Moral Inventory brainstorm (part one)
I was, in many ways a very bright child of a high but peculiar intellect. The home I was born into was stable and my family loved me. It is true that I started drinking at a young age, but before that ever became a problem, I was a problem. Aside from being strong willed, I cannot recall an age at which my selfishness and temper were not apparent. When still very young, I felt I learned that emotion should be hidden and determined that I should never feel, in particular, guilt or remorse. This was not learned necessarily from my parents and where it came from is not relevent. For reasons equally as complicated as why I drank, I tried to turn my emotions off and my attention almost entirely inward. I thought both to be of great benefit,in particular my inward focus, by the time I was in my teens I assumed that this provided me with great insight into myself and other human beings.
In reality, the inward focus only made me disconnected from my family and friends, cold and detached and lonely. The attempt to ignore my emotions not only stunted my emotional development, it left me confused and without the ability to understand the range of human emotions. I had no tools to tell the differnce between a slight meloncholy and full blown despair, irritation and rage. Left unadressed the emotions stacked up and overflowed into anxiety, depression and rage. Leaving me with anger issues and other problems that made me generally unpleasent to be around. Often unable to understand my own emotions when they asserted themselves, I was easily frustrated, not knowing how to properly respond to them. Guilt, it seemed, I managed to erase entirely, and for reasons too outside of the issue to explain, I simply stopped feeling any form of it. I had become immune, or so I thought.
All of this lead to a selfish perspective and left nearly all of my actions to be motivated by self seeking. By the time I was a teen I was selfish and propelled by self will that I made the determination that not only would no one tell me what to do and I refused to give anyone such importance that their feelings or needs would affect change in my goals, attitudes or behavior. I was to be the captain of my ship, mine was the only ship in the fleet that was of any consequence and I was not to be questioned as captian. With such determination, I was able to be more honest than many selfish people, in particular selfish addicts as I usually didn’t fear the confrontations. When I was very young though, by necessity, to avoid things like expulsion and rehab and sometimes just to keep the peace or get what I want. I learned with adept skill about hiding, lying and manipulation. I was 12 when I started drinking and 14 by the time it could be called a habbit; drinking at that age requires manipulation, stealing, hiding the action and lying almost constantly. When I was being very honest, I used my honesty more often than not as a way to protect myself and injure others.
My intellect and percieved insight led me to make decisions for myself and others as though I were an adult and seldom if ever sought out their advice before making decisions, as I felt them to be inadequete, or so I thought, more likely I simply feared letting someone get close or having them impact my actions.
By the time my drinking became pretty regular, which may have been around the age of 14, the above was pretty much my operating template, so the defects where present before the primary symptom of the disease really took hold, at least that is what I believe. While, I started drinking around 12 and it seems I was drinking on a regular basis by 14. Due to an seemingly unatural tolerance, I do not recall being “drunk” until I was 16 and drinking with friends, they left me alone for a short period with a bottle of cheap burboun, when they returned it was gone and I was too drunk to walk. Unsure what to do with such a mess they drove me home and dumped me outside my parents house. This was the first time my parents saw me drunk and I was certain to do a better job later.
In short order, I was drinking in school, disquised as orange juice or fountain soda, after school, every Thursday while my parents went bowling my girlfriend and I stole a bottle of wine and drank it at my house. I started a discipline of writing and reading late at night, from 10PM until 4 or sometimes 6am, even on school nights and often drank quietly while I listened to Jazz and typed away on my typewriter. The first indication that I might be an alcoholic came when someone told me, or maybe I read somewhere that a key indicator of alcoholism is drinking alone. I remember thinking to myself that I do that often. As time wore on, just like anger, a biting wit and morbidness, prodigious drinking became a hallmark of my personality. My deuling anger and detachment, housed in a mostly reserved personality left me labled things like psychotic, due to outbursts and sociopath due to what appeared to be a total lack of empathy and emotional reaction.
Holding in and ignoring all of that emotion became painful and resulted in self destructive behavior and horrible depression, so intense and durative as to leave me with no memory of ever being happy or hopeful in the whole of my life until I got sober.
It didn’t take long before my life started to be shaped around not only the drinking, but the course of self destruction which I now seemed to be determined to pursue. Anyone who would challenge or interfere with my onward march into alcoholism and self destruction would be made to go away. So much so that by the time I was 18 when I made friends or girlfriends, as soon as they got close enough to me to have the potential to care for me in any meaningful way, I would sit them down for a talk. I would be honest, as I saw honesty and I would tell them that I had no love for this life, that I drank heavily, that there were some nights when my consumption of alcohol and other chemicals, as well as my behavior would be self destructive and potentially fatal by design. I would place the heavy burden on them of saying that they are not to try to stop it and if they think I have managed to overdose, poison myself or otherwise have done something to cause grave injury, they are not to try to save me and that the repurcusions for them if they did would be severe.