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My Struggle With Alcohol Use Disorder

>> Dec 4, 2018

By Kevin Repass

According to the NIAAA, Alcohol Use Disorder is defined as a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences. AUD can range from mild to severe, and recovery is possible regardless of severity. My drinking started at the age of 14 as a freshman in high school. I had no idea what the consequences would be for my continued use of alcohol over the next 15 years. My struggle with alcohol use disorder tore my family apart, affected my ability to get a college degree, cost me jobs and ruined personal relationships. I am disappointed in myself for not realizing that I had a problem. I do not think normal people understand that people like me truly are powerless when it comes to alcohol. We are incapable of seeing we have a problem. We are incapable of realizing just how much it affects our moods and brain chemistry among other things. Alcohol can turn us into people that we are ashamed to admit to being.
My Early Years of Drinking

In high school I associated with a lot of friends who drank. We would drink for fun, entertainment and social gatherings. I thought our drinking patterns were normal. Our routine was go to school during the week and party on the weekend. After high school I attempted to go to college. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life coming out of high school. There was not anything that I felt like I was good at or interested in other than drinking. I got through my first semester in college but I would eventually drop out halfway through the second semester because I was more concerned with living the college party life portrayed on tv and in the movies. I was still ignorant to the fact that I had a problem.

Relationships Under the Influence

My alcohol use disorder would become prevalent in a three-year relationship. Instead of focusing on what should have been important- her- I continued to drown myself with the poison that is alcohol. My love for drinking got in the way of love with a wonderful woman. How stupid was I? How was I still too blind to see my problem? Alcohol made me severely delusional and in denial. I was living in my own little world, enslaved by my own selfish, sick, twisted illness of alcoholism. It had me in a vice grip so tight that I could not escape. After she broke up with me, my alcoholism would spiral me into a black hole of oblivion.

Drinking Myself to the Grave

My life was in ruins thanks to my alcoholism. Alcohol took everything I held dear away from me. I just wanted to end it all with alcohol. I was mentally, spiritually and emotionally broken. I lost a good woman, lost a good job and a good life. I did not think it would ever get better. I started drinking heavily to self-medicate and numb all the pain and depression that was suffocating me. I had no idea where to go with my life or what to do. I was lost and confused. I was trapped in a nightmare that I did not think I would escape alive. I was constantly struggling with suicidal thoughts. My family and loved ones continued to watch me self-destruct. I was no longer drinking for fun. I was drinking to die. I would wake up and immediately start hitting a bottle of whiskey for breakfast. I would drink all day and night. I would not eat. I could not sleep unless I was blackout drunk. I was starting to have severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms- the sweats and the shakes. I could no longer function without a drink first thing in the morning. I did not care about myself. I did not care if people cared about me. I did not want them to. I just wanted to stay in a black hole and fall into my grave with alcohol.

There Is A Solution

I knew I was not capable of stopping my drinking. I was not going to stop. I was a broken record. My family could no longer bare the sight of this person I had become. Finally my parents suggested that I go into a detox and treatment center. I was given a second chance at life. I made a lot of strong connections with people in treatment. I found that I shared a lot in common. I was no longer alone in my struggle with substance abuse as I once thought. I was free from the curse that was my alcohol use disorder. I found there is only one solution to my problem: stop drinking. I was able to stay sober and continue to stay sober by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, working the Twelve Steps of AA and getting a sponsor (which is someone who guides you through the twelve steps). I had no choice but to turn my life around. I wish I had gotten help for my alcohol use disorder at an earlier stage in life. It would have prevented a lot of damage my drinking caused, however, it is never too late to seek help and get the treatment you deserve.

Kevin Repass is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He is a writer for a south Florida-based company dedicated to providing resources and information to all those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. 

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