I remember my first drink of alcohol. It was a well known brand of rum, straight up out of the bottle. I was mom's entertainment for her boyfriend(s) after she'd had a few. She thought it was funny to dare me to tip up the 5th of rum and drink it, then she'd squeal with laughter as she and her latest headed out the door.
I would then unsteadily make my way to the bathroom and puke my guts up til I couldn't anymore.
I was 13 years old.
Lacking any other substance to help me escape the loneliness and insecurity of my adolescence, I continued to abuse alcohol intermittently through my university years. I experienced some traumatic personal events through alcohol fogged consciousness, which perhaps helped me to minimize those events so as not to dwell on them too much. Alcohol saw me through anything I couldn't cope with ; such as my memories of sexual abuse from about age 3 to 9, a mom who didn't believe me when I got the courage to tell; alcohol was there for me when I was alone at home all night and sometimes days, with no money or food or any idea where my mother was. My step-dad was in VietNam, I was pretty much on my own, my little sister had been shipped off to relatives because she was too much for my mom to handle.
When there was no one, alcohol was there. But I really didn't like it at all.
I smoked weed for the first time in college. It was hilarious, giggled at everything, then ate cookies and went to sleep. I really wasn't crazy about weed, either. Obviously, I still sought some sort of mind altering chemical to help me feel good, or even okay. Shy and insecure all my life, I just didn't think I was worth a damn or had anything about me worth loving. Temporarily, alcohol made me feel vivacious and confident, at least the first couple drinks would. After that, I'd get so intoxicated I really had no control over anything I did, and it was just more to hate myself for the next day.
I was 30 when I tried cocaine. Loved it, but it was expensive and I really would have to jump through a lot of hoops to find it.
Then a friend said "try this". "Its not addictive and you'll feel great". I thought why not? and snorted my first line of meth. My life was never the same.
Next chapter: Becoming addicted
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My Ride on the Substance Train