My addictive mind baffles me. If you went to a Chinese restaurant and got sick you would stay away from the place for a while. If you went back and got sick again you’d stay away for good. When I was little I had a babysitter who made me eat tuna fish and mayonnaise every day after school. She subscribed to the 'eat what there is or eat nothing at all' approach. Fair enough. I cannot stand tuna or mayonnaise and would gag as I ate it! But I was starving and that was my only choice. When my mom found a new sitter, I never ate it again. To this day when my wife makes tuna salad I get a little oogey.
The strange paradox with booze and drugs is that when you get sick you go back for more. For the first few YEARS each time I drank I became violently ill. I figured I'd get used to it. I had always heard booze was an aquired taste. Coffee, for me, was an acquired taste. I love the stuff. When I first started drinking it I didn't hurl all over myself and everywhere around me. My body was telling me right from the first swig that the sauce was poison to me. That little voice inside me cried out from my stomach then spilled out on the floor.
There is much debate as to whether alcoholism is hereditary or socially imprinted on us. I believe both are true and how you get something isn't as important as how you respond to it once you know you have it. There were drinkers in my family, but no one ever poured a drink down my throat. I always did it myself. A boss never did it. A girlfriend or wife never held me down bottle in hand. No one ever put alcohol and drugs into me... except me.
I have also heard people say they were alcoholic long before they picked up the first drink. That statement confounded me for awhile, but I embrace it now. As far as I am concerned, I had alcoholic tendencies before that summer in ’79. I didn't like myself very much, but I was all I ever thought about! I thought the world revolved around me or it should. If I was happy, everyone should be happy. If I was sad, I wanted you in the dumps at my side.
I thought I was one of a kind. I was either above you or below you. I never met someone and thought to myself, he's just like me. If I walked into a room full of strangers, and they halted their conversation as I strolled past, I was certain they were talking about me. They definitely didn't like me! I tried to fit in with every group, but isolated whenever possible. The sad part was that I hated being alone, but found comfort in not being with the crowd. I was a simple person with complex thinking.
I hung out with the jocks because I played baseball and basketball. I hung out with the stoners because they liked rock-n-roll and punk. I hung out with the geeks because I felt they were misunderstood. I hung out with all the cliques, but was never "in" any of them. It was easier to make a guest appearance in one and move into the next before they got too close. I was not about to share my true feelings to them and let them see the real me!
I didn't know who or what the real me was, and I was going to figure it out on my own. That need to “figure things out on my own” kept me drinking and using longer. As soon as I discovered booze and drugs I was okay with me and that set me off for the next 28 years. My alcoholic mind had the strange notion that asking for help is a sign of weakness or stupidity. I was afraid if I asked, people for help they would think something was wrong with me. I didn't need any help beating me up. I did it all day, everyday, for 28 years, and sometimes I still do.