I never thought I would become an alcoholic and addict. It was not part of my plans. However, it turned out to be that way. Today, I’m fortunate enough to say I’m grateful in my recovery. I have found that, lately, people have asked if I was born that way or if I progressed.
In my experience, I thought I was having fun. The reality of the situation was my fun times resulted in many bad decisions. Immature and reckless behavior is how I mark this time in my career. Ultimately, I have asked myself, “Where did I cross the line?” In all honesty, how do any of us know when we cross the line.
I didn’t know it then, over the last several years I have become a work in progress, through my recovery. I realized, through this process, my pattern of behavior. What started as me wanting to drink and use, turned into me needing to drink and use. From there is when the proverbial line was crossed. Majority of the time, we don’t realize we have crossed that line.
If I had to pin point a time when I feel like I completely crossed and surpassed that line, I would have to say it was my college years. Not only did I fail to realize that I crossed that line, but I was oblivious to the fact that there was no turning back. I couldn’t get back to where I used to be. The invisible line, to me, is when I can no longer control my intake of drugs and/or alcohol. It became a mental obsession that takes over my daily thoughts. It became something I couldn’t stop. My addictive behavior stopped being a symptom and became a disorder.
This is when I realized I had a problem. This is the point where I eventually realized that I crossed the line. No matter what the definition, to me, I was approaching dangerous behavior. Regardless, I was not living life.
We all come to a point in our life where we know something is wrong. We all, at some point, realize that a line has been crossed. Some of us ignore it. The rest of us, like myself, realize where we went wrong and we fix it. For me, I realize that I will always be an alcoholic and an addict. I also know that I need to keep that side of me in remission.
There are people out there that an consume drugs and/or alcohol without suffering major consequences. However, individuals with abusive or excessive patterns of drinking may be at elevated risk for alcohol problems.
Here are a few signs from my experience when I crossed this line . One was control. Was I trying to control my use? Absolutely. This was a huge problem of mine that I tried to do and ultimately discovered that I could not control it. I am not one of those people who can take it or leave it. It just isn’t me. I would arrange my life around places where I could drink and/or use.
There finally came a point, in my life, that I felt if you weren’t like me, I didn’t want to be around you. If you didn’t drink like me, use drugs how I did, or even sold drugs how I did, you were nobody in my life. You didn’t even register on the radar. The flip side of this is my habit was a monster. No longer was this a fun thing to do. It became a lifestyle. Not just a lifestyle, but how I ultimately had to live my life.
It started taking more and more consumption of drugs and/or alcohol for me to achieve the euphoric feeling I once found with less use. If I went without, I would start to feel sick until I reached the level of use I needed in order to function properly. Anger would follow me around, ready to pounce on anyone whom had anything to say about how I chose to live my life. If my habit was brought up, I would quickly downplay it and say that it was nobody’s business.
In active addiction, negative consequences begin to accumulate. A lot of fights, accidents, drama, and chaos all began to consume my life. I began to feel guilty about things I did while under the influence. When I would have a moment of clarity (a sober thought), I would be reminded, by my loved ones, what I did. Sometimes it was recorded for me to watch. All the time I would feel guilty and sometimes I refused to believe what people were telling me. I felt that there was no way that I could act like that.
While in active addiction, most of your life involves getting your drug of choice or getting the alcohol It is then followed by using your drug or consuming your alcohol, then you spend your time getting over the effects of your choice until you score again. When I wasn’t drinking or using, I was thinking about how I was going to drink or use. I would dwell on what I was going to have to do in order to ensure that I could get my fix, whatever my fix was at that moment. Whether or not I wanted to, it became a 24 hour job. Being an addict consumed my life, whether I liked it or not.
During this dark part of my life, my drinking and using began to interfere with the roles I needed to fulfill in my life. My relationships deteriorated. My work ethic sucked. All in all, I just wasn’t a good human being to be around. If it wasn’t helping my addiction, it went on the back burner. The life I was living was not a life. It was all a huge lie. I was waking up in the morning, realizing that a choice I made years ago, a choice I made just for fun, was no longer fun anymore. I remember that exact day, but I still continued to use for a long time after that realization. Nothing was fun to me anymore, yet I felt trapped in this cycle. What I once used as my solution, has now became my problem.
That realization right there was my biggest problem. I realized that now, now I’m drinking and using but my problems aren’t going away. In fact, they are getting worse. In the beginning, I felt that the pain would come right off with every drink. This could not have been further from the truth.
I knew I needed to stop this pattern and get some help. What started as a way for me to numb the pain my life turned into something that was causing me more pain. Once I came to that realization, I knew I needed some help. I knew I needed to surrender.
If your out there struggling in the madness and wondering if you crossed a line or not, you probably did . Reach out and ask for help . It won’t get any better out there . You can’t go back to what it used to be like .