My name is Jeremy and I am an alcoholic.
My story is not far different than others that deal with addiction. I grew up in a divorced family with alcoholism in both sides. From the age of 12 I’ve never felt I belonged anywhere. Being half Mexican in a small town made me an outcast in all social circles in grade & middle school. Too brown or too white for my peers. That all changed when I began drinking. I was a fun guy who liked to party and used alcohol & drugs to fit in.
In my early adult years I worked at a brewpub my disease took off. Being “the kid” there I again was again using to fit in with the older crowd. I eventually married and had two kids and stopped drinking for eight years.
My sobriety though took a very hard toll on me as I had no recovery program and became a very depressed & resentful dry drunk. I gad threatened suicide to my wife several times and at one point slit my wrists but in a way that was not life threatening. I romanticized death often.
Eventually I started drinking again and it progressively got out of control. My wife despised me and my parenting suffered. I had an affair and gave up on my marriage. In a Hail Mary attempt to save our family after a brief separation we tried to give it one last try. My wife ended up having affairs with several men while in a vacation as what she felt was revenge. That night I tried to drink myself to death. I was done. Fortunately I failed yet again at suicide.
Three days later I went to rehab and a month later graduated and went back to an empty home. My wife left me. I started a long distance relationship with a woman I felt understood me like nobody could. She stuck by my side for 3.5 years but after 2 relapses I was too much for her. It wasn’t the drinking but my mental health.
Looking back now I clearly had no self esteem. Every time good things happened to me I felt I didn’t deserve it. I actively sabotaged myself even in what seemed the strongest of recoveries. I felt suicidal again for the first time in many years. Through therapy and AA I’ve now that if I never forgave myself for my past I will never love myself. And no matter how hard anyone tried I could never accept their love until I accepted my own.
Since then I’ve truly eliminated my self loathing by facing the trauma that made me who I am today. I am truly happy for the first time ever at 43 years of age. I understand I’m not a bad person, I’m just a person that made some very bad choices. I am also redeemable and prefer to live for others now while also finally looking out for myself. Life is a healthy balance for me now instead of chaos.
There’s an episode of Bojack Horseman that has a quote I tell myself daily.
”It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day. That’s the hard part.” Today I have a daily reprieve because of all the hard work I put in.
I hope this helps anyone that reads this and I’m sure it’s relatable as other people’s stories are to me. I’m grateful that I accepted that it wasn’t the physical act of drinking that was destroying me but instead the untreated mental health or as I say the “why do I drink?”
Thank you for letting me share,