It didn’t take me long to feel the unease of the first drink I’d ever had, or maybe I should say the ease of the first drink being it felt so good…too good to be honest. But being young and not knowing any better I kept up with it pretty well, too well I’d realize later. I hoped everyday that I wouldn’t wind up having a drinking problem, even from a younger age than I already was at 17. But that was one of the biggest problems was the denial of it all. For so long I didn’t want the signals I gave off of being the real scared me known until nighttime when I became the real drunk me and I’d forget about it. When they say you battle an addiction they are so right in it’s terms of battling. Everyday I’d wish that I wouldn’t drink that night only to not be able to handle being in my own skin without sleep until I’d relentlessly go for the six or 12 pack. When the party finally did end, and yes it had to, I felt about as horrible as my fears would allow in the years prior. It was always my secret battle that I never talked about because, as it seemed, everyone around me was always doing so well I had no idea where to fit in anymore. And that was the thing, I wasn’t me anymore. I was this girl whose priorities seemed to shift from school to drinking and that was all that I cared about in the next few years. I feel terrible about it now, because there’s not really a real sounding board for an alcoholic who feels alone all of the time and stubbornly pushes away the people who get in the way when intoxicated. No wonder I felt like people pushed me into the corner and walked on by, I practically forced them too. In looking back beyond the haze of the hangovers, you can really see the destruction alcohol can do especially over time and the things you had to be willing to forgo in order to keep up denial. I had some of the nicest friends that would take care of me on the nights I couldn’t drive which were adding up to be too many. Once the headache wears thin and you slowly come back to reality all people would see was my smiling face that hid all the secrets within. I had to get out of the denial but shame would bring me back into the ring time and time again. When you wake up every single day dreading the time that comes that you usually drink….people that don’t suffer from addictions have no idea how hard it is to get through 24 hours without your fix. I’d always thought mine was something attributed to growing pains, but the hidden secrets that ooze out of a bottle would come to my desires of just not feeling this way, too many a time. “Bored,” they would say. “You’re just bored,” enabling just the thing I’d want. And, “yes,” I thought. I was bored. But boredom is supposed to be fixed with something healthy to do, or anything to do that doesn’t require the shame shift time and time again. You shouldn’t feel guilty about the things you do when you’re bored, and my guilt was ever surmounting in all of the times I’d hear about my boredom, all the while knowing that one day I’d probably have to come to terms with the reality of the word addiction.