I didn’t have to admit to my parents that I had a drinking problem. They just found out through my arrest. I did need to explain it to them, and they were disappointed, but when I told them what I had been going through they finally understood.
They knew I was drifting and getting more and more unhealthy, but they hadn’t known why. This really filled in the gaps for them. I’m lucky because I had a really good support system. I know now that it isn’t always common for people to have that.
They checked me into a rehab center, and that’s when I began my journey to recovery.
I wasn’t drinking day and night to the point that I had withdrawal symptoms if I stopped, but that’s not the only way to have an alcohol problem. It had taken control of my life, and I had put people in danger, and that was the definition of a problem.
People think that unless you are a full-blown alcoholic and can’t function without alcohol, then you’re fine. That’s just not the case. Binge drinking like I was and always having alcohol around was just as big a problem because it could still lead to the same mistakes as drunk driving.
Rehab put it into perspective for me. I wasn’t the only person who thought my drinking habits were normal until someone told me that they weren’t. It’s so common for young adults to end up in the same situation I was in without even realizing it.
Alcohol is legal, so we don’t really see it as a problem. I was still doing okay in school, and everyone loved me when I drank, but that wasn’t good. My friends all drank too, and they encouraged my drinking. So I learned it was time to move on.
I could have spent my last year in college really working on my composition, creating pieces to be proud of. Instead, I spent it creating dark memories. Rehab taught me that I needed to find new positions to put myself in.
I also received a dual diagnosis: along with my alcohol dependency I had depression. That’s something I might not have discovered for a long time without rehab. Apparently, it is typical for mental illness and alcohol abuse to coincide.
I had depression, and I had used alcohol to cope instead of trying to figure out life the hard way. While in rehab I was started on an antidepressant along with my group therapy. It was intense when I started to see the world in a whole new way.
My days were a lot brighter than I had realized.