You’ve probably heard the argument that some people have an “addictive personality” and some don’t. I wouldn’t say that I have an addictive personality in general. I’ve experimented with drugs and never felt the urge to do them again. I don’t smoke anything, and I HATE the way nicotine makes me feel. But when it comes to alcohol, my personality definitely doesn’t mix well with it.
I’ve always been very stubborn and hard-headed. If I want to do something, I’m going to do it. If I don’t want to do something, nothing and nobody can make me. It’s a blessing and a curse. I’m motivated and unstoppable when I’m passionate about something, even if that “something” is toxic for me.
I’m also an anxious person, specifically in social situations with strangers or people I’m uncomfortable around, and I hate loud, overwhelming crowds. I don’t think I’ve always been this way but I’ve definitely developed these quirks over the years. You know what places include strangers and loud crowds? Bars and clubs. You know where I’ve found myself very frequently throughout my college career and young adult life? Bars and clubs.
But I wanted to go out, be social, make friends, and be on the scene because I thought that’s what I was “supposed” to be doing. And if it didn’t feel natural for me to have fun and relax in those types of scenarios, I was going to make myself relax and usually go very overboard with it. And nobody was going to stop me.
Once I started drinking and feeling more comfortable in my own skin, I would become addicted to keeping this foreign feeling alive. Even if I had two drinks in my hand, I would always be worried about when I was getting my next one. And 9 times out of 10, I wouldn’t stop until I couldn’t walk or stand.
And when you’ve been rebellious and stubborn since you popped out of the womb, your friends telling you to “slow down” doesn’t work. If I wanted to drink, I was going to drink…EVEN if my sober self looked herself in the mirror before leaving and told herself she was going to keep it together. Nobody, not even myself, could convince me to make the logical choice to slow down once the floodgates were open.
Knowing myself and understanding the nuances of my personality has helped me truly acknowledge and accept the fact that alcohol just isn’t for me. Like the wise Robert Downey Jr. once said, “I’m allergic to alcohol…I break out in handcuffs.” Being confident in my choice to quit drinking has helped me be around alcohol and not feel tempted. It was when I was uncertain and not ready to admit that I wasn’t a good drinker that I was so quick to fall back into my old ways. It was way easier to convince myself that something would somehow be different the next time I drank, and it never was.
I’ve been 100% sober for almost 30 days, which is the longest I’ve gone since I started this journey in 2016. I almost wish I could say it’s been super tough, but this time around has been the easiest! When you know yourself, you know what to do. Accepting the things that I like, don’t like, and what makes me different has given me so much clarity about what I need to be truly happy within.