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My Inner Mr. Hyde: Addiction is My Worst Friend

Illustration for article titled My Inner Mr. Hyde: Addiction is My Worst Friend

Addiction is my worst friend.

For years, I have tried to completely cut alcohol out of my life. The word "alcoholic" was one that I avoided for a very, very, long time. I didn't drink during the day before work. I didn't drink everyday. There's no way I can be an alcoholic, right? "I can still drink occasionally," I thought to myself, "and not get out of control."

I really don't think that's the case anymore. It's moved beyond alcohol being my favorite coping mechanism. Recently, I began to, once more, view alcohol as my treat, as if I was a dog begging for a bone.
"Well, if I finish this paper, I'll get to have that glass of scotch."
"I deserve this pint, because I work so hard taking care of my grandfather and with school during the week."
"My friends are all getting married, it's culturally acceptable to get wasted at their weddings!"
"I've been through so much trauma, I've earned this whiskey."

My addiction sat next to me, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.
"Go ahead," my addiction purred, "It's so easy to have another drink when you know you shouldn't."

I had a lot of thought over the weekend. I have decided that once again, I have to go completely sober. I have a feeling of overwhelming emptiness. Alcohol, although it was my worst friend, was also, in a way, my best one. Alcohol was there for me when I was recovering from unspeakable trauma. Alcohol allowed me to gain a smidgen of confidence in awkward social situations afterwards. But alcohol also made me fall. Alcohol caused me to wake up in a shame, or in a panic, and without my glasses in areas completely across town. Alcohol made me feel awful about myself, and in turn, the partners I selected for myself treated me badly. (Often, when you use, your partners are a reflection on yourself).

As Stevenson's The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde teaches us that being bad, or not ourselves, can be intoxicating in itself. Compared to Jekyll, Hyde is young. Hyde is strong. Hyde runs rampant in the streets, trampling over young women, and is the ultimate self-indulgent individual. Jekyll, on the other hand, is confined to societal norms, is always reserved, and refined. Addiction made me like Hyde. Some say that addicts are selfish. I know that in the throws of my transformation, when drinking, I cared for nobody else but myself. Jekyll's continual desire to transform into Hyde, (even though Jekyll knew the horrible side effects), shows that a person can't just walk away from addiction. We keep on reaching for whatever makes us monstrous.

So, in short: farewell, alcohol. I loved you more than anyone. I loved you more than myself. This is the hardest goodbye I'll ever make.


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