April is Alcohol Awareness Month – When you’re so good at drinking you have to stop

Lara Abramov

| 3 min read

I was so good at drinking, I had to stop. Yeah, nearly five years ago. I dropped out of grad school and headed to rehab to finally deal with a problem I’ve had for so much of my life.
See, I, like millions of you, love drinking. Love it. I still think about drinking at least 20 times a day and wish I could drink like a normal person. But, I know I can’t. I’m an alcoholic.
Does it sound odd to be so frank? So open about alcoholism? Should I cower and feel ashamed of this?
No. I refuse to be ashamed. I’m over the shame game. For anyone who struggles with alcohol, you know what it’s like to live with shame. It’s your shadow and your skin; it’s another reason to pick up. Sure, we live in a culture where drinking is encouraged, but let’s not forget for a minute that alcohol is a drug, it’s just a legal drug…
There are millions of people like me out there. I am not alone. You are not alone. Chances are you may know or be someone who struggles with alcoholism. In fact, nearly thirty percent of all adult drinkers consume at levels that put them at risk for alcoholism, liver disease and other problems.
Over the next month, I plan to write a series of blogs on alcoholism, about stigma, shame and self-destruction. I want to examine whether alcoholism is a disease and what propels our cultural compulsion to escape. I want to look at where alcoholism begins and the familial influence of this cursed affliction. I want to touch on the cost associated with alcoholism, because it’s not just the cost of your bar tab at 2 am on a Saturday night, but there’s emotional, physical and spiritual costs too, not to mention the price anyone who loves you must pay. I want to look at how one can tell if they’re an addict, even if they are highly functioning. I want to write about how difficult it is to imagine your life without (terrifying), but most importantly, I want to provide all of you who are trapped an idea of hope and possibility. I want to offer up a glimmer of what it’s like to truly feel your life, the brutal, the beautiful, all of it…
To my alcoholic brethren – no matter what you’ve been told, no matter what you think about yourself, no matter how much you hate yourself for being an alcoholic, you deserve a better life. And to all those who live with and love an alcoholic, I hope to possibly provide some insights into what it’s like to be an alcoholic. Stay tuned readers. It’s about to get real.
Image credit: CDC

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.