Asperger’s Sobriety Tips

Asperger's Sobriety Tips

Hey guys, Erik Johnson here day 37, no rocking back and forth, alcohol free for almost 13 years, I believe, and no other substances, except for, you know, caffeine, but working on changing that too, but you know I was walking out here to do a video, we’re in Texas now, and I wanted to talk about, I just want to get really deep with you guys on my journey, and maybe help you with your journey, and maybe we can connect. Here’s Asperger’s Sobriety Tips.

But, I was walking out here and it was so beautiful. It instantly reminded me of my drinking days. I would walk to the park with a couple friends, we’d have a six pack or whatever 12 pack. The funny thing is when I take, you know when I would drink a beer or two, it would somehow open up my nasal passageways, and I could really smell the sweetness of the summer air, and it just gave me a sense of childhood. It gave me a sense of happiness and nastologia. 

But by the end of the evening of drinking all day in the sun, it turned into a nightmare and then it was dark. Then it was a cold room; then I would piss myself or blackout or pass out or whatever. But it was always a lie. 

Asperger’s Sobriety Tips

For so many years I would always tell myself, you know tonight it’s gonna be awesome. You’re gonna drink and everything’s going to turn out right. And it just never did – there was a couple hours here and there was a lot of bliss. But a couple hours of bliss. Never justifies years of hell. 

So let me start a little bit back further. When I was growing up in California, my dad and I were walking along a pier and a drunk guy walked by, and he was pointing to his arm and he was talking really weird and yelling. He could have been mentally ill but I was really terrified of him. I was only like five years old, and I still remember it to this day I’m 48 years old, and I looked at my dad and I was like, what’s wrong with him?

My dad’s like, oh he’s drunk. I didn’t even know what that meant. So later on when I was introduced to alcohol, my parents sheltered me quite a bit, even watching television with my mom and my dad. Sometimes my mom would cover my eyes if there was a seen on TV and this is back in the 80s, you know, there wasn’t anything really rated R back then, on public television, but my mom would cover my eyes. They didn’t cuss, they didn’t drink. 

But I was fascinated with alcohol. I was fascinated with drugs. I was fascinated later on with the dark side. I was fascinated with mental illness and schizophrenia. I just thought their artwork was completely phenomenal, and I wanted to understand mental illness and schizophrenia, and when I was in my 20s I romanticized it. I wanted to be insane. At one point I told a friend that when we were driving somewhere, because I was a budding artist and I wanted my art to be so abnormal that people would revere me as an artistic genius. 

Because at that point, I thought tragic artists were the best – the ones with the mental illnesses, the ones that used heroin, the ones that were bisexual, the ones that were tattooed up or whatever. I really was drawn to abnormal everything. 

So, back to the alcohol, when a friend introduced me to a bottle of beer, when I was almost 17, I was very scared about that bottle because I had no idea what one bottle of alcohol would do. I thought it would get me drunk. I pretended to drink all of it but I poured half of it out around the corner in the other room in our basement, and so I didn’t get a buzz or anything, so it didn’t hook me. 

The next time I drank, I had a four pack of coolers at a dance, high school dance, we drank the wine coolers out in the field, and it lit me up. That was the very first time that I felt the alcohol in my bloodstream and it gave me this manic euphoria. I knew at that moment that I found my magic potion.

So I went back into that dance. I danced with a girl, even though friends were teasing me on the sidelines, because I was teased a lot. My dad teased me, my friends teased me. Even the teachers teased me. It seemed like everyone was against me, and alcohol was my very first lover. In fact, I got a buzz before I even kissed a girl. For the most part, that I remember, I could never get a girlfriend. I was quiet, I was considered weird. I just wanted to listen to music and rock back and forth

That’s why I flunked out of high school because I rocked back and forth from after dinner until bedtime, listening to Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osborne, and fantasizing about getting the bullies back in school. I was just a lone wolf. I just played by myself. 

I had good friends. But we’d always play one on one, if groups came around I would leave and I couldn’t hang out in groups. So alcohol was my first lover besides music and it took me on a wild journey. I’d like to talk about this journey because I don’t want to romanticize it, but I want to just talk about how invincible and immortal I felt, it really was a terrific ride. 

Just like Steve Jobs, where at one point said that he really enjoyed taking LSD that it was one of the most beautiful times in his life, which would shock a lot of people today. But there were some great times on alcohol but it was very early, and it only lasted a couple hours, then you had to pay dearly for it. 

Later on in life, it almost killed me. I had a heart attack when I was 32, lost 80 jobs and lost eight girlfriends. various jail times. So it turned against me, and it will turn against you too if you rely on it. If you look forward to it. If you’re relying on it and looking forward to that buzz just be prepared that you’re going to want to increase that buzz, if you’re an addict like I am. I still call myself an addict because I get addicted to anything. 

If you’re looking forward to that buzz, I’ll tell you right now, I can save you, your life and decades of misery, and tell you right now it’s a frickin lie, alcohol, never gave me long term happiness, ever. In fact it depleted my feel good hormones, depleted my dopamine, my serotonin and made me anxious around people more than ever. 

So it did the opposite of what I wanted it to do. But I had fun, because I could laugh, I could talk freely. I didn’t feel like I had a ton of weight on my shoulders. So the funny thing is, even though I was so scared of alcohol in the very beginning, I loved it, embraced it my whole life, obsessed about it and laser focused on it until it almost killed me when I was 32. 

So from 20 to 32, then I had a heart attack, so only 12 years of serious drinking. That’s how hard I drank. It got to the point when I was 34 to 36, I stopped eating, because it was ruining my buzz or I had no money for food, and I switched to malt liquor, while I drank malt liquor throughout but I could only afford malt liquor towards the end. 

It was this nasty stuff with 10% alcohol. It just made me mad. It did weird stuff, it was like, I mean I’m not gonna blame alcohol. I was doing bad stuff anyways but the point is that I couldn’t even hold down yogurt towards the end of it. I couldn’t hold a job, my bed smelled so bad of urine, I couldn’t make it to the bathroom. Every night I was so blacked out that it really got ugly. 

I remember going to church one time with my mom, Christmas Eve, and I just had so much guilt and shame from my alcoholic life. I carried that guilt and shame around, along with all the other addictions that caused guilt and shame. It was a never ending cycle. I would get drunk. The next day I would feel guilt and shame. Then I would fap, smoke cigarettes and do other things that made me feel guilty and ashamed as well. Plus on top of that I had Asperger’s, so eye contact with people, was basically nil because I had such low self esteem. 

Another addiction was music. I was scared of music when I was six years old, or five. I was watching a parade. I was in preschool or kindergarten, something like that, and a parade came to our school, and when the drum section marched by, I started crying because the loud snare drum noise scared the heck out of me. I cried in front of a girl that I liked, and she was so concerned about me, and I was so embarrassed because she was attending me while I was crying. 

I just got out of there and had to go to the nurse’s office, but six years later I got a drum set. So it’s just kind of ironic that the things I feared the most I embraced the most but not the good stuff. I mean I’ve wanted to be a millionaire, or very successful in my life and never got that, but I got all the bad things. 

Here’s the thing when you’re really deep into your addictions. You kind of romanticize it, and you think that you’re doing really good things. You think that you’re cool, you think that your rebellion is somehow worthy of merit. You know, there was a time when I was destructive. I was burning bridges with friends left and right, I was walking out of jobs, and somehow I thought that was wonderful. That’s how distorted my thinking was. 

I thought it was cool to get tattoos and cheat and lie and steal, because I was being lied to by the, you know, Satan, basically, the dark forces, they love that stuff. So your choices, you know, do you want to feed the dark side or the light side. I tell you what, if you feed the dark side, you’re going to get 100 times more of a negative backlash. It will just, it will destroy you, if you want to be the baddest person in the room, you will be destroyed by this life. I’ll tell you that right now. 

The only way to survive this life and actually have joy, happiness and build self esteem is to do the right thing. Be sober, be healthy, you know, don’t eat crap. Don’t drink anything that’s poisonous. Simple Rules like that, you know, if you look around at nature, nature is very simple. There’s not a lot of bells and whistles with nature, sure there’s fires and tornadoes, hurricanes. But Mother Nature always repairs itself, and it’s just here for us every single day. It doesn’t waver. 

So if you want a phenomenal life don’t waver and don’t look for the next best thing or the get rich quick scheme or fad diets or new substances or whatever. Okay. So, right now, every single day, I am learning who I am. I’m a slow learner when it comes to good things. I’m a quick learner in doing the wrong things. When it comes to doing the right things I’m very slow. If that makes sense I probably screwed that up. I’ve never been good at saying little clicky things. 

But I miss you guys I miss connecting with people. I’m here in Texas with my fiance. She is the one who told me I could have Asperger’s, about a year and a half, two years ago so I have a late diagnosis. I did an autism test. I scored on the lower spectrum, but I scored on the spectrum nonetheless. And it just all came together. 

My whole life came together within a 15 minute test, and I’m so thankful that Misha told me about Asperger’s. It all started because she was like yeah I was talking about trains one day and she’s like oh you know Asperger’s people like trains. So I looked into it. But, what a lot of people don’t talk about is I can’t find a lot about Asperger’s and addictions. A lot of people that have Asperger’s just feel so awkward in social situations that they start self medicating. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was eight when I started rocking. 

I can tell you all the addictions chronologically you know it was, I was eight when I started rocking back and forth. That was the first stimming. Then it was rock music when I was 12. Then it was cigarettes and coffee when I was 16, then it was alcohol when I was 17, and, porn later on. Just on and on and on all these addictions. And like I said when you’re thinking through your addictions, you’re distorted in your reality. You think addictions are cool. 

I remember watching a video. I was watching Jane’s Addiction. It was a music video and I saw the bass player and the guitar player. I think they kissed – two guys. And since I was playing with myself as a little boy, I was like, why not start, you know, indulging in bisexuality, because that’s what the cool artists do, that’s what the cool musicians do. But it never felt natural. 

But I had this obsession with myself, not going to get into details but Freud would have a heyday with my story. You could say that I basically got tripped up on the potty training stage, and liked to do things to myself. And so I was like why not just pursue that,  just go all out, because the cool artists are the ones who are bisexual. They do heroin, they do Coke, they’re drunks like Charles Bukowski, he’s a drunk and he made it look cool. 

But you gotta stay out of that trap. It’s gonna look really cool from the outside. It’s gonna look really cool from the outside, but to sin is to die to sin is death. All right, that’s the bottom line, said in the Bible 2000 years ago and it’s never changed, ever since. 

In fact, there’s still demons today. People are like, oh yeah you believe in demons Yeah right, you must be one of those conspiracy theorists or, you know, you believe in the supernatural. It’s true guys, it’s totally true, I’ve gotten completely sober from the Holy Spirit, one time. My fiance and I were doing some plant medicine and it was becoming a bad trip and I prayed to Jesus to stop it. And lo and behold, two minutes later, I was dead sober. I was completely sober and started crying with joy because I knew it wasn’t anything else but the Holy Spirit. 

In fact, I say this in other videos, the Holy Spirit is the cleanest high you’ll ever experience that lasts the longest it fills your heart, because most addicts feel like their heart is empty and they can’t fill it, they can’t fill it with their addictions, they can’t fill it with sex, drugs rock and roll. The only thing that fills it is the ultimate love by our father, and demons are still real. I’ve smelled angels. 

Okay, there was one time I did a hypnosis. And you call in your archangels. And I was laying on the floor. During the hypnosis I smelled a Cologne, I have never smelled in my life. It was a very rich wealthy, but very very old cologne. I do believe it was an angel coming in because when you call angels in, they come. If you’re sincere. If you’re really asking. I know I’m on a tangent, but this is my life. Maybe you can connect with something on this and leave a comment. Because life is a trip. 

Reality is crazier than fiction. You know that you see it right now on the news. Everything is so upside down. It’s insane. And if you’re watching this, I am so glad that you’re still hanging in there that you’re alive, because of the overdose rate. Right now, the suicide rate is through the roof. And they won’t mention it seems like a plan doesn’t it. 

So, the things I was scared about I embraced but they were the wrong things like the music, the alcohol, the drugs. the bisexuality whatever it was all I got was nothing out of it. It robbed me. And I’ve had to spend the last 13 years rebuilding – almost died with a heart attack. 

So don’t really romanticize those old days, they’re gone. That’s, that’s another addiction. Looking at the past and getting nostalgic going down memory lane. There’ve been many nights many days that I just listened to music I’d put on some old music, and I would go down memory lane. And guess what, it gave me dopamine. It gave me a hit of nostalgia, which is another addiction, all of it comes down to the little dopamine hits, even checking your email, getting a voicemail, getting an email. 

I was in the home business industry for six years. I used to get 20 to 50 leads a day. And I got addicted to seeing that little number by my inbox. I had opened it up and I got addicted to emails. Now, I deleted Facebook and deleted Twitter and don’t get those emails anymore. Things are, you know, things are getting a little tough. That’s why I’m doing these videos. 

So long story short, I feel more vulnerable. I feel like I’m coming out clean. Don’t even know who I am, some days. But you know guys, we all have a big heart. That’s why we ran with addictions because we didn’t feel understood we didn’t feel heard. My dad used to just laugh at me. Now he says he’s proud of me, and I need to learn how to accept that because he means it now. He says I’m proud of you. Every time I talk to him on the phone, he says I’m proud of you. Do I accept it? Not 100%. Because I still don’t like myself, I still have guilt and shame from alcohol 13 years ago. It’s very demoralizing guys. 

Plus PTSD, going into work hungover shaking with withdrawals. Fearing that people would catch me. Drinking alcohol in my car on lunch breaks. It got to the point when I wasn’t eating and drinking. I had to speak to my co-workers in one sentence or less. Because if I spoke more. They would hear my trembling. So I would say things really fast like can you hear me with that knife, please. Thank you. But if it went past that I would start to shake like this, because I was dying from malnutrition I wasn’t eating anymore. I was drinking malt liquor. That was it. 

So I was very scared, especially the nights I couldn’t sleep, and I had a beer by my side, might as well have hooked it up to my arm like an IV. If I couldn’t sleep. I would just take five goals. Then I’d be shaking, I just, it was like a vibration. The withdrawal is like a buzz, I mean a vibration, and it doesn’t stop and you can’t sleep because you’re like a rubber band vibrating. That’s not fun guys and it’s not romantic. That’s all I got today. Love you guys hit that subscribe button. We’ll carry this on further. 

Here’s more Resources for Asperger’s and Addiction

Sincerely,

Erik C Johnson

living with aspergers

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