I’m proud to say that I’ve been without alcohol for 427 days. I’ve also made some adjustments to my attitude and outlook on life, and while things are not perfect, they are getting better. I’m developing greater self-awareness and a greater motivation to lead a productive life.
When I first stopped drinking I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew I had to do something. Avoiding alcohol has allowed my mind to become clear and I’ve developed a greater understanding of the world around me.
You see, alcohol clouds your vision, awareness and judgment. In the past I had a great deal of rage towards my parents because of the fact they drank heavily, as well as their divorce and the constant moving from one place to another. It is ironic that I wound up becoming addicted to the same substance as them, but the difference is that I’ve overcome it and I’ve learned to deal with my anger in a positive way. The truth of the matter is that no one has a perfect relationship, either with their parents or anyone else, and this has helped me overcome the ill will I’ve felt in the past.
One of the problems with being addicted to anything, whether it is booze or street drugs, is that you constantly have to watch your back. Being high or drunk much of the time dramatically increases the chances that you’ll have a run in with the law, one that will land you behind bars. So when I was a heavy drinker I was always wary of the police, concerned about harassment or other things. I also had similar feelings towards other authority figures such as my bosses or teachers, but not as extreme.
Heavy drinking also lowers inhibitions which mean you’ll be prone to doing things that are not exactly legal, and when you find yourself in the presence of authority figures, especially law enforcement, there is always that guilt or nervousness. Do they know what I’ve done? Are they going to arrest me? You can often find yourself becoming paranoid and if this paranoia is detected by the police (good cops can detect it) things will go from bad to worse. However, since I’ve c eased drinking I no longer have any fear or resentment of authority figures. They are just people doing their jobs.
This is another challenge that I’ve had to overcome. As a teenager I was constantly comparing myself to other people, and I feel these unhealthy thoughts contributed to my drinking. I think the alcohol was a way for me to try to escape myself, if you get what I mean. At the time I didn’t understand that comparing yourself to others isn’t healthy, as there will always be people who are better off than you and at the same time there will always be people who are worse off. I’ve learned to accept this and to do the best I can to get the most out of life, which is ultimately all I can do.