It’s a Progressive Illness

I was a weekend beer drinker. Until that is, a few beers suddenly became a became a six-pack at every instance. Then a six-pack became a 12 pack, which in turn became an excuse to get home later and then…when I chose.

Somewhere along the way I found Ketel One vodka. What a relief that was. No more beer for the burgeoning beer gut! In no time I was off and running with Ketel One. Yep, one martini became two martini’s, and two martini’s soon became tee martini’s and, on and on. Then I would hop in the car and drive home!

I remember the first time I drank a whole bottle of Ketel One. I proceeded to throw it up. Without missing a beat, I was struck with thought – “hey, I can drink again”. And so I did!! About that time I self-diagnosed myself as a “functional alcoholic”. That worked! My new label had a certain ring of self-control and dignity to it. Order was restored. Truth be told, my self-respect was beginning to wane. I was aware of it and by giving myself the “functional alcoholic” label, I seemingly could better cope with this awareness.

I know things were starting to look a bit out of control, but I still had a few basic rules that I was abiding by! For one, I never started drinking before 7:30am. But as soon as the family pulled out of the driveway for work and school (always at about 7:30) I was mixing a drink. Toward the end of my drinking, I would put away one bottle before noon, take about a two-hour break and then start in on another bottle. Of that bottle, I would leave about an inch so that I could have enough for an “eye opener” the following morning. After my “eye opener” I would wait around to about 9am and then hit the store for more booze.

My prodigious drinking had crossed that “invisible line” and I was completely unaware. I was physically and mentally addicted to alcohol. I had lost the power of choice. I was no longer in control. It didn’t matter how much feeling and belief that I put into my thousands of pledges to stop drinking, I would always break that pledge no matter what. Despite adverse consequences, which were occurring on a more frequent basis, I would always return to the bottle. I could no longer take it or leave it, for “it” had taken me!

Alcoholism is a slippery slope. It is a progressive illness. And it’s damn sneaky too!

Author: iceman18

For many years, I worked hard to build a charmed life. I had been living that life to the fullest until the time came when I took a precipitous fall into the abyss of alcoholism. Unwittingly, I claimed my family as hostages and took them right along with me. I survived addiction and have been in recovery since February 9, 2007. Since that time I have been working courageously to face down "the ghost" and eliminate the demons of my past. I find that writing My Story has had great therapeutic value. If along the way, my experience can help one person, or maybe even more, well....that would be pretty awesome. I also pray that my blog will help illuminate the generational cycle of child abuse that continues to plague our society today. By bringing awareness to what is often called "Our Nations Shame" I have faith that one day soon we will witness real progress toward the illumination and understanding of child abuse, followed by its eradication from the under belly of mankind. I have faith! But, faith without works is dead. I pray everyday for the strength, the courage, and the resolve, to take action!

3 thoughts on “It’s a Progressive Illness”

  1. Very true. You never really know you’re addicted to something like smoking or alcohol until it’s too late. It only takes a few cigarettes or drinks to start the craze!

  2. As I’ve been reading your blog, I have found your writing very comforting. I think it’s great that you have been able to come to terms with your illness and have found your way out. My boyfriend was an addict and he eventually took his own life. Reading about addiction and depression has helped me come to terms and understand the disease. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences.

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