Hello friends. This is gonna be some deep shit so brace yourselves. I keep things pretty surface-level on social media; partially because posts about movies and art and annoying people in the laundromat help me cope with life and help me identify with other people. Truth is I have no idea how to connect otherwise.
I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll just dive in. On April 30th, I’ll have three years of sobriety under my belt. Not true sobriety, as I’ve had pills along the way here and there, but I haven’t had a drink in nearly three years. I feel like my friends get tired of this talking point. Most don’t engage when I speak about my alcoholism and drug addiction, but it’s probably because they can’t relate or don’t understand. Recently, over the last year-and-a-half, I’ve been treating my addiction like something I’ve conquered, or something that isn’t a part of me anymore, but really it’s something that’s at bay and will be forever.
There’s a point to this, and I don’t want to harp on my illness or rehash on the past. But I realized recently that I’m not really living and I’m not really coping. I’m not really treating this illness. I’m just hiding from it and removing every possible trigger from my life in an attempt to remain sober. Let me explain: I moved out here three years ago and only recently started to socialize and make friends. They’re work friends, and my roommates, but I like them and they like and accept me. It took me fucking years to get to that point, and that’s an alarming realization. How many more years will it take me to re-acquire normal shit like love? A career? Financial stability? Education? It took me three years just to leave my house.
I’m having a mini-life crisis recently because of this. I feel so left-behind in a social circle that seems to be booming with new milestones: babies, new homes, promotions. I drank every night for a decade. I snorted painkillers and mixed Ambien and Xanax with vodka while my friends were working on their Masters. I pushed away every opportunity that came at me because I just wanted to isolate and get fucked up.
But I’ve been socializing more recently. I’ve been dating. And it makes me want to drink. I stay at a guy’s house and he has a glass of wine, and I want a glass of wine. And then I remember why I’m sober and more alone than I ever was when I drank. Because there is no better coping mechanism than getting ripped to the tits. I don’t feel interesting or charming or clever when I’m sober. My brain isn’t as snappy as it used to be. My mind is sluggish and wanders off constantly. And that’s why I drank.
What’s shitty is that, coming out of the fog of alcoholism, I’m able to see what I want for the first time. I used to never know. It didn’t matter because I was killing myself anyway. I want things for myself. I want stability and companionship and love. I want a relationship with somebody who adores me and who wants me around all the time. I want to travel and cook and garden. But it’s like this horrible mirage. I can faintly see the outline of it because it’s not real because I have no idea how to get it.
I’m doing a lot of things right, and I try to give myself credit for it. I work on myself. Hard. I care about myself more than I ever have. I’m kind to others. I have small goals. But I still feel like I should be in a better place. Like I shouldn’t still be figuring out who I am – because that’s embarrassing. I wish I could rattle off a list of hobbies and interests. I wish I had a resume of accomplishments but I just don’t. I have very few tangible qualities that would impress others on paper.
I wish I could find others like me outside of dumb-fuck Alcoholics Anonymous. That place is for suckers. Anyway, that’s it. Love, Casey.