It’s odd now to talk about it. Even through my therapy process, we rarely
discussed it. I hid it from
everyone. Not intentionally, it just
never really came up. No one ever asked,
“AJ, are you an alcoholic?” Everyone
knew I could drink most people under the table.
It was just who I was. No one
For many years, I was what I call a “functioning
alcoholic”. I tried not to drink before
going to work, but at any other point in time, you could be assured, I was
drinking. I used to tell myself, “as
long as it doesn’t affect your job, you’re safe.” The truth was, I wasn’t. I was drowning my emotions in a sea of
booze. I always dreaded the forms at a
doctor’s office. They looked like this:
per week: 0-1drink ____ 1-2 drinks____
3-4 drinks____ 5+drinks____
Well, I would laugh.
The answer was always 5+, but that was more accurately per day than per
week (though technically still not a lie).
I would think, ‘are there really people who have less than 5 drinks per
week??’ I tried once to calculate the amount of drinks I had in a given day and
reached 10, but then I remembered that I had 2 glasses of wine for lunch and
half a bottle of champagne for breakfast (it was a day off), plus the two shots
I took before leaving the house. It was
staggering that I couldn’t even recall the amount I had consumed in a given
day, let alone a week. Weekly
consumption needed to be counted in bottles and cases. This also does not include the pot I smoked
Looking back, I didn’t feel anything for years. Every part of me was numbed by drugs or
alcohol whenever I could. I was a
harmless drunk, if anything, I was a very loving drunk. When I was really on the sauce, you could be
sure there were more than few drunk dials of love. Fortunately, they were mostly to my
sister. No one worries about the happy
drunk – everything seems fine.
Recently, I mean very recently, maybe two months or so, I
have nearly stopped drinking. Not
intentionally. There was no specific
event that spurred me to quit or even cut back.
I think I have been the person most shocked by it. I just don’t really drink anymore. I will have the occasional beverage, but now,
I fit into a box on the doctor’s forms.
I may have a drink every 3-4 days in a social setting, but that’s
all. I go WHOLE DAYS without drinking. For someone who consumed 7-15 drinks per day
on average and thought nothing of consuming 20+ drinks on a day off, that’s
HUGE!!! I told my therapist that I
couldn’t remember the last time I had a drink, I was so proud. Granted, it was within the last week, but it
was days before, not hours.