Alcoholism #3

This continues my story with alcoholism.  Post #1 here:

Post #2 here:                        

By now it had become apparent that I could no longer keep alcohol where I lived.  Whenever I started, it was too much of a crapshoot when I would stop, and occasionally it would be everything I had on hand until I blacked out.

I still thought I could control it and started to do what in hind sight was some very troubling behavior.  Basically I would buy those little shot bottles they sold at the gas station on my way home from work.  First it would be just three, a dollar each.  I’d pound them to get a good buzz that I would enjoy for a bit before turning in for the night.  Mainly would spend the time by myself playing video games.  Eventually 3 bottles crept to 4, then 5.  On the weekends, I figured out what would be a sufficient amount to drink for cheap that would give me a buzz for the whole afternoon.  Usually it’d be a pint of cheap whiskey.  As long as I didn’t leave home, I figured I was controlling it and no one was the wiser.  Work seemed to be going fine, I was a highly-functioning alcoholic.

I also talked about my past drinking problems at work events.  There was a lot of kudos for that, people said I was brave.  It was an expression of my internal guilt though, I never talked about how I was still drinking.

An incident happened here that really troubled me.  I had to take a post-deployment health exam where they asked if I was drinking and how much.  I really, really didn’t want to go back through the alcoholics program and get forced back to AA meetings.  I also felt it would be potentially career impacting.  So I lied about how much I was drinking.  I had tried to mentally justify it at the time, that I didn’t trust the military system, but I couldn’t get past that it was a lie.  This was a big deal to me.  Integrity is a foundation of being a military officer, and I would have been kicked out of my commissioning source if I had ever been caught lying about something, it was something I had did my best to internalize.  But I had lied to cover up my alcoholism.  This broke me in a way, I was alone and being an officer was the last thing I had and I was a sham, a drunk and a liar.







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