My tragic history of alcoholism goes back a long way. It started at the age of 14. If only I had known the problems it would create throughout my life, I would have never even thought about taking that first drink. My depression started at the age of 13. I was frequently getting picked on by kids at school. I was smaller and, in their eyes, an easy target. It created a lot of problems for me mentally and emotionally. I found my comfort in alcohol. It made me not care about what people thought of me. It made me not care about my surroundings. It allowed me to be a lot more sociable and fun to be around. I did not care how much of an idiot I made myself look. It was all in good fun.
However, alcohol was nothing more than a mask for what was truly on the inside of me – low self-esteem, depression, and self-hatred. My alcoholism would soon spiral out of control after high school. I got to the point to where I cared about nothing but partying. I dropped out of college three different times because it had taken full control over me.
The Belligerent Drunk
My drinking soon got me to the point to where it would seriously affect my moods. I would become a lot more irritable and unfairly take out all my anger and frustrations on family and friends. It would not take much to set me off. There were times where I would get into arguments and fights with my older brother. I would throw and break objects and punch holes in the walls at home. I would go to parties and find myself getting into fights for no real particular reason. A lot of this was due to the fact that I had a lot of anger built up inside of me over the years. Alcohol intensified it.
I would eventually meet a girl and fall in love, only to have it taken away in part to my habitual drinking and reckless behavior that I continued to carry with me. I would say and do things I never meant to say or do. I was constantly stressed out and depressed from work and thought drinking would make things better. In reality, it only made things worse. I would take my frustrations from work and unfairly bring them into our relationship. I still do not understand why I was incapable of just living in the moment and being happy with what I had.
I failed to realise my drinking made me depressed and I was depressed when I was not drinking. After all, I legitimately hoped to spend the rest of my life with this girl. After I had lost that, drinking became all I knew again but on a whole new level. My sick mentality was why stop now if it had already cost me every good thing I ever had in life?
The Attempt On My Life
The vicious cycle of my drinking and mental health issues came into full motion. I was at rock bottom. I had a death wish. I would soon start waking up, drink all morning, day and night out of full depression. I had reached a point to where I wanted to take my own life. I went out to various stores and bought boxes of Coricidin, an over-the-counter cough medicine that has become a common drug for teenagers to use to get high. It can be lethal in high doses. I was at home drinking all morning, day and night as usual. I waited until my parents went to sleep and took somewhere close to 40 or more pills. I remember I stood up from the couch and next thing I know, I collapsed on the floor.
My parents woke up to the site of me on the floor, fading in and out with shallow breath. My vision was blurry and fading. I was told my eyes rolled in the back of my head. I blacked out. I woke up in the hospital the next day with hardly any recollection of what had happened. I was told I had alcohol poisoning and a near-fatal overdose of the cough medicine. I was told that I was lucky I did not end up in a coma or worse. I knew at this point there was only one way to break the cycle of my struggle with my mental health and alcoholism. I agreed to go into a detox and treatment facility for my struggles with alcohol and my mental and emotional health.
I Wish I Could Take It All Back
I wish I could have stopped my alcoholism sooner. I failed to listen when people close to me said I had a problem. It took me half my life and so many personal struggles and demons to overcome to realise I had a problem with drinking and drinking had a problem with me. I never quite understood just how much drinking can affect the brain even when you are not drinking until I went into treatment. My drinking started out as a problem solver for me at a young age but eventually created problems that I wish I had never had to face. It still haunts me to this very day. I wish I could go back in time and change a lot of things but I cannot.
Kevin Repass is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He works for the organisation Recovery Local, writing about substance abuse and alcoholism in order to help others recover.