How I Became an Alcoholic
What made me want to drink so much?
Throughout my twenties, I drank almost every single day. The only times that I ever made it through a day sober were when I was actively trying to quit drinking—normally just a handful of times each year.
What’s even worse is that I didn’t just drink often; I also drank heavily. A six-pack of IPAs was my standard minimum. Some days, I went through 24-can cases. I was typically passing-out drunk by the end of each night.
Why did I drink so much?
It’s a simple question, but it’s proven to be one of the great mysteries of my life. I’ve spent years struggling to understand how some people can easily drink in moderation while others develop addictions that overrun their lives. What was it that put me into the latter category?
When I see heavy drinking portrayed in movies and television, there tends to be a single, obvious incident that leads to the character’s alcoholism—the death of a wife, loss of a job, or PTSD from a war, for example.
In the real world, addiction rarely has such clear and singular explanations. Instead, alcoholism and other addictions tend to form due to a multitude of factors, sometimes overlapping.
As a recovering alcoholic, I’ve tried my hardest to identify the causes of my addiction. I believe that understanding why I drank is one of the important steps that I have to take to avoid falling back into my habit.
In today’s newsletter, I’m going to share these factors. Although some of them are highly specific to me, others apply far more generally. I hope that by reading these, other recovering alcoholics might better understand their own addictions too.
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