feel like alcohol rarely gets the recognition it deserves as one of the most destructive and detrimental creations to ever affect the human race. Maybe there's a reason for that. Booze is sneaky. It can spill into your life little by little and before you know it, you're drowning.
When I was in my late teens and early 20's, I didn't share the same attitude and mentality I have now being almost 30 in regards to drinking. Back then it was all about partying. It was about having fun and alcohol was the catalyst through which that took place. In many ways, my younger views on alcohol were mostly innocent and naive. I didn't understand the nature of alcohol or the effects it could have on my life.
As I passed through my early 20's, the party died down. Friends started doing more with their lives instead of constantly drinking the weeks away. I somehow kept going and watched from the sidelines as more and more people began to quest after more meaningful endeavors, while I chased the fleeting party.
By my mid 20's I was able to look in the mirror and understand that the party had been over for quite some time and I wasn't drinking to party anymore, I was drinking to cope with my reality. That thought was disheartening. So I tried to drink the feels away.
In my head, I viewed alcohol as an opportunity to experience relief from the way I was feeling. When I was stressed, sad, upset or depressed, my first thought would always return to drinking and I found it incredibly difficult to deny myself.
My inability to refrain from drinking created a world of problems for me. Since my life tended to be dominated by generally unpleasant emotions, I drank 3-4 times per week and since alcohol basically recycles negativity back into your life, I ensured that I was feeling miserable essentially 100% of the time.
In recent years I began to truly understand how alcohol fuels depression, instead of believing the lie that it was helping me deal with my problems. The more I drank, the more I ended up in situations and doing things I would've never imagined soberly and as time went on, these drunken experiences got progressively darker.
99% of the things I've done that I regret in my life happened while I was drunk.
When I think about that statement, it feels overwhelming especially because of how I chose to continue to drink even after realizing that. Some people have to learn the hard way I guess and it took me countless hard lessons to get to the point I'm at now.
Although I've reduced my drinking significantly over the last year, I've noticed that when I do indulge, my developed drinking mentality remains. I become reckless. I lose control. My ability to think and rationalize goes out the window and I become eager to make poor decisions all in the name of escaping my reality a little longer. No matter what my intentions are before drinking, no matter what promises I make to myself, they all sink into the murky fog of intoxication where they wither and dissolve.
My drinking makes me a liar.
The hangovers, even from a mild night of drinking have become unbearable. The soul-shattering regret upon waking extends to my very soul. I can't think. I can't move as my mind struggles to piece back together the previous night. I feel submerged in fear, scared to recall what mistakes I made the night before. My head is spinning. Pounding. I have no energy. No will. My spirit is broken and I wallow through the day a zombie incapable of experiencing anything good.
For a long time, I had told myself that I would gain control over my drinking by moderating myself but I realize now that there can be no moderation after intoxication. I also realize that as much as I wanted to, I cannot control the alcohol. Once I give myself over to it, I am helpless. I'm at its mercy.
But it is merciless.
There can be no room for intoxication in my life unless I am willing to welcome in the destruction that comes with it and I am no longer willing. For a long time, I've fought to find a way to hold onto alcohol and balance my life but I see now that it is impossible. Nothing good can come from drinking any more. Not that it really ever did in the first place.
Alcohol no longer has any relevance to the life I want to live. I'm tired of living like a slave. I am ready to surrender this poison and be done with it. For the first time I understand the true nature of alcohol:
complete and utter destruction.
So I'm abandoning it and the lies it has promised me. I am grateful to have finally reached this point. Now it's time to live my life in freedom, as it was intended.