5 Reasons This Young Person Decided to Stop Drinking Completely

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 The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese proverb

Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese proverb

Having just written that title, I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have called this article “5 Reasons I HAD To Stop Drinking Completely” instead. Maybe that would be more accurate considering the fact that my life at that point simply wasn’t worth living; not to me anyway. However, when it all comes down to it, it was my decision, whatever the reasoning.  I was 14 years old when I first tasted alcohol. I was sitting in the local park with some guys from school, they were drinking either whatever one of them had stolen from their parents’ drinks cabinet or just simply stole from a store. Someone passed me a bottle of bourbon and they rest, as they say, is history.

I was kind of average at school – medium popularity, medium looks, medium grades, medium everything. After that night, they guys I sat with treated me differently – in class, on the basketball court, outside of school. It was like I had been accepted into some secret fraternal gang only the popular kids were part of. It made me feel cool to be like them. It sounds so sad now, but it’s how I felt. It wasn’t long before I was the one stealing alcohol from my parents or the local store.

That was 14 years ago. I’m 28 now and I have been sober for just over 4 years. Basically, I flunked school, ended up in a dead-end job (which I lost pretty quickly) and got married at 18. We were together less time than I have now been sober. My drinking became so out of control so quickly that nobody knew what to do with me. More so, I didn’t know what to do with me. I was in an inescapable hell. I thought that for years and years. But I was wrong. This article isn’t about my recovery, how I ended up in rehab or what it’s like living my life as a sober. It’s why I decided (or had) to stop drinking completely. It all boiled down to the following 5 reasons, which I’d like to share:

#1. Family

From the age of about 16, my family (my parents and my 2 sisters) started to distance themselves from me. I can see that now. Failure at school, constant arguments about where I was going, where I was getting my money from, and the smell of booze at the dinner table. A year later, having had enough and maybe the pressure of self-guilt forced my Dad to kick me out of the house. I lived in the garden for a while, believe it or not, in a tree house he had built for us years before. Soon after, I was crashing in the shabby apartments of other drunks. I didn’t see my family for years. We talk now that I’m sober but I can hear the strain in their voices. They’ve never invited me to stay over, but I do visit during the day sometimes. And we talk.

#2. Friends

Did those guys back in the park stay my friends? Nope, of course not. I was disowned by them just like I was eventually disowned by my family. Any other friends I had soon went the same way. A drunk with no-one to talk at but himself is an even sadder drunk. My inescapable hell.

#3. Relationships

Like I said before, in all the craziness with my obvious alcohol addiction, I got married. What was she thinking? In all the years of my drinking, I never could keep a relationship. Second dates were rarer than free drinks at my local bar… Still, we met, I thought I was in love and we tied the knot. Her parents weren’t impressed and mine didn’t even come to the wedding. My verbal abuse, my moods, my sullenness, and my constant drinking saw her walk out the door about a year and a half later; she tried her best to help me, she was patient and helpful, but I was in no place to be helped.

#4. Health

Alcohol will kill you in time. Its accompanying medical issues will see you in your grave. In all honesty, even though I felt like it many times, I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to wake up different each day but I never did. Withdrawal in rehab was just about bearable – in fact, it was nothing I hadn’t done before as a drunk. Vomiting, shaking, screaming, crying.

#5. Sadness

I have included this because this was simply how I felt every single day of my drinking years. Terrible, terrible sadness. Some may call it self-pity or even depression, but for me it was just plain sadness, all part of my inescapable hell.

Young & Sober

So, that’s why. I have written stuff like this before – in my diaries, my journals, and other notebooks. Writing is part of my new, sober life and my ongoing recovery. Writing I can control and is definitely at the opposite end of the spectrum to my alcohol addiction. Just over 4 years sober and so many things that happened before have come more into my perspective and my understanding. I’m 28 but I often feel like I’ve lived the life of someone far older. So these were (and still are) the 5 reasons I decided to stop drinking completely: family, friends, relationships, health and sadness. If you have decided to quit your drinking for good, what was your main motivation for doing so? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

From one of my favorite songs – “Go easy, step lightly, stay free.”

About Our Guest Blogger:

carl-t-guest-bloggerI’m Carl Towns, a 28-year-old wanna-be writer; I am also a recovering addict in the path of self-discovery. My goal is to learn as many things as possible and to seize every single moment I live, pretty much trying to make up for all that I missed on the years I was lost in drugs and alcohol (among other things). I’m in love with tech, cars and pretty much anything that can be found online.

 

 

 

 

Guest blog posts are welcome additions to the content on this website. Guest blog posts represent the views, opinions and experiences of the author and do not necessarily represent Our Young Addicts. Together, we provide parents and professionals with a variety of perspectives and information.

 ©2017 Our Young Addicts   All Rights Reserved.

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The first time I ever got drunk was when I was 9 years old from an anise-flavoured drink we call Aguardiente. I come from a Colombian-born family who immigrated to Southern California and naturally, Colombian’s like to party. I was a curious kid and I loved how it made me feel but things escalated. At age 14 I smoked marijuana, at the age of 19 I tried meth and at the age of 23, I ended up arrested in Idaho on drug charges and was given a two-year sentence. I came from a loving family, my parents worked hard to provide for my siblings and I. So when I entered rehab and came out, these are 4 important lifestyle changes that turned my life around to help me stay sober:

I changed my sleeping pattern

Having a healthy sleep pattern helped a big deal to have a much better life. Our bodies require an average of 8 hours of sleep a day and depriving it of this amount can lead to severe consequences in the future. Heart problems and focus problems are some of the many effects that sleeping less than what’s recommended can bring to us.

By having a good sleeping pattern I was able to better concentrate on my daily tasks and my work. I was more focused on my priorities and this allowed me to improve my performance at my job and my own personal life. It also made me feel healthier, awake, motivated and eager to take up on new challenges.

I changed my diet/exercised regularly

Adopting a healthy new lifestyle is what changes your attitude towards life. Eating better and exercising were 2 of the main things that improved everything about me making a huge difference on my everyday. By starting a healthier diet I felt energized and was able to have a much more balanced life-rhythm. Healthier food meant better moods and overall better acceptance of the person I was turning into. Exercise helped me to feel fit, work on my self-esteem and gain more respect towards my mind and my body. Working out has a unique effect on how we perceive life itself. We become more positive and happier, this is due to the fact that by embracing a daily routine, our brains release the same chemicals as when we’re happy or in love, making us feel a lot better about ourselves.

I learned what gratitude was

When I was using, I was self-centered and blamed everyone around me for my problems. Reliving and dwelling on my past was counterproductive but focusing on a new healthier life was what helped me become sober. Becoming grateful for my friends, family, job, lifestyle and all around what is “good” in my life helped me stay on track with my sobriety!

I found new hobbies

By discovering new interests that were both healthy and productive, I got to work on my life as a big project built on milestones that I myself have set. Finding new hobbies meant using my free time in much better and more productive ways.It also allowed me to get passionate about new things and in the same way, learn new things that I’ve found very useful at some points in my life. Growing a passionate interest in an activity allowed me to see that I am capable of things I didn’t think I was, it also taught me that with motivation and dedication I can produce amazing results that made me be proud of what I did and also made me feel happy and useful.

When recovering from addictions, finding out how to properly invest your free time is perhaps one of the most relevant aspects to progress into a new healthy-sober-and-happy life. When combined with a healthy lifestyle that includes a good sleeping pattern and a workout routine, you start immediately feeling a lot better about yourself. Adopting new hobbies allows you to see progress in small projects that you consider important and entertaining. When you invest your time wisely, your priorities fall into place and relapse opportunities and temptations become scarce within time.

If you have any questions or would like to suggest any other lifestyle changes that you consider important to a better life please let us know in the comments below.

About Our Guest Blogger:

andy Hi, I am Andy! I was born in Bogota, Colombia, but raised in Los Angeles, California. I have been clean for 9 years now! I spend my time helping others with their recovery and growing my online business.

 

 

 

Guest blog posts are welcome additions to the content on this website. Guest blog posts represent the views, opinions and experiences of the author and do not necessarily represent Our Young Addicts. Together, we provide parents and professionals with a variety of perspectives and information.

 ©2017 Our Young Addicts   All Rights Reserved.

Dealing with Your Child’s Addiction – A Father’s Story

It’s nice to get a dad’s perspective on parenting a young addict through to recovery. Today’s guest blogger shares his story. MWM

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Growing up, I experimented with methamphetamine on a few occasions. I was socially pressured into doing it but thankfully, it never took a hold of me. For some reason, the abnormal ecstasy put me off and I stopped after a few tries.

When I became a father and as I watched my kids grow, I was overwhelmed by the crippling fear that my kids may experiment as I did, and I wasn’t sure if they would be as lucky as I was. I tried not to talk to them about drugs or substance abuse because I believed if I avoided it, it would not come up.

My son, Jake started taking drugs at 14. I missed the initial signs and I have never stopped blaming myself. Reading Rose’s post on addiction tell-tale signs, I can’t help but think things might have turned out differently if I had known what to look out for.

How It All Began

Jake was never a gregarious child but he seemed more withdrawn soon after his 14th birthday. His grades also started to drop and we worried he was struggling with some emotional changes as a teenager.

My wife and I tried to talk to him, but he never indicated there was a problem. We tried to be more communicative, did all the fun things he liked, and paid more attention to his study habits. This seemed to work initially as he talked a bit more and got more involved at home. But he was never the same and his grades didn’t see much improvement.

As time passed, Jake started finding more excuses to go out at odd hours, became disrespectful and stopped caring about his appearance. He didn’t do well at school and could care less. He would have mood swings from talkative and animated to withdrawn. He would also get uncharacteristically aggressive on occasions.

Jake was away at school most of the time, so we did not see his condition progress.forward-1276291_1920

It Was Not Very Obvious

When you think of drug abuse, you think of prominent symptoms like dilated pupils and conspicuous, uncontrollable cravings. This wasn’t the case with Jake as far as we could see. Also, he hardly ever asked for money so we were more concerned than suspicious.

The changes in him caused us enough concern to seek help from counsellors. It was suggested that Jake may be dealing with substance abuse. We broached the subject with him but he would always deny the fact. Something was wrong but we were at a loss for what it was.

Discovering the Addiction

A year later, when Jake came home for a summer holiday, he was far gone in his addiction. He was skinny, outright depressed, was very easily agitated, slept a lot and was often tired. He also had a seizure once. It was clear to us by then that he was struggling with substance abuse.

Our first reaction naturally was panic. We wanted to immediately take him to a rehab center but a friend of the family advised us against that. She said any action had to be taken with his consent and after due consultation with him. According to her, taking any actions without first talking it over with Jake was likely to put him in a “me vs them” mentality.

Thanks to her advice, we were able to first:

  • Discuss the situation with Jake – At first, he was defensive. But he eventually acknowledged that his addiction was harming him and that he needed help. He wasn’t very forthcoming with information. He would not tell us why or how he started abusing drugs but we were content to leave that to the specialists.
  • Agree on treatment – We were able to get Jake to agree to professional help. This was tough. As a teenager, he could not face the reality of being a drug addict. The psychological implications of getting help was more profound than we imagined.

Please note that these processes took several days. We did not try to immediately stop him from taking the drugs because we understood stopping cold turkey without professional supervision could be dangerous.

Jake’s Treatment, Recovery and Rehabilitation

After researching our options, we found a rehab centre out of town. Jake wanted to be away from the people that knew him.

The rehab professionals were amazing. It’s hard enough dealing with a teenager that has no addiction problems. The experts were able to get through to Jake in a short time and his outlook changed. I may not be able to go into details, but his treatment involved:

  • Counselling by rehab experts; and
  • Clinical therapy (nutrition, exercise and medication) to manage detox and withdrawal – this helped to soften the withdrawal symptoms like agitation and irritability, anxiety, fatigue and depression.

The terrible thing about substance addiction of any kind is the lasting effects it has on your body even after the addiction. We learned that drug chemicals lodge in fatty issues, which not only exposes the patient to health risks, but can easily trigger relapse. We are sure the detox process went a long way in making his treatment effectual.

Youth Support Group Overseen By Trained Professionals

The rehab centre had a support group for youth where they were made to relate with each other on a broad range of topics other than their addiction. I think this significantly helped Jake because it made him learn to communicate again, to feel like a normal individual with more to him than his addictions.

We were also counselled on how to relate with Jake and provide him with the kind of support he needed to stay strong. We provided him with a warm and loving environment, taking care not to make him the centre of attraction as this could cause him to withdraw.

Notes

Treatment, especially the detox phase, was not easy. Initially, there were times when Jake would ask to come home, promising to stay sober. He would also try to blackmail us into feeling that we had left him alone to suffer at rehab. We remain grateful to the rehab experts for how they handled the situation and for their advice on responding to every scenario.

We were also advised alongside Jake on how to deal with tricky situations such as:

  • Meeting friends from his addiction days.
  • Meeting his old drug dealer(s).
  • Handling romantic relationships from his addiction days.
  • Finding meaning and substance in life through sober eyes.

Jake has been sober for one year now. We all continue to get counseling from the rehab specialists and we believe that Jake is on his way to a fulfilled life.

About Today’s Guest Blogger:

Today’s guest blogger is a father from North-West London in the UK. His son has been clean for a year now but he’s always conscious that problems like these never really go away. He appreciates if you would read the tale of his son Jake and how the family missed the signs of his drug addiction. Just knowing he’s been able to help other families out there with their tale helps immeasurably.

Article Source: addictionhelper.com

Guest blog posts are welcome additions to the content on this website. Guest blog posts represent the views, opinions and experiences of the author and do not necessarily represent Our Young Addicts. Together, we provide parents and professionals with a variety of perspectives and information.

 

©2017 Our Young Addicts   All Rights Reserved.