“Work Hard, Play Hard”
My mid 20s were the days when I used to feel invincible and I feared nothing. I was indulging in every vice I could while acing through University. I took ‘work hard, play hard’ to the extremes. Over time, recreational alcohol use became a much bigger monster — alcohol dependency. I needed a can to start my day and end my day. It was a ritual and if anything messed that routine up, I’d end up self sabotaging my whole day. I knew I was spiralling but little did I know that my alcohol addiction would soon take over every aspect of my life, leaving me with nothing but regrets and a broken heart.
I had a partner I deeply loved. But I craved alcohol more.
I was attached to a partner who was everything I had ever wanted. He was smart, charming, and pretty much a big reason why I even got into University in the first place. Most importantly, he loved me despite my flaws and my alcohol issues. But as much as I loved him, I needed alcohol more.
I thought I could balance the two. I would go to bars and house parties, binge drinking with my friends, and then come home to him, telling him I had only had a few drinks. We were both in the same University so we shared a hall room together. I’d come back messy and smelling like cigarettes while he was recouping for classes the next day. It was messy but he tolerated it so I guess I took it for granted.
My alcohol addiction made me lie compulsively. I took his tolerance for granted.
But as my addiction grew stronger, I found myself lying to him more and more. I would come back drunk, stumbling around and slurring my words, and he’d would be there waiting for me, tears in his eyes.
He begged me to stop drinking and even offered to pay for me to go see a therapist, but I couldn’t. I needed alcohol to feel alive, to feel like I was in control. So, I continued to sacrifice our love and trust to feed my addiction.
He hid my alcohol from me. I hit him. That was the final straw.
As time went on, I started to realise just how much I had lost. My grades, my real friends, and most importantly, the boy I loved. I was too far gone. One day, he hid my alcohol from me, hoping I would go without it for a day. But when I found out, I hit him. That was it. The final straw and he walked off that same night. I did not even bother to stop him because I knew in that moment, I had hit rock bottom.
For the next few weeks, I was alone, with nothing but bottles and empty cigarette packs to keep me company. And as I sat there, drowning in my sorrows, I realised the true cost of my addiction. I had lost everything that ever mattered to me, all for a few moments of temporary relief.
Now, as I look back on those dark days, I can’t help but feel regret. Regret for the love I lost, the trust I betrayed, and the life I could have had if only I had been strong enough to fight my addiction.
If you’re struggling with addiction, please seek help early.
To anyone out there struggling with alcohol addiction, I beg you to seek help before it’s too late. Don’t sacrifice the people you love and the trust they have placed in you to chase the temporary highs. It will never be enough until it is too late.
The road to recovery is long and hard, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it to regain the trust of those you love, to rebuild the relationships you’ve lost, and to live a life free from the shackles of addiction.
I know it’s hard to admit you have a problem, but trust me when I say that it’s the first step to recovery. You don’t have to do it alone, there are people out there who care and want to help. Reach out to a support group, a therapist, or a friend. They may not be able to take away your addiction, but they can help you learn how to cope with it and overcome it.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a self-funded, worldwide organisation that provides a platform for alcoholics to support each other in achieving sobriety.
Don’t abandon your loved ones if they’re struggling. But don’t put yourself at risk too.
And to those of you who love someone struggling with alcohol addiction, please don’t give up on them. It’s not easy, I know, but they need you more than ever. Don’t enable their addiction, but don’t abandon them either. Encourage them to seek help, offer to go to meetings with them, and let them know that you believe in them.
In the end, the choice to overcome addiction is a personal one. But with the love and support of those around us, it becomes a little bit easier. I’m in a better place now and losing the person of my dreams will always be a painful reminder of the irreparable damage of addiction.
Have you ever struggled with addiction? When did you realise you had crossed the line?