“I’m Katie, and I am an alcoholic.” I say these words nightly, and even though it was one of the hardest things to admit, they now flow off my tongue freely, and even sometimes, on the right day, with a little bit of pride behind them.
I’m not what some would stereotype as an alcoholic. I never lived under a bridge, I still have all my teeth, and I only drank from a brown bag a few times. In fact, I am a 21-year-old college student with a full time job and family and friends that shower me with love.
By all outward appearances my life seems pretty normal. This is by no accident. For years no matter how chaotic my life got, the ability to seem normal was priority. I always thought as long as I looked normal no one would know how different I felt on the inside.
It was this uncanny ability to coast under the radar that allowed me to do most of my drinking. My mind set was always, “As long as no one notices me, they wont notice how much I am drinking.” I spent years of my life going to parties and leaving early so I could drink with out worrying that others were counting how many times I refilled my cup. I made friends with people who I thought had habits worse then mine, so that when compared to them, I always looked a little better off.
By the age of 19 I had carefully constructed my life, down to the smallest detail, around drinking. The precise planning I had done for so long made it easy to get loaded. It got so easy that drinking was all I thought about. I no longer had the time to plan how to look normal; the only thing I planed was how to get drunk.
It didn’t take long for my life to crumble. I was no longer talking to most of my family and friends. Work became a rare occasion that I preferred not to attend to. And every time I showed up to school my grades had dropped, so I just stopped showing up all together.
My life had spiraled into an unmanageable mess. I was miserable, and I couldn’t drink enough to stop feeling that way, but I couldn’t quit drinking for long enough to stop feeling the misery. My options seemed limited. I could continue drinking in my misery, or admit my powerlessness to alcohol.
It took me a while to admit that I have this disease, but I have not had to have a drink since I came to terms with that fact. The biggest change in my life since I have been sober is that belief is now a part of my life. Today I believe in a Higher Power, 12 steps, and myself. The fact that I am able to say I believe in anything is proof enough for me to know that although there is no cure for alcoholism, there is a solution, this I believe.
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