When you are going through a tough time in your life, you will need a friend who will be there for you. In my case, that friend is Alcohol.
I have known him since first-year high school. Back then we only meet occasionally. But when I reached college, our bonding sessions became more frequent, almost every day. Why? Because I badly needed a friend.
My college years were a difficult point in my life. On the outside, I may seem pretty normal, just like the usual college student exploring and enjoying. But deep inside I was bleeding and barely surviving.
Maybe it’s because of what happened to our family. It’s crazy how one day everything is just pure happiness and you would think that things will always stay perfect. Then on a random day, Life will decide to take everything away from you.
You see, it’s not easy to wake up every morning to the sound of your parents shouting at each other. It's not easy to see your sisters get depressed and you can’t do anything about it. It's not easy to watch a happy family fall apart.
It was all too difficult for me. I needed to escape. That’s when my friend, Alcohol, saved me.
I found the solution to my problems, at last. And so I became more and more dependent on alcohol until I was drinking almost daily. I felt free from worries, except when I’m sober.
When I'm in a normal state of consciousness, all the negativity comes back to me. I am reminded of how fucked-up the world is and how shitty my life was. My mind was filled with dark and horrible thoughts. There were times when I think of taking my life.
It was frightening. I knew the only way to escape is to have too much alcohol because when I’m drunk, I feel far away from all my problems. And for a moment, no matter how brief, I’m just having fun.
"Hangover" by エン バルドマン | CC BY
Inevitably, drinking has become a routine and a part of my system.
During those times I wasn’t aware that I was diving deeper into the rabbit hole. Just a few more steps downward and I will reach the point of no return.
“When I’m drunk, I feel far away from all my problems. And for a moment, no matter how brief, I’m just having fun.”
Then the worst thing happened—I was caught.
It was one time when I was drinking, and I took a hit of marijuana. When I decided to go home, I was still disoriented. I was not aware that I brought home my friend’s glass tube that still contained weed.
I can’t remember what happened next. All I know is that when I woke up the next morning, my mom was in front of me holding the glass tube and asking me what it was.
I was shaken. I didn’t know what to say. But after a few minutes that seemed like an eternity, I told my mom the truth.
The expression on my mom's face is something I would never want to see again. She was wearing an expression that seemed to say “You let me down.”
My heart was broken into a million little pieces. I let my mom and my sisters down. All along they were hoping that I’ll be a good and successful man. But then they discovered that I was wasting my life.
In an instant, everything I did wrong flashed back to me. Then suddenly, the most fearsome thought crept into my head: I might lose the only family I have left, my mom and my sisters. That’s the last thing I would want to happen. They are the main reason why I’m still fighting and trying to survive in this harsh and cruel world. I care about them more than anyone or anything. I love them so much.
In that morning, I woke up literally and figuratively.
I knew I needed to regain their trust and prove to them that I can be the same Vince they knew before or even better. So that’s what I did.
When I cut my long hair about 2 years ago, it was a symbol of me reinventing myself. That marked the beginning of the new me. Little by little, I was able to overcome my dependence on alcohol. I realized that I can’t escape from my problems by getting drunk all the time. So I addressed my problems more positively, and so far everything is going great. My relationship with my mom and my sisters has never been better, I'm about to graduate with a degree in Computer Engineering, and I found a new outlet: writing.
Had I been stubborn and chose to continue wasting my life, I’m sure I wouldn’t have made it this far. I’m thankful I made the right decision.
When you are at a low point in your life, the more dangerous it is to resort to alcohol or other harmful substances. What’s more likely to happen is you’ll get stuck in an ugly lifestyle. Don’t let that happen, don't use alcohol as an escape. Break the cycle while you still can. Trust me, someone out there believes in you.
I learned a lot of things from what I have experienced. But the most important realization is that I was wrong. Alcohol could never ever save me—but my family can.
This story was originally published at Thought Cloud, a space to express. Thought Cloud
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