My name is Stephanie Price, and I am a recovered alcoholic.
Now you say, “Hi Stephanie,” and I start talking. ...
I was chatting with my 7-year-old daughter recently about this and that, my past I think, and had to pause to do some mental math after she asked me, “Mom, how long has it been since you drank alcohol?” Well, I last knowingly consumed alcohol was when I was 24 years old; it was 1996. So 17 years.
“Wow,” I realized. I have been sober longer than I even drank, which was about ten years’ total. Interesting.
“And why did you drink?” my daughter wanted to know. I told her, in 7-year-old terms, something like this:
Alcohol, for me, brought about great relief from what one might call existential angst. I had not even known I was so troubled until I drank and the angst was, temporarily, gone. For most anyone who enjoys a glass of wine, a beer or a fancy cocktail, alcohol takes that edge off, and it did for me, too.
Frankly, like a good pain pill should, alcohol made me feel better.
Problem was, I’d get that edge softened — ah, the nice, fuzzy, rounded corners of a few beers — but keep on drinking.
You know that girl who orders pitchers at last call? That was me.
Then, when I decided I should leave alcohol alone — “We just don’t get along well,” I might have told myself — I found I could not. Somehow, for some reason or no reason, on a good day or a bad day, after a “trigger” or no trigger, I would find myself drinking again when I really had not wanted to.
People would suggest I “chose” to drink again. I had not chosen, yet I could not explain why I drank after I had firmly decided not to. Talk about feeling like you’re absolutely CRAZY.