My story is the no different from many other alcoholism stories, but it's the one I know best. So here goes...
Famous Alcoholics: In The Beginning...
...I was a kid much like any other. At least on the outside.
Although inside I had a nagging feeling that I wasn't like other kids. I found it very difficult to mix and tended to spend time on my own.
My life was in my head. Dreams of greatness, of being elsewhere. A typical trait of the alcoholic personality.
My teachers thought me strange and packed me off to an educational psychologist(at age 5).
She told me to my face that I was emotionally and intellectually immature for my age.
As you can imagine that just increased my feelings of isolation.
And so it continued.
Famous Alcoholics: To England...
....when I was eight, I was packed off to boarding school. You might think this strange.
But this is what happened in my family. Not because my parents didn't want me around.
Rather they thought it would be good for me. Character building and all that.
It was seen as the 'right' thing to do, among the social class I was born into.
Needless to say I flunked it. I was lost and full of fear.
Learning was the furthest thing from my mind as I wandered around the classrooms and dormitories in a haze of disbelief.
The teachers thought me lazy and responded with regular beatings and admonishments. I replied by trying to set the school on fire and stealing all that I could..it gave me a buzz to be able to get away with it.
After 5 years of this I failed my entrance exams to the next school that had been selected for me, and my parents had to settle on a different school.
Famous Alcoholics: And Then Along Came Substances....
...over the next 5 years or so I went to two schools (being expelled from one for thieving). It was at these schools that I started to get high to escape from all the negative emotions that were now threatening to destroy me.
Drinking, sniffing deodorant and glue, smoking pot became a part of my day. I also continued to steal.
When I was high I was on fire, a fire that consumed everything bad that I felt about myself. I couldn't get enough of this escaping. So I used and abused all I could.
Over the next few years of further education- I flitted from course to course, looking for something that would fulfill.
This was never going to happen because I hated myself, and only by learning to like and accept myself was I going to find any peace.
Meanwhile, I was still drinking and drugging on a daily basis, usually alone- the way I liked it.
Famous Alcoholics: The World of Work....
It seemed to me that I was crap at everything I did, except for one, drinking.
So I consigned myself to becoming a famous alcoholic.
The drink-addled logic of the addict.
This was the one activity that I seemed to excel at so over the next few years I threw myself into achieving notoriety through my alcohol consumption.
What followed was all a bit messy. The usual scrapes with the law, emergency rooms, confrontations with relatives and so on.
Needless to say I didn't become a famous alcoholic. I became a sad alcoholic and a drug addict.
From time to time I stared into the abyss and decided to 'get my shit together'.
But after going through rehab, attending alcoholic anonymous meetings and a period of sobriety I would always return to the cycle of dependency.
Famous Alcoholics: Then along Came Children....
During one of my periods of sobriety I lived in a community in the East of Ireland and met my wife-to-be. We got married and had a son.
Still, in time, I went back to my old ways and yet it somehow wasn't the same but, I couldn't stop because I was (and am) an addict. By now I had discovered the 'joys' of opiates.
At some stage I got sick of it all, it sounds corny but when I looked at my son I saw myself. I didn't want him to grow up as I did. How could I prevent this if I was high all the time.
So I made a promise to myself that if I could stop this time then I would not start again, and that is what happened.
I went back into an alcohol treatment program and I have finally began to leave behind my warped dream of becoming a famous alcoholic after 30 odd years of trying.
From Wannabe Famous Alcoholic to Hero....
Not too long ago, I was absent-mindedly singing (badly) the old Stranglers song No More Heroes which goes something like this:
Whatever happened to all the heroes?
All the Shakespearoes?
They watched their Rome burn
Whatever happened to the heroes?
Whatever happened to the heroes?
No more heroes any more
No more heroes any more.....
Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)