A typical working class upbringing in the suburbs of the city of Adelaide in South Australia. My parents were great, still are. I was an only child, although I was so close with my step-siblings, that we still to this day only call each other ‘brother’ and ‘sister’. I enjoyed a happy and carefree childhood. Then I went to Primary School (Woodcroft Primary School, a beautiful school full of open spaces and lovely glass lined courtyards) at the age of 5. I was actually very highly recommended for entry into a STHIP program (Students with High Intellectual Potential), but my parents decided not to enroll me in such a program, I know now, this was simply because they couldn’t afford it, but I’m somewhat glad I never went there, because I’d probably end up being one of those socially-inept, child geniuses who enters University at the age of 12……not saying I was that smart, all I know is that I could spell and read with ease at that age (because my mom read lots of different things to me every night, and I can’t thank her enough for that), and my general knowledge was always good. But, my mathematical skills were severely lacking, they still are, I couldn’t add or subtract worth a damn! I was quite the gregarious, outgoing child. I had loads of friends, a few short-lived girlfriends….at the age of 7! Damn! But, when I was accidentally punched in the face by a friend of mine, my two front teeth came out, and behind them were my two adult teeth…..they were severely wrong! They didn’t come down straight like most people, they grew down at very weird angles, I hated to smile, I withdrew from socializing in happy places, I sort of turned into a grinch, recluse at the age of about 9 or 10. I still had friends, but it was at this point that I started to first feel a huge amount of decreased self-esteem. This, above all other things, I think, helped to form my sarcastic, miserly view of the world, for good or bad?
Then I went to High School (Reynella East High School, an even more beautiful school, packed with trees and plants, our uniforms were even tree-green!), when I was socializing with lots of different people all day every day of the week, I felt AMAZING! I also lifted weights, played semi-professional soccer and was generally a very healthy person, even though I didn’t eat the greatest diet (lots of sugar and fatty cheese based things), I still felt great!
Granted, I went through High School without ever having sipped any alcohol or puffing on any cigarette! I was a straight-edge square kind of guy, not unpopular, but not hugely popular either, I was the kind of person who’d make the bullies laugh and deal with EVERYTHING via humor (this is how I managed to avoid bullying, it took me a while to figure it out, but I figured it out as soon as a bully made me snap one day, and I made him cry and walk away by verbally abusing him with what I thought were really funny quips about his dysfunctional family life, but now, I know I was a douchebag and I feel bad about it). My teeth were near perfect, thanks to the couple of years of wearing braces, but my self-esteem was still lacking. I saw a lot of attractive girls, I wanted to talk to them, but I didn’t. Except for the seldom few girls who actually were very smart and interesting (unlike the vast majority of high school girls, not all women!). I could laugh and joke around with them and maybe engage in the odd bit of flirting, although they were also socially awkward, so they couldn’t really read the signals that I would perhaps like to be closer with them! One girl though, I was so infatuated with, a girl called Emily…….boy, was she a great gal! I’m not terrible looking, but Emily was WAY out of my league, I managed to get quite close to her in the science lesson on Tuesdays. We struck a chord with each other. I thought it would be happily ever after, but eventually, she went off with a big, rough football player……can’t blame her, I didn’t seal the deal in regards to the flirting thing.
I make it sound awful, but High School was the best time of my life. No job, yet somehow I always had some money? I felt great, I had loads of friends etc. What a time!
Then I graduated High School, not with honours, but with ‘satisfactory’ grades. The Graduation ceremony was very enjoyable and funny – one of my friends was the male host of the evening, and I wrote most of his jokes (he acknowledged this, so he’s a good dude, still is, saw him this New Year’s Eve, still a funny guy, but I couldn’t help but think, “that joke needs work!”).
After I graduated, I got a job in a supermarket, a job I still have to this day. Now, the thing is, I withdrew further into my own mind and lonely life, more than ever! For 3 years after I graduated, I maybe left the house to go to a party or shindig perhaps once a year, once would be pushing it actually. Bear in mind, I was not drinking at all during this lonely time. But the, my love of soccer just bubbled up from nowhere for some reason, and I started to go out every Saturday to watch some High School friends play soccer. They saw me, they greeted me, and they managed to drag me out of the doldrums. I was regularly going to their houses to play video games and whatnot. I started drinknig every single night at around this time, I’m not sure why, because I was no longer lonely, I’d rekindled my old friendships, why start drinking alcoholic amounts? I don’t know. But then, these two soccer playing friends of mine have both got girlfriends (soon to be wives) and they’re living their own lives. I will admit, I feel a little bit bitter about this state of affairs, but I’ve gotten over it. I very, very seldom speak to these two guys anymore, apart from the odd Facebook comment or very short conversation. Meh. There are more friends to be found in the world.
Now, I’m sitting here typing this thing. I’m drinking again, I must say. I’ve had, at this present moment, 8 shots of vodka (not much by my standards, only just starting to feel the warm face sensation, you know). But I feel happy for some reason, not because I’m nearly drunk, but because I’ve got this all off my chest, it’s been good. I actually have no real reason to feel happy…..my car’s brakes are worn down to the level where they’re just scraping metal-on-metal, not safe at all. I have bottles of booze in my car and in my room that I need to hide somewhere, this is not a problem for an alcoholic, but I’m just over the whole throwing empty bottles in the sea type of thing. I still have crippling social anxiety, as lovely and talkative I am on WordPress and the internet in general, I’m the exact opposite in real life, unless I’m talking to people I know very well ,or people I need to impress a lot, like job interviewers.
So, uhm, I wrote this and I claim responsibility for this whole thing. Most professionals will tell you that alcoholism or any addiction is just a substitute for some severe trauma caused in childhood or adolescence…………now, I would actually tend to agree with this, BUT, I suffered no trauma in childhood. I did have my adult teeth grow in at a scary angle at the age of 9 or 10, but surely that couldn’t be the root cause if my drinking problem, can it?
I think I drink because I’m possibly one of those people for whom alcohol’s effects are EXTREMELY pleasurable. That’s why I still get brought back to it. Other people get drunk and they can’t do a single thing! But people like me can get very drunk and produce Blog posts and thoughts that most others can’t while drunk……………………meh, just a theory.
Peace out, I’m doing okay (This post was absolutely not a cry for help or a suicide note)
I’ll be back tomorrow 😉