This continues my story with alcoholism. Past posts here: https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/alcoholism-1/ https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/alcoholism-2/ https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/alcoholism-3/ https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/alcoholism-4/
So I finally had enough. For whatever reason, something snapped and I accepted that it would be best if I just stopped drinking, at least for the time being.
Significant lifestyle changes took place. I stopped hanging out with friends (my shame still kept me from telling anyone, so I figured it would be easier just to avoid the situation). I threw myself into work completely, with maybe a video game on the side just to completely fill up my time.
I went back to the military mental health treatment. I didn’t go specifically for their alcohol program because I thought that would flag me and I hated that program, but I went under general “reacclimation” concerns. The psychologist was nice about it, and didn’t flag anything. That lasted for a couple months and seemed to get me through the initial hurdle. Then she ended up getting sent somewhere and they wanted to switch doctors on me, so I figured that was enough of that.
Guilt still plagued me, I had to tell my commander about everything. I started with another senior officer who I trusted, literally crying in his office about it. He was very considerate and supported me. I soon had a meeting with my commander. That went a bit better, I laid out everything, how I felt like I was a sham, how I had been drinking and didn’t feel I was living up to the standards of an officer etc. and how I was now quitting alcohol to try to at least be on the right foot. He also was very supportive, saying he wished he knew sooner so he could have helped, but that he was proud of me. He got up and gave me a hug. It was a moment I took to heart, how you should care for your troops.
I kept my job, motivated more than ever to do well and stay sober. I spoke about my troubles often, both as a way to show others it’s ok to reach out for help and to keep myself personally accountable. It was still hard to talk to people close to me. Some close friends, particularly those that I had been drinking buddies with, I just couldn’t get around to it. Finally I told my brother, blurting it all out as he was driving me back to the airport after a holiday vacation. He seemed a little stunned, but supportive. Later, when I thanked him over the phone for listening, he replied in typical brotherly fashion, “well you didn’t give me much choice!”
My life has changed, if not full acceptance, at least a begrudging equilibrium
two years now, still sober