Whether that's true or not (probably is) that's what I admitted to, to a roomful of strangers last night. It wasn't an AA meeting, but rather one of my thrice weekly DUI classes I am mandated to go to.
Over the many meeting/classes I have attended, I have seen when the "facilitator" single out one particular person, not to pick on them, but to use as an example/cautionary tale, and I actually prayed I would not be that one person. Last night, I was.
GOD, I almost cried. Here's how these classes go; there are a room full of people in various stages of treatment, most for DUI, some for heroin, some for domestic violence, etc. For whatever reason I was chosen to go into even more detail about my situation, the incredible amount of alcohol I had in my system when I crashed a car...and how most "normal" people would have been in a coma or needed to get their stomach pumped (I received no such treatment at the hospital, and in fact the fucking shackles were never removed from my feet and hands).
So...this guy concluded, rightfully so I think, that my tolerance is so fucking high, genetic or otherwise, that I could drink as much as did and still think I could drive. Then he asked me point blank:
Facilitator: "Do you consider yourself dependent on alcohol?"
Me: "Um, well, I mean not...now."
Facilitator: "Do you consider yourself an alcoholic?"
Me: [Dramatic pregnant pause]: "..........Yes?"
Jesus Fucking Christ. Saying that out loud, was many times harder to admit out loud, to myself and to a roomful of people, than coming out. And coming out was SO fucking hard. And the two issues go hand in hand.
I choked up, but managed to keep it together for another hour and 15 minutes that would seemingly NEVER FUCKING END. And this guy kept using me as an example, over and over, I slouched and my hand kept making the "put a goddamn cigarette in me" face. I chewed gum like it was my job and slouched.
It was fucking AWFUL.
But. Like coming out, it was also liberating in a way. I went home and watched the Bulls lose, had a few beers, and cried like a baby, alone. But you know what? I got up this morning, ate breakfast, showered, went to the gym, rode around on my shitty bike and went back for another class; here I am. Emotionally exhausted, alone, scared with sore abs from doing hundreds of crunches.
I know what I have to do, and I don't resent anyone reminding me of it, but fucking I resent anyone telling me what I need to do. Sure, there are people with much worse problems than mine, but guess, what? Personal problems are just that. Unique and cannot be accurately nor fairly compared or contrasted with anyone else's.
According to the regimen, I will live with this problem for the rest of my life. It will ALWAYS be a struggle. And that alone is a thought process I am still trying to process. You can't undo 15+ years of substance abuse in 3 months, no matter what the court system says. I plead patience from those that love me, and empathy from those that don't know me (well).
Not to end this on a sad note...but that "facilitator" informed, and the 15 other strangers in the room, that my DUI situation was a suicide attempt. And, I don't agree, but I don't...disagree either. Fucking therapy is like that. Maybe it was. Or might as well have been. Regardless, I do not want to fucking DIE.