Past Journal Entry: December 9, 1998, Age 22
How many times did I have to wake up in the morning learning about my evil actions the night before from other people? It was humorous at first, but eventually it became hurtful to all involved.

For the first time in my life, I needed to control myself. My parents were not there punishing me. I was punishing myself in my own way. No one could teach me the lessons that I was learning. I had to go through them myself. I pushed my own safety to the limit and knew subconsciously that it was a rebellion. How many close calls did I have to survive, how many mornings did I need to wake up with fragmented memories of the night before?

I didn't even feel guilt. I blew it off and continued to get good grades. To me having good grades would compensate for anything stupid that I did drunk. Good grades would keep my parents quiet and make me feel as though my life was in control.

After this past journal entry, I went on to drink for six more years. The longer I have been in recovery, the more I change my perspective on my past. I often wonder how I couldn't see certain truths about my alcoholism through the twelve years that I drank. Now, I know that my inability to see this truth was yet another symptom of alcoholism. The longer that I am in recovery, the more I am able to see the insanity of my drinking. I feel the need to tell aspects of my story because it is not that of the stereotypical alcoholic. The story of the HFA is seldom told, for it is not one of obvious tragedy, but that of silent suffering.

Keep Reading
Excerpted from Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic (Praeger, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, 2009), by Sarah Allen Benton.


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