I have a tendency to talk about my Bipolar Disorder more than my Alcoholism. I knew myself as an Alcoholic for much longer than I knew I was Bipolar. I was 16 going on 17 when I first got drunk. I had sips of my dad’s beer when I was little but didn’t truly know the feeling of being drunk until that night. I remember my best friend calling all excited. She told me to get ready we were going to a party. I was scared and knew I wouldn’t look as good as the other girls. When she told me who would be in the car with her I felt worse. The 2 most popular guys in our town and the surrounding towns. It was the late 80’s early 90’s. They both had long hair. One looked like Slash from Gun N Roses and was in a band, the other had black straight hair with bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. I did my best.
We were on the freeway for about 5 minutes when the Rumplemintz came out. I’m probably spelling it wrong but it was mint schnapps. I took the first big gulp. After that it didn’t matter if I was fat or ugly. The alcohol made that feeling disappear. Another plus was I could suddenly talk and crack jokes. I was a little bitchy and sarcastic but it came across as confident. This was attractive for a little while anyway.
Through my 20 years of drinking there were some good times. Concerts, meeting bands, parties, always going out somewhere. I really did love meeting bands, I can’t say they felt same about me but I wasn’t thrown off any buses. My best friend and I laughed a lot at times.
When there were bad times they were really bad. Fights, arrests, a DUI, suicide attempts, waking up in strange places with strange people, not remembering if I consented to things, getting beat up, making my mom cry and probably my dad too. Also the loss of trust, friends, money, self-esteem, jobs, and the will to live.
It was a continuing cycle of self abuse I thought I deserved. I belonged at the bottom of the barrel because I was nothing. I had thought this way since I was 12. At first the alcohol helped, it wasn’t a depressant for me. I could drink all night long and be somewhat hyper. But there were times it would turn on me and I couldn’t stop it. At these times I would look for something else to go with the alcohol. I wonder how I am still alive sometimes. My tolerance for alcohol and any stimulant was so high the amounts I could do scared the people around me.
The last straw was when my best friend had had enough. It took her 20 years of watching me try to destroy myself before she finally couldn’t do it anymore.
I quit drinking cold turkey and went to a psychiatrist. I had been on antidepressants for years. It was time to really deal with things and find out if more was going on. There was. I was diagnosed as Bipolar and with Conversion Disorder. Anxiety and Social Phobia was thrown in too. I got a second opinion. The second doctor didn’t know how I had made it as far as I did. I almost didn’t many times. My parents kept me alive. I’m only sorry my mom didn’t get to see me. Sober for over 6 years now, I do it for me, I do it for her. I love you.