I Realized I was Different

"Growing up my life was pretty normal. My parents were both drinkers and they were what you would call “functioning alcoholics”.

The household was a pretty good time tho.

When I was about 12 years old, I began to realize I was different. I noticed boys in my school more often then I noticed the girls. I soon came to realize that I was gay. At the time it wasn’t popular or cool to be gay. I had to hide it at every turn in my life. And it ate away at me. The fear that someone would find out and also I just didn’t want to be gay. I hated myself and who I was.

When I was 14 a coworker offered me some marijuana, and within a week I was doing shrooms.

I went from a straight A student to someone who could barely make it to school. The depression and suicide thoughts were starting to take control. And my only escape was smoking weed. I didn’t drink very often tho in my teenage years as I didn’t want to be like my parents.

When I graduated high school I started a serving/bartending job and the drinking began. It was everything I was missing in my life. It let me be the life of the party. The jokester, the jock, the straight guy. It let me be someone I wasn’t. It let me wear the ultimate mask. And drinking was fun for those first couple years. Then the depression took over, I had a suicide attempt and spent some time in the hospital for that. In my twenties I got my dream job and became a general manager of a restaurant. I had faked my may to the top position. I had arrived. But shortly I had started to experiment with cocaine. And it was amazing. Suddenly I didn’t black out when I was drinking and I could control my behaviour more. That led into longer binges and harder drugs. Crack and meth were now a regular part of my life. But I still kept succeeding in my work life. Until I wasn’t. I lost my job because of my alcohol/drug use and I eventually got 2 DUIs in a matter of a year, and spent some time in jail as well for drug possession. I quit doing hard drugs for a couple of years but eventually went back to them. I still drank and smoked weed daily tho. The next 13 years were a consistent pattern of drinking and using and being a “functioning alcoholic” as I still was self supporting myself and always seemed to have a job, and made management at most of the places I worked. I was living a double life. By this time I had come out of the closet and faced that part of my life and I was happy with that but the self hate and defence mechanisms were still ingrained in who I was. I was afraid to be my authentic self. I desperately wanted to be sober but deathly afraid I was going to lose a huge part of myself at the same time. It’s what I used to stop my brain from spiralling. In my early 30s things were at their worst. The party had officially ended. I moved home to try to get some control of my life but within a couple months tragedy struck and my dad passed away. I was now on a death spiral that lasted for a year and a half. I didn’t want to live but I was too scared to do the ultimate thing and take my own life. I eventually made the call and got into detox and rehab. It was life changing. It had been years since I had more then 2 days in a row of sobriety and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone. I was finding out who I was. With a lot of work and a ton of help from some of the most amazing people I got clean and sober. For the first time 4 months, the next time a year and a half. I had a horrible summer of drinking and using again but I’m now coming up to two months clean and sober. My life has gotten considerably better in the last couple years. I still struggle with happiness sometimes. But I am one of the fortunate ones to have found what life can be like clean and sober. It is because I was desperate enough to reach out, ask for help and do what was suggested of me to do. If anyone reading this is struggling there is a whole host of people that are more then happy to help. An individual once told me I’m not on the road TO happiness but I’m on the road OF happiness. There is no end goal just a daily journey of finding out who and what I am as a person. It’s been a blessing. Thanks for taking the time to read this."