Dun dun dun!!! I know, I wrote a blog just a few months back questioning whether or not I was an alcoholic and I told you all that labels don’t really matter. Although I still don’t believe the label is required, I do think I wasn’t being 100% honest with myself. So I’m here to say that …My name is Kelly and I’m an ALCOHOLIC!!
Wow that really wasn’t so bad. I am not a stranger to saying that phrase these days since I am attending AA meetings 2 to 3 times a week. With the work I’ve been putting into my 12 step program, and the reading and meetings I’ve been doing lately, I’ve learned a lot. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that there is absolutely no question in my mind anymore about whether or not I’m an alcoholic. I am an alcoholic and that’s ok. Part of the program is being brutally honest with yourself and that’s what I’m doing. Reading stories in the big book and hearing more about what alcoholics think, do, and say has cemented the fact that I am one.
I think back in September when I wrote the “Am I An Alcoholic?” blog I was looking for any excuse not to be one – the same thing I had been doing throughout my years of drinking. This partly has to do with the stigma that the word carries. After I started going to AA, I realized being an alcoholic is NOT the worst thing in the world and admitting this to myself and others was actually the jumping off point for me becoming more of who I am. I didn’t feel as if my sobriety was endangered because I didn’t admit I was an alcoholic, but I know that one day it could be.
I believe I was emotionally addicted to alcohol. I believe the addictive behaviors and decisions I was making because of this, were signs of a bigger issue. I can now look back on my drinking history and even at my ways of thinking today, and know that I have an alcoholic brain. Normal people don’t think “I need to finish every drop of liquid in this cup,” when it’s water. Normal people don’t coax their boyfriend into buying a beer when they go out to dinner because they can’t have one (yeah that’s me). Normal people don’t need to try to control their drinking. They don’t need to set limits for themselves, one drink – just beer – just wine – only on Saturdays.
So to you I say: I’m an alcoholic and you might be too …and guess what? That’s totally ok. In fact, I find a sense of relief in it. I’m finally figuring out the things I’ve been thinking and feeling aren’t weird, but they’re a symptom of this disease I have. It feels amazing to be able to go to a place where every person in the room feels the same way I do and they love me and accept me for me. They know exactly what it feels like to question whether or not you’re an alcoholic, and then how to accept it, and embrace it.
Admitting that I am an alcoholic has been therapeutic for me. At first it was scary, but I realized there is nothing to be afraid of. This is who I am, this is my story. I read this quote that really resonated with me from The Little Red Book that says, “The alcoholic lives in compulsive slavery.” I couldn’t agree more with that statement and now I am finally free. The weight of trying to figure it out or not, and being terrified if I was an alcoholic, has finally melted away. This is just one of the many beautiful things that has happened for me since getting sober. Putting the drink down is just the very first step.