After giving it some thought, I decided it would be a good idea to put yesterday's post about the last year or so of my active addiction in proper prospective.
The key words in that last sentence were "the last year or so...etc.". I was describing what many in the field of alcoholism/addiction call my "bottom". Addiction (Alcoholism) is progressive, meaning over the course of time it progressively worsens. That was certainly true in my case.
I spent many years drinking and maintaining a job, family, social life etc. but as time went on, things started to happen. I drank more, started abusing pain medication, essentially to help me be able to drink more and as a result things start to go wrong. I was often ill, I didn't want to be as social as I used to be, I wouldn't do things that didn't involve drinking, etc. etc. Needless to say, that kind of drinking behavior effects a persons relationships and it certainly negatively effected mine...all of them. From my family, to co-workers, to life long friends. No relationship was immune...
So to be clear: what I described in yesterday's post were my feelings, behaviors and actions during the last year, year and a half of my active addiction. And that is a rough estimate. I was at the bottom of my barrel....utterly hopeless.
(Addiction/Alcoholism is considered a disease by the American Medical Association....I am not going to get into a debate about that here. By I will continue to use that term in the future as in: "my disease, the Disease of Addiction...etc". It is a common term, one I do agree with but I realise there are some who do not agree that Alcoholism is a disease and this is certainly their right).
Addiction/Alcoholism is a disease that effects not only the addict but everyone around them. My addiction is NOT a reflection on those people who were involved in my life at that terrible time. Believe me, they did all they could....they simply could not stop the progression of this disease. Only I could stop this vicious process but admitting defeat, asking for help (in my case I needed major medical and psychological help) and then staying clean/sober one single day at a time with the help of many friends and family. I could not stay sober alone...I still can't.
(I did not want the people who care about me to think that I spent the last 20 years of my drinking feel the way I was describing yesterday or feel in any way responsible for those actions. Therefore I thought it important to post this today).