There's No Such Thing as a Sober Alcoholic

This blog is written for anyone who is struggling with a loved one who suffers from addiction. It’s a vicious battle, but you are not alone. I recently spoke to two friends today, one of whom suffers from addiction, and the other is on “the other side” of addiction - which has inspired me to share my experience for the benefit of anyone struggling.

I have witnessed addiction my entire life starting at a very young age. My aunt was, and currently still is addicted to methamphetomine. My biological father, whom was never actually my “father,” was addicted to both alcohol and drugs. Also a man I was in an intimate relationship with was a severe alcoholic. Talk about a living, breathing trip to hell! But even the greatest battles of defeat bring triumph to the wounded warriors. Through all the pain and suffering, I have gained so much knowledge and wisdom being on “the other side” of addiction and I hope to share some wisdom with anyone who reads this.

You can not force an addict to get help. Their brains do not process information the same way as a non-addict because there is no such thing as a sober addict. The chemistry in their brains has been reprogrammed to be dependent on their drug of choice. So even when they are technically “sober,” their brain chemistry is still functioning on the drug. It can take years for someone to fully restore their molecular genetics back to normal after the use of drugs and alcohol, and some can never fully recover from the damage done. Which is why you see a ton of stories of recovering addicts becoming re-addicted or finding new addictions.

One comparable analogy is if you take a cucumber and turn it into a pickle, can it turn back into a cucumber? No. Same thing with the brain of an addict with continued usage of drugs or alcohol. The good news is that as humans, our genetic molecules regenerate themselves. So it is possible, with the right kind of help that goes beyond rehabilitation facilities, to regenerate and heal the damage done by addiction. Which I will discuss later, or perhaps in another blog!

Being that person on “the other side” of addiction is a constant battle of highs and lows. The manipulation never seems to end and we continuously find ourselves in toxic situations - all because we care. Now I was never really effected by my aunts addiction, but I did witness how it has tore my entire family apart. My grandmother, who suffers from codepency (a need to be needed), enables my aunt which has definitely divided the family in more ways than one. Luckily this hasn’t had much effect on my personal life.

Now my biological father, whom has never held the title of “dad” in my life, has effected me so. Now I was raised by a wonderful man whom is well respected and I call dad, so I will refer to my biological father as “A” when I discuss my horrific story with you all. (If you are offended by sexual content, you need to discontinue reading.)

Growing up I met A around the age of twelve. I had two older sisters and a new stepmother. Everything was amazing. I though the world of him. In fact I remember the day I met him, was at Pizza Hut in Purcell, OK and my mom was trying so hard to hide her tears. I was so happy, I didn’t even think anything of her crying because I was ready to go to Atoka. But little did I know that this would be the beginning of a soul wrenching journey at such a young age. Needless to say, I had the time of my life getting to know “A” and all of my new family. They attended church every Sunday, my stepmother made home cooked feasts for every meal, and I was out in the country with all kinds of fun things to do. I grew attached, and rightfully so, as these were the good times. I never once witnessed “A” take a sip of alcohol or anything. He was a hardworking man, who loved God and his family.

Now I’m hard to handle so we would go periods without speaking but we still saw each other when I was on school breaks. You couldn’t keep me away from Atoka, OK. As my heart and soul longs to be in the country. Our healthy-ish relationship lasted a wonderful 6 years. It was when he got struck by a semi that our worlds got flipped upside down. He injured his back pretty severely and was put on opioids to ease his pain - the devil struck my “home.”

Shortly after, I went down for a visit and I seen him drinking for the very first time. I didn’t think anything of it because I had seen my parents socially drink. So, why couldn’t he? Well because I never knew about the skeletons in his closet from the past. My mother NEVER spoke poorly of him. She was a strong woman to allow me to have a relationship with him and let it be. So I had no clue that he was a recovered alcoholic and drug user who picked right back up after being sober for almost 10 years. I did think it was strange seeing him drunk though. We had more of a friendship bond, than a father - daughter bond.

Moving on to the same summer, visiting for the second time. This is when I witnessed a true demon attached to the deepest part of his soul. He left the house with my boyfriend at the time to go “smoke pot” and they didn’t return until hours later. To which he came back tweaked out on something he referred to as “crank” (I still to this day do not know exactly what crank is.. Well he told me how him and his cousin were dealing pot. And I didn’t understand his need to do it because I thought he received a settlement and that his business was booming, so I asked him why. (Keep in mind that the following was said under heavy drug and alcohol influence and i have already found forgiveness in my heart. I don’t need your negative comments.) He told me how if he could make $500 selling dope that he would. Then he said If he could make $500 licking some womans p**sy, he would lick it till she passed out. Then he told me that when him and my mother were together that he drugged her with “crank” with intentions of him and all of his friends taking advantage of her sexually, but said they never actually took advantage of her. I was absolutely mortified. I didn’t even know what to say. When I went back into my little brothers room to go back to sleep, I sobbed. I was sad from the disrespect to my mom, myself, and mostly my dad, the man who raised me as his own.

The next morning I packed my bags and loaded them in the car to leave, but before I left I walked into his room, with tears in my eyes and screamed at him to get the devil off his back and go back to church. As soon as I got home I hugged my mom crying and told her what had happened. She cried with me and apologized for not warning me. It wasn’t her fault at all. Then I called my stepmother and two older sisters to let them know what had just happened, only to be dismissed as a liar and accused of stealing some $3,000 marijuana grow lamp that I had never even seen. One text I received was “I actually know MY dad, and MY dad would NEVER do those things.” I had the worst anxiety attacks from the entire situation. No one believed me what had just happened, except for my mom who knew his history. I actually blocked all of them for about a year and within that year I obsessively checked OSCN to see if he had bee arrested or anything. One day while checking it i seen that his home had been foreclosed so I contacted my sisters, to which I was given an apology because they realized that I was telling the truth. His addictions caused him to lose EVERYTHING that he worked so incredibly hard for. He was a good man, his demons just got ahold of him. I still believe that there is good in his heart, but I have not had a relationship with him since these events. I hear updates, but I now for my own mental well being that I was never meant to be apart of his life.

God blessed me with an amazing father who loved me as his own, put me in private schools, bought my first car and is an amazing PaPa to my children, etc. A father is never defined only by blood, but by the connection one has to the soul.

Forgiveness has been the best medicine in this situation. I gained so much more than what he “took” from me and I was given an AMAZING life all because God knew that “A” was never meant to be my dad. And for that I am grateful.

This was a fine example of an addict who will always be an addict, and a lesson of when you have to walk away for your own mental sake. His redemption is in Gods hands and I know that God will help heal his soul, whether in this life or in the next. He was just never supposed to be my dad, but I was supposed to gain the wisdom from it all. He served the purpose he had in my life and was let go so I could move forward with the work that God wants me to do.

But this was far from the end of my journey of being on “the other side” of addiction. The next story was even more painful for my heart and soul, but brought me the healing and self love that I needed to survive what God has in store for me. You know that saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Here is my story, first hand, of my trip to hell and back. Literally.

It began with falling in love with a narcissistic, sociopathic, alcoholic. And I fell so hard that he became like a drug for me. Our relationship seemed like a fairytale for about six months. Everything seemed perfect, except for the fact that it was nothing but manipulation, deception and alcohol…lots of alcohol. He would manipulate me into enabling him, constantly and I was completely oblivious to it all. He was so sweet and charming almost all the time and he was my drug. He knew exactly what he was doing, the perfect illusion.

Once he had me completely whipped, the nightmare started. I paid ALL of the bills, and all his paychecks would go towards his bar tabs, beer for the house - for him since its rare that I drink, and his pot. He didn’t have a vehicle or a license, so he would manipulate me into taking my vehicle all the time. Which he has zero respect for, causing damage that I had to pay for - but it was all okay because I loved him. (Sarcasm) He even ruined two mattresses that I bought because every time he would get drunk, almost every night, he would piss the bed. But again, it was okay because I loved him… (Sarcasm, this is NEVER okay!)

Eventually he started destroying my character, and who I was as a person. He was cheating and I started to lose my mind and act crazy. I would show up to the bars looking for him because he would ghost me for days at a time, even over Christmas he ghosted me for 3 DAYS while sleeping with his ex. An I would just ask God why. Why is this happening to me?

He made me think that I was psychotic and that I was the problem by manipulating me into thinking everything he did wasn’t what I thought it was and that he loved me - gaslighting, ladies & gentlemen. Our love story took its turn for the worst when I was out with friends one night and was approached by a clients friend who informed me of him cheating on me. This is when things got physically violent. That night I went over to his apartment to silently gather my things because I knew he wasn’t home. I got my things and went home. The next morning, I woke up around 7am to him barging into my home accusing me of stealing all his weed. He was on a rampage that I will never forget. I repeatedly told him that I did not have it and demanded that he leave. He wouldn’t and proceeded to ransack my home. At this point I became furious, yelling at him for cheating trying to push him out of my home. He pushed me off and a physical altercation began. Leaving me with a concussion and bruises all over my body. And the toxicity of the story doesn’t end here.

Latest that night I went out to a bar with my friends which ended up at a house party, where I got blackout drunk for the first time - damn fireball. And I ended up crying calling him on the phone crying. He had me Ubered to his apartment because he “didn’t want anyone to take advantage of me” is the reason he gave the next morning.. but before that let me tell you what happened, well the little that I can remember. The Uber driver dropped me off and I couldn’t even stand up straight to walk. I basically had to crawl un to his apartment and he let me in and had me smoke pot with him. He says I threw myself at him - I’m not sure how exactly but we did begin to have intercourse to which I repeatedly asked him to stop and told him no but I was so out of it i couldn’t really move and I completely blacked out and don’t remember anything after that. I had to just sit there while he finished. The next morning I woke up cold, wet, naked and confused. I felt violated. Extremely Violated. i asked him what all happened and he told me everything he did. I asked him if he had been drinking and he said no, he was completely sober. He gave me the cold shoulder and then his friend showed up. I asked if they would take me to my car and I was told no, I had to figure my way back. When I asked him where me and him stood, he said that he had no feelings for me and he might consider me a friends with benefits. I still couldn’t process what had just happened to me. i was just sexually assaulted by a man that I loved. Raped, if you will. I told people i couldn’t remember, when I could because I didn’t want to face it. I still had mixed feelings for him and I was confused. I thought being raped meant that you had to be brutally forced into sex by a stranger, not by someone you loved. It was a hard pill to swallow… and it didnt sink in until I had to go buy the morning after pill. I felt violated all over again. Because of what HE did to me I had to pay for this pill AND consume it. It was a terrible feeling.

After this I began a self healing journey with an amazing Spiritual Life coach. She helped me heal all this horrific trauma and find myself again. It was a process, but with everything that was taken from me I gained my life back. I am stronger, wiser, and have self love that will never go away EVER again. I realized that I shouldn’t have asked God why this was happening, because it wasn’t his work. The devil may have broken me, but God restored me. I actually had a Shamanic dream journey to hell and saw the devil during my healing. I looked that bastard right in the eyes and said “you will never break me again because God is with me. fuck you.” No matter how broken you are, if you put your faith and trust into God, you will always be okay. My faith is stronger and my life has been better than ever. All thanks to God.

Hugs & Stay Groovy My Friends

Love, Jacqueline B.

Jacqueline Harrington