You Fooled Me Once

The timing is funny, but I had a very long conversation with my best friend this morning. Nobody ever likes to use the word intervention in these situations, but yeah, that’s what it was.

I’m young — younger than By by a solid amount, I’ll say — and my family has a long, storied history of severe alcoholic abuse. It affected three of my grandparents and both my parents and all my siblings and now me, and as much as I want to pretend that I’m immune or too young or whatever other excuse, I’m an alcoholic. There is a natural tendency to not want to use that word for people my age, both from them and from the people around them, but it is the appropriate term. I hate that it is, but it is.

I’m very aware of how inconsistent my writing quality is. If it was graphed out, I could guarantee that the best chapters I’ve written would directly correlate with the short periods when I’ve drank less over the past half year, and vice versa. I’ve been drinking since I was twelve and heavily since I was thirteen, and the past year in spite of other successes has continued the trend of an addiction that keeps ramping up.

The difference now is that I’m no longer teetering over the edge of staying “functional”, because I’m not; it has started to negatively impact my education, my work, and my interests, including writing. My energy is constantly sapped, I avoid social engagements, I feel slow and stupid and worst of all nothing makes me happy anymore. I was almost fired yesterday from the first job I have ever enjoyed having. I’m not putting the effort I want to into writing and everything else I value because it doesn’t hold any emotional value for me anymore, which is sad and awful. I want to feel something that isn’t my lizard brain screaming for me to numb myself. I want to care about my life again.

I’ve been aware of all this for awhile but it’s been difficult for me to actually engage with it; the problem with having these issues at my age is that it’s super easy to tell yourself that you have time, that you’ll deal with it later, that it’s not real because you aren’t literally dying in a gutter. But it is real, and I do have to deal with it, because I don’t want to end up like the many good people I’ve seen fall prey to a lifetime of the same self-defeating bullshit. That road is long and miserable and ends with you hurting yourself and everyone around you, and I don’t want keep heading down it. Not a toll I’m keen on paying.

So, as of this afternoon, I’m taking the first steps towards fixing it. Permanently. Stats are scary, relapse numbers are depressing, and I feel like I’m facing up to fight a fifty-foot monster, but I did manage to acknowledge that I have an issue in the first place, which for me is big. I’m making an appointment to talk to a professional with experience in this arena and I’m genuinely looking forward to going.

Which leaves you in the awkward position of having been fucked over twice by me, because I’m going on indefinite hiatus with Ship Poster. Sorry. It’s reasonable to feel pissed if I’ve tricked you into getting invested twice and I apologize for that. I hope you can look at it like a dumb amateur who was trying to work through personal problems in the wrong way instead of something malicious, because I really did think I could keep it up both times, meta jokes aside.

I can’t promise when I will continue the story because I don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe I realize in two weeks it’s a good activity for me to focus on once I’ve gotten clarity back and maybe I don’t write for two years while I mature and fix myself and focus on other stuff. No idea. Sorry.

These two piddling piles of around 150,000 words represent the first pieces of fiction I’ve written or shown anyone since the brief time I wrote Full Metal Alchemist fanfiction in late elementary school. I wish I could say that they were consistent or finished, but they’re not. In the future, when I’m better, I will try again.

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