In the last 49 years of being alive, I have been addicted to something or other since I was two years old. Addictions have ruled my life, maybe because I was running from something? In this article I talk about my most loved and hated addiction: alcohol. Here’s Autism and Alcoholism: How I finally got sober.
Autism and Alcoholism: the Early Days
I grew up in a strict household. Both my dad and I were bull-headed and he wanted things done his way and I wanted to do things my way.
For some reason, I don’t remember, I took to rocking on a rocking horse when I was two. I used to rock on that thing hours at a time, watching my dad out the window working on a sailboat in our backyard in Newport Beach, California.
When I was 4, he spanked me really hard in public and it truly embarrassed me and I wanted revenge. I knew then that it was me against the world and I also realized the power of isolation.
I became great at playing with myself and loved weird autistic things, like the smell of diesel, watching sparks fly out of an electric drill, or tormenting ants for hours on our driveway.
I was picked on in school and when I was 12 I discovered heavy metal, mainly Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Ozzy. heavy metal calmed my autism, like babies being rocked by a mother.
However, something was still missing, until alcohol touched my lips when I was 17. It was like a magic potion that made me feel invincible. I became manic on alcohol and wanted to talk to everyone.
Autism and Alcoholism: The Wild Ride Begins
At the age of 18, I had a good combination of addictions keeping me sane, or at least I thought. I had beer, porn, coffee, cigarettes, hard rock, and rocking back and forth. But, no girls. . .
I was still an awkward, shy guy who felt like a total idiot around girls. Young adults with Autism usually get along better with older people, and that’s when I started dating a 40 year old woman when I was 20.
She was an artist who liked my poetry. I was a dishwasher and she was a cook at a seafood restaurant. She introduced me to everything from the Beat Generation writers, to good wine and Italian food.
We started to drink wine together every night. My immaturity would come out in black-out drunks and I would scare her. Once in a while, when I woke up in the morning, she would say I attacked her. I was a very angry young man.
However, life was moving fast, but it was basically just sex, drugs and rock and roll. I was still very upset because I had ignored my parents for a couple years at this point and it was eating me alive.
Autism and Alcoholism: The End of the Party
Instead of becoming a rock and roll drummer, a great American poet, or a chef, I became a drunk who could barely hold a job. I was now in my 30’s and drinking morning until night. I had the shakes every morning. I had an alcohol-related heart attack when I was 32.
I had destroyed every relationship I had been in and was down to one friend and a homeless guy who drank like me. I was now so irritated because my dopamine was gone that I was rocking in a dark room all day long with no music. Even jazz pissed me off. I hated myself and everyone around me and randomly broke out crying.
One morning I woke up, and after trying to quit alcohol a thousand times, today was the day. A punk skateboarder guy came over early one morning looking for my girlfriend of that time.
He probably had been up all night on Meth and was being rude. He barged into our bedroom and saw me in bed. I slept naked and was shaking from withdrawals.
He picked up this little guitar standing against the corner wall, sat down and started making funny songs about me. I was defenseless. I was naked and shaking so I couldn’t get up to kick him out, and he wouldn’t leave.
He called me weird, which is a word I absolutely hate anyway, and I kept telling him to leave. He just smirked at me with hate in his eyes.
A thought instantly flashed through my mind, call it a moment of clarity that alcoholics have, and I knew at that moment that I was done drinking forever.
When he finally left, I grabbed all my stuff and took the last two malt liquors in the fridge. I believe those 2 last beers saved me from dying from complete withdrawals. I sipped them back at my place then slept for 14 hours.
When I woke up, I knew that I had to get rid of everything that I associated with alcohol. I dumped that girl, got two jobs, and stayed home. It got so lonely at times that I bought a pink turtle to keep me company, named Kirby.
Two years later I met a sober girl who was into energy healing. She taught me everything about healing my mind, body, and spirit. We eventually moved out of that town which created a truly fresh start with me with no alcohol triggers.
The bottomline is, you have to get out of everything that reminds you of alcohol. It was lonely at times and I cried like I was a boy again, but those emotions need to surface for you to truly heal.
I’ll leave a link to some important resources for Autism and Alcoholism below here. I know you can get sober because I got sober. I even had a couple two day relapses a few years into sobriety, but quickly realized that sober life was better! Thanks for reading and God Bless!
Erik C. Johnson
Here’s more Resources for Autism Addictions