A Personal Account
Ask yourself this question: “Am I a high functioning alcoholic?” What comes up for you? Does that question make you squeamish or a little uncomfortable? Did you mentally make note of the last time you had a drink? My story is no different from others who have suffered with alcoholism. I held everything together with super glue – but even the best glue gets old and cracks with time. That’s what happened to me. My name is Susan. I am a high functioning alcoholic.
“If you had asked me that question six years ago, I would have laughed.”
It wouldn’t have been out of character for me to have thrown the question back at you with a snide “That depends on what you think a high functioning alcoholic is” or “If you have to ask if I am a high functioning alcoholic, maybe you need to look at your own drinking habits.” Clearly, I didn’t want to face the truth about my own drinking and the possibility that I was an alcoholic.
I ran an advertising firm. I was on the P.T.A, and I never (or very rarely) missed a football game or a ballet recital. I held it together – was up at 4am, at the gym by 5am, worked a full day at a stressful job and was home by 6pm to start dinner. I didn’t drink during the day, but definitely thought about it on the way home. Pulling in the garage, all I wanted to do was pour a drink. Yes, even before hugging my kids. The truth was, I was a high functioning alcoholic, and I had to hit rock bottom before I would even listen to anyone who was concerned about my drinking.
“My rock bottom happened on a Sunday at a family graduation brunch for my nephew.”
I had a few drinks before we left so I wouldn’t look like a lush, but just one drink at the restaurant put me over the edge and I blacked out. I don’t remember anything, anything I said or anything I did. It wasn’t until my husband confronted me the following day that I realized the destruction I had caused. I was mortified.
So I went into rehab full of shame, tail between my legs and my head down. Those were dark days and sobriety was hard work for me.
“Thankfully I stuck with it, because I really wanted it. . . I just celebrated my 5 years sober.”
Today, not only can I stand up and say “My name Susan and I’m an alcoholic,” but I can also say “My name is Susan and I am a high functioning alcoholic.”
So ask yourself again: “Am I a high functioning alcoholic?” If you think you may need help, please reach out because this is a progressive disease and will only get worse before it can get better.