Alcoholic and addict can be strong words for many people, and even offensive to those who drink and use drugs on a regular basis. Few of these people think they have a problem or want to admit they do, and I can understand why. Movies and Television often show an extreme and unflattering side of addiction that not everyone experiences, and when someone compares themselves to the stereotypical alcoholic and addict, they either don’t think they have a problem or are too ashamed to admit it. Fortunately, however, some people do reach a point in their lives where they want to stop using drugs and will seek help. A question I frequently ask people who want to quit is this. “Why do you need a drug to be happy?”
I’ve been sober since 1996, and although there are days when I have to work a little harder to be happy, I no longer need alcohol to help me. I also no longer define myself as an alcoholic, thus the subtitle of my book. I want to be clear though, that I’m not making light of alcoholism. Shame and stigma is still an unfortunate part of addiction, and for some it can be deadly.
There are many reasons why people use drugs besides the obvious fact that they make us feel good. But I know fears and insecurities are often behind the continual use of a substance. Here’s something I wrote about fear in my 9th year sober.
“I have read that all of our fears are learned except for two that we’re born with. The fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Maybe the one of falling comes from not feeling secure, and the one of loud noises is just a fear of the unknown, I don’t know. What I do know is that as I go through life, although I may not always feel secure, I can feel less afraid by remembering it’s actually those times that make me grow stronger. And even though loud noises can still scare me, fear of the unknown is starting to scare me less.”
Please enjoy my blog. Along with my book, I hope to show others that not everyone who abuses a substance is like the stereotype seen in movies and TV shows and help end the shame and stigma associated with addiction.