Tag: alcoholics anonymous

Codependency: Fear of Losing the Man and the Meth

[Editor's Note: Brendon O'Rourke is the GaySocialites.com Substance Abuse Specialist. Each of his columns, like the one below, features editorial content from Brendon as well as a excerpt from a journal he kept while in his active drug addiction. Make sure you come back every Thursday for Brendon's latest column! Please visit Queer Planet every weekend where Brendon will be posting a video discussing this weeks column and answering questions from readers. You can email questions to brendon@gaysocialites.com]

The following entry was written shortly after my boyfriend Erik and I and quickly used up most of our money. We were no longer able to afford the hotel we were staying at so we moved back in with Erik’s alcoholic friend Tom. Tom did not want us there and made it very clear that this was only going to be for a few days. This development started to freak me out as I had no clue what we were going to do in regards to having a place to live. I ended up calling my old sponsor Sharon and asked her for some help or advice. She told me that if I met her at a meeting she would help me. I followed her direction and met her at a meeting that night. Sharon said had been in contact with my parents and was working with them to figure out the best way to help me.

7/23/08
So I’m spending the night at Jill’s apartment. Met Sharon at a meeting earlier tonight, it was nice to see her. She asked me if I was willing to go to any lengths to stay sober. Ummmm I guess so? I dunno. Who asks that? Anyways she, Jill and my parents are trying to plan something to get me some help, so I’m staying with Jill until they figure that out. Finding out more in the morning.

I’m kind of scared and don’t feel good at all. I really miss Erik… He came to the meeting with me and Sharon, but he just stayed outside, then Jill came to pick me up. I asked her if Erik could stay over as well, she said no. Not surprised, she hates him. Erik said it would be good to spend some time apart and that everything was going to be ok. I couldn’t fucking believe he would say that! WHY? I love him so much, I just want to be with him tonight. I feel so lonely now, and really upset. I’m scared about what’s going to happen. Jill looks at me differently, it’s annoying, hellooooo I’m the same person. She brought me to Taco Bell which was nice. I just feel really weird right now, like I feel like I’m making the wrong decision, my stomach hurts and I miss my boyfriend SO MUCH!!! I feel like everyone is trying to keep me away from him and that everyone is against us. Everyone hates him, they don’t understand that I’m SO SO SO in love with him. Nobody does.

The next day after Jill went to work I called Erik and told him I didn’t think I could go through with it and didn’t want to go to treatment. I wasn’t willing to walk away from him and give up the lifestyle we had been living. Erik was the first boyfriend I ever had and I fell head over heels in love with him. It got to the point where I was completely co-dependent and could not imagine doing anything without him being there. I almost feel that I was more addicted to being in a relationship with him than I was to crystal meth.

If Erik had not been in the picture I probably would have gone with the plan that my parents, Jill, and Sharon had set up for me. However, at the time I was completely in love with him and could not imagine being separated from him for any length of time. I by no means blame him or hold him accountable for my drug addiction. I was using drugs on a regular basis way before he came along. Erik provided me with companionship and also provided a way for me to survive while doing drugs without the financial support of my parents or anyone else. I was completely addicted to him, the drugs, and all the drama that came with it.

Just one drink… I can control it (this time)

[Editor's Note: Brendon O'Rourke is the GaySocialites.com Substance Abuse Specialist. Each of his columns, like the one below, features editorial content from Brendon as well as a excerpt from a journal he kept during his substance abuse problem. Check it out below, and feel free to contact Brendon with comments and to find out how you can get treatment for your substance abuse problem. Make sure you come back every Thursday for Brendon's latest column!]

The following entry was written a few weeks after I had finished my stint in rehab. I had been smoking pot for a few weeks at this time and my boyfriend Erik had been drinking casually since we had gotten back together. Erik’s friend Tom, who we were staying with, was an active alcoholic who drank more than anyone I have ever seen. Tom was in his 40’s but probably looked like he was in his late 50’s thanks to the damage years of alcohol abuse had taken on his body.

When I first got out of rehab I was adamant about not going back to drinking. The plan was to only smoke marijuana. However, being around a boyfriend who drank casually and seemed to control it, as well as watching Tom get wasted on a daily basis began to play tricks on my mind. Slowly but surely my alcoholic brain convinced me that I could probably have a drink with dinner and be able to control it…

“June 20, 2008

So I was having lunch with Erik and my friend Lindsay at Hamburger Mary’s the other day. Erik and Lindsay both ordered drinks and I decided it would be ok if I got one too. Lindsay encouraged me to get a drink saying that it was fine and I should treat myself. I had the drink and guess what? Nothing happened. The earth didn’t explode or anything and I’m still here. I actually ended up having two drinks at lunch. While we were there I ended up seeing someone from AA come into the restaurant. Luckily they were seated inside and I don’t think they saw me. Thank god! Definitely wasn’t in the mood for a lecture.

In all honesty I seem to be controlling my drinking pretty well. I haven’t gotten wasted once since I started drinking again. I don’t think I’m gonna go back to AA though. I’m not really feeling it anymore. Sharon [my sponsor] knows that I’m smoking weed, she told me that’s not really working a program. I think you can run your program however you want! What works for me might not work for someone else, and vice versa. It’s also not like I’m drinking like Tom. Tom is the biggest drunk I have ever seen. Falling down everywhere, throwing up for hours on end, it’s kinda pathetic. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone drink like that. It won’t surprise me if he is dead within the next few years the way he is going.”

When I was first introduced to sobriety I had so many reservations. I couldn’t imagine going my entire life without having a drink or a drug. My sponsor Sharon told me that being sober meant abstaining from all mind-altering substances, including marijuana. I chose not to listen and do things my way. From my experience in order to be successful at long-term sobriety you have to be willing to do the work and to take suggestions. During the time that this journal entry was written I probably didn’t have an ounce of willingness in me which became my major downfall.

It’s funny how I was passing so much judgment on Tom and his drinking habits instead of looking at my own behaviors. In all honesty the way Tom drank was the same way I drank in the past. I know today that if I continued to drink I’m certain I would have turned out like Tom. At the time it was easier to pass judgment and focus on someone else’s problems rather than look at my own. My brain told me that Tom was definitely an alcoholic and that my drinking habits weren’t nearly as bad as his, therefore I should be able to control it. I soon found out of how wrong I was and today I know that I am definitely and will always be, an alcoholic.

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