“I had my first real episode of drinking at the age of fourteen. Looking back, my periods of experimentation and normal drinking didn’t last very long. I came to be an abnormal drinker very quickly. I became a regular at the local bars around the age of 17, and not many people questioned my age considering my vast knowledge of craft beer. I belonged to the school clique of pot heads. I, myself, was a huge advocate of dropping acid, however I didn’t truly like marijuana (I know that seems backwards but weed made me crazy, and acid made me feel at home). I kept on smoking it because of my identity and would use booze at an early age to equal out the anxiety it gave me. Despite drinking Bailey’s on the rocks throughout my senior classes, I did not suffer any academic consequences. I graduated high school with a GPA of 3.7, but skipped the ceremony to go sell mushroom tea at Hangout Music Festival. I did tag along for my senior trip, and survived my first battle with alcohol poisoning.
Going onto college, I lost a series of jobs due to drinking related issues. I rented a home next door to my favorite bar in order to be able to avoid another DWI. My decisions became more and more centered around my drinking. I did not like to miss Whiskey Wednesday, so I soon dropped out of college. Around this era I had my first dance with Alcoholics Anonymous through the court system. I attended a meeting and shared on drunken nights, lost dignity, and next morning shame. They told me, ‘You definitely belong here, please keep coming back.’ I can remember laughing to myself, then going to tell my buddies about it, making it into a funny bit. Looking back, they knew my struggle to come. They knew me before I knew myself. This is when things began to slowly snowball.
In 2016 or so, I began working in a micro brewery. I had ‘plans’ to study for my cicerone and become a certified beer judge. I say ‘plans’ because I was never really doing anything with my time except snorting cocaine, drinking, and eating acid. Since I was drinking more and more steadily, I was going out almost every night at this point. My morals began falling by the wayside, as I would black-out and wake up to be told what I had done the night before. My shame kept me reaching for the bottle and I began going on a series of benders.
A lot of my time had freed up after I burned what was a completely healthy relationship to the ground with my drinking and infidelity. Being from Louisiana, I never questioned my drinking habit. So, when I began waking at 3 a.m. trembling, I assumed my panic attacks were acting up. I shortly fell slave to drinking around the clock. Chugging beer in the cooler at work, then chasing it with liquor in the bathroom stall. I had about a month until I could see a psychiatrist to ask her about my Panic Disorder medication. At this point, my mental and physical symptoms are off the charts and I am so delusional I would have never guessed it was all the drinking. Soon, I began hallucinating. People would walk past me in my own home. Walk in front of my car while I am driving at night. I called a friend to take me to the hospital. They sedated me and flushed my system. I woke up a day later and went to get a bottle of Jameson. Soon enough I am CRYING in front of the liquor stores. What is wrong with me?! My psychiatrist appointment comes. However, it’s 10 a.m. and I am ‘too drunk’ to be seen. She says, ‘Have you ever been to treatment?’ I tell her I haven’t, but I was drunk enough to agree to going. So I go home to pack for my first treatment center.
I walk into Acadiana Addiction Center with the intention to ‘dry up’ and be as good as new. After all, I am not an alcoholic, I thought. I was just going through a very low time in my life. I ended up staying sober a month out of treatment as a little challenge to myself. One day I found an old fifth of whiskey I had hidden prior to treatment. I didn’t think twice, I popped it open and within 5 minutes, it was gone. I awoke in the hospital and I knew in that moment I was an alcoholic and things were NEVER going to be the same.
For the next two years I would do this same song and dance. I would fall again almost every two months. Once, even having my own parents call the police on me. It took four grown men to restrain me. I had ripped the shirt off of my own father’s back. I was out of control. I seriously thought there was no hope. I grasped tight onto a bottle of T. W. Samuels and asked my parents to let me die a drunk. I was a slave to my own racing thoughts, and all I thought about was getting the next drink. My dad had taken me in while they decided what my next step would be. I had stolen two fifths from Wal-mart and pissed my bed, and his bed. Upon waking up, I begged him to go get ‘one more drink.’ He looked at me with tears in his eyes and opened the door, ‘It’s always going to be ONE more Kascidy! Go on, and go out there and live as a drunk if that’s what you want, but I cannot do this anymore.’ I walked out the door, barefoot. I made it maybe half a mile before sitting down on the side of a ditch. I was tired. Mentally, physically, and spiritually. I walked back and asked to be sent to another rehab. This time they sent me to Texas, which ended in a rash decision to move to Austin.
Addiction is really baffling. One moment you know you are powerless and the next, you tell yourself the last two years were just an over-reaction. I spent about a year trying everything in the book except A.A. I remained dry and miserable for a while. Then I began smoking weed, which I hate. My justifications were all over the place and I couldn’t get any real time under my belt. The medication I was on, kept me from going off on benders but didn’t keep me from trying to drink again and again. What I hadn’t come to realize yet, is that someone with an alcoholic mind who been drinking at the levels I had, is pickled. They will never regain complete control of their drinking. So soon enough, I was back at square one. I was soon buried in bottles and spinning a web of lies I couldn’t keep up with. I began stealing what alcohol I could at the stores and pawning random things to be able to buy actual liquor. Delirium tremens soon caught up to me, and it had only been about a week. A belly full of beer, and a head full of A.A. is a terrible experience. I was exhausted of drinking and knew what I had to do. I have never had the strength to get sober in the rooms. I have to be detained, physically. So, I called 911 on myself. I asked them to send an ambulance. I told them I was an alcoholic, and that I needed to be sent to a treatment center with a detox ward.
I arrived at Recovery Unplugged with an open heart and an open mind. Rehab felt more like home and I knew something had to change. I took every suggestion, even if it didn’t suit me at the moment. I accepted every level of care and upon graduating, moved into a sober living home. I had gotten my first sponsor and worked the steps for the first time. I began putting one foot in front of the other and taking action. I set boundaries and stuck to them. It is very much a paradox, but in surrendering to the fact that this is who I am, and that I am powerless over alcohol, I have gained freedom like never before from this disease. I sponsor other alcoholics, and open my inbox to anyone suffering or curious. All those grandiose plans I have always boasted about are actually coming true now, and I am alive! My ego and fear of missing out were my biggest obstacles over the past two years. When you realize you do not need to prove yourself to anyone and begin to differ from what does and doesn’t serve you, a change will come.”
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