So I’m going to talk about why I started drinking alcohol.
At the end of this video I want you to add why you started drinking in the comments.
So I was a highly sensitive boy, and when I was two years old, I started rocking back and forth, and the movement soothed me, you know, I felt calm.
Apparently my reality wasn’t safe or I didn’t feel like it was safe, or I just liked rocking back and forth, I don’t know why I did it.
My dad was pretty strict and you know maybe his temper scared me or something. I don’t know, I just started rocking back and forth, and I didn’t stop until last year.
Why I Started Drinking Alcohol
So I’ve been rocking back and forth for over 40 years. But when I was 12, I discovered hard rock music.
I was driving home with my mom from school and Iron Maiden played on the radio and I was just like what the heck is this? I loved music already. I was listening to my dad’s music and my sister’s music.
So when I discovered hard rock I knew that was my music, and I started to rock back and forth while listening to hard rock. It got to the point where, after school, I’d come home, I’d watch TV from three to six o’clock, we’d have dinner.
Then after dinner, I would rock back and forth on the floor looking out the window, towards the Puget Sound and I would watch freighters go by and tugboats and watch the birds.
It was a beautiful idyllic place where we lived, where I grew up, and music was always there. I listened to Hard Rock in headphones.
Both my parents didn’t drink, but their parents drank so my parents didn’t want to drink because they didn’t want to be like their parents.
My mom’s dad died when she was only seven from alcoholism. I believe he was only 40. My dad’s dad was a drunk and he was scary when he got drunk. So my dad didn’t want to drink. He didn’t want to do that.
He raised us in a very safe environment. He wanted to protect us and shelter us, and I remember when I was five years old, I saw a drunk man walking the wharf in California and I asked my dad, What’s wrong with him?” My dad said oh, he’s just drunk.
I didn’t even know what that meant, but later on I would become that man.
But I didn’t discover alcohol until I was about 17. And like I said I was very sheltered so I didn’t know the power of alcohol.
And so when my friends gave me a beer, I pretended like I drank it but I poured half of it out around the corner in the sink.
The next time I drank, I had a couple of wine coolers. In fact, my very first drinking and driving experience was on my go kart after having a couple of wine coolers because I loved it. I loved go karting and drove every Sunday with my dad.
Something happened though when I drank alcohol, it was like magic, and it gave me a sense of freedom. It just lit every cell up in my body.
I was manic, it felt like speed, and later on when I drank I could stay up all night and I wanted to talk to everyone because it felt like I could finally be myself.
When I drank, it was like 17 years of suppression lifted off of my shoulders, my dad wasn’t controlling me, bullies didn’t pick on me in school anymore, it felt like my own little world.
So I really took to alcohol. I mean it was genetic. Everyone in my family drank, except for my parents and my sister and I had a cousin who died when he was 32 from alcohol.
It was everywhere in our family. So when it hit me. I just took off with it, you know, I took off with it running, and hit it hard.
But in the beginning, I didn’t really like the hangover, you know, but when I got older it got more into my system, like the disease of alcoholism progressed, and it got to the point where I wasn’t really hung over anymore. Then I learned how to drink beer in the morning to get rid of the hangover.
So I think I started drinking because I wanted to escape, because my dad was very strict, it was a very controlling household. He had Asperger’s, I have Asperger’s, I don’t know if he has it for sure.
I’m pretty sure he has it. He’s a perfectionist, has to do everything on a tight schedule, you know, we’d have dinner at 6pm every night; we had breakfast every morning at 7am. Everything was super strict. We couldn’t even cuss, you know, and he would take away my rock music once in a while.
So when I drank it was like my first ticket to freedom. And I ran with it and it was so exciting.
I used to get in trouble. I would steal things when I would drink, and then later on I was drinking and driving, every night, blaring hard rock in my car, driving around with these crazy next door neighbors who were on Social Security disability, and it was a happy One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
My mid 20s, Alcohol was great. At least I thought it was great. You know, I was actually hurting a lot of people and putting a lot of stress on my family, and getting in trouble with the law.
So in my delusional mind, my delusional thinking, I thought I was having a blast in my mid 20s. But I was actually just running wild and not being stopped by anything yet.
When I was 32, I had a heart attack from alcohol but that didn’t slow me down. I just started drinking even more. Then around 34, I stopped eating food while I drank because I didn’t want it to ruin my buzz.
Then when I was 36, I finally stopped drinking, and it wasn’t because I was going to die, it was because I felt guilt and shame, someone made fun of me and I felt defenseless and it’s weird, we don’t know what our rock bottom is going to be.
That was 13 years ago. And, you know I’m still working on myself. I’m still sensitive. I’m learning not to fly off the handle. I’m trying to communicate with people better.
I’m trying to learn empathy, because as an alcoholic, I was just self centered and just thought about myself. Even since childhood, I just thought about myself because I was in fight or flight.
I had to protect myself from my environment. I was highly sensitive. My dad had a scary temper, and I was like screw everyone, I’m going to just listen to music and rock back and forth. Then when I found alcohol, it just added to my armor to not let anyone inside of my world.
Now I’m learning all of those defense mechanisms that I had in childhood. I’m 48 now, and I’m learning compassion and empathy and trying not to think about others before myself, and trying to breathe before I react to situations.
I’m trying to look through other people’s eyes when it comes to situations. I want to try to get a better understanding of what they feel and how they think, because a couple years ago, I was so short tempered and impatient with people that weren’t on the same page as me, in business and in life.
You know I had a home business and people would join my business and I wanted them to know exactly what I knew and I just wanted them to instantly know it.
And that’s how I’ve been my whole life. I’m just like, you know, why didn’t you get that, it’s simple, but I have to realize that everyone is at a different level in life and they’re learning at their own speed and they’re learning it differently than me.
My way is not the only way. And so there’s just a lot of things I’m learning in sobriety still today, 13 years later, so I’m doing these videos to inspire people and hopefully you know help somebody get sober, because I want to give back now and I want to communicate and really share what I went through – to help you guys and maybe you don’t have to do what I did.
Because, when I was drinking I romanticized it. I almost thought it was cool to hurt people. I almost thought it was cool to withhold love from people and give people the silent treatment.
You know, I gave my dad a silent treatment that lasted two years while I was still living at home, and it just ate him alive, ate me alive. But I still thought I was cool because I was being bad, but it’s all a lie.
It’s all Satan’s lie. He wants you to think it’s cool while you’re destroying yourself, or selling your soul, whatever you’re doing, it’s not cool.
You’re only hurting yourself in the end, you know, all that withholding love that did nothing to them. It basically made me even more scared and anxious when I got older. It just started eating me alive.
All your actions will come back to haunt you if you’re just like playing people and thinking people are stupid and you’re using them for your drugs and your alcohol, they will all come back and haunt you.
So that’s pretty much it. I mean, life is a trip, and I’m glad to be here every single day. I could have died easily drinking and driving hundreds of times, accidentally snorting black tar heroin when I was drunk one time, jail time, you know DUIs, fights all of that stuff.
During that time, I thought it was wild and crazy and it was all fun and games until I got older and started to grow heart, and some empathy and sympathy and compassion and realized that I was doing nothing cool, you know it was just in my head.
So every day, I’m waking up a little bit more into reality and looking at other people’s perspective on life because I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. I mean, I feel like I’m just a big kid. I feel like I stunted my growth, my mental development is stunted by lots of drugs and alcohol.
So I’m 48 years old but I still feel like I’m in my 20s. I still cry, I still have moments of bliss, and then I had moments of despair. I get bored and impatient and I want things to happen faster than they do and I have to just realize that life has its own speed.
And I either get on board with life’s speed, or I’m going to just keep hitting my head against what I want, you know, impatience and all that stuff, it just makes me more irritable and I can’t enjoy life so I’m learning to take it slow.
So what made you start drinking? I want to hear your story, under this video/article leave a comment and don’t leave anything back. Let’s get into it. Let’s start a dialogue, hit that subscribe button if you’re new here, and we’ll talk to you soon.
Erik C Johnson