I’m a drug person

Or so I used to think

I did some drugs in my 20s and my family found out about it and everyone labeled me a "drug person" and I labeled myself thus and I was pretty much convinced this was the case as I struggled with alcohol into my 30s

I also used to think I was an alcoholic

Now I don't believe in alcoholism

It doesn't matter why, for the purposes of this article. All that matters is that before, I believed in alcoholism—now I don't. I heard some rock-solid reasons to no longer believe it anymore

I was defined by being an alcoholic—and, earlier, for being a drug addict. But now that I've worked through my shit, now that I'm on lithium, I don't drink problematically. I don't do harmful drugs. I still drink, but I don't drink much and I don't drink every day. I'm not using drugs. I'm not working to escape huge lies in my past. I've become very much not a drug addict, not an alcoholic. And not only that, but the labels themselves seem to have dismantled themselves—what I was defined by not only does not fit me, but it does not seem to exist

So I find myself halfway through this life and the labels from my youth no longer fit. I like this—I never wanted to be an alcoholic or an addict. And though at the time those labels fit, once I tear away my own complicity in family lies, once I hear reasons alcoholism doesn't make sense as a concept, once I take lithium and go to counseling and stop working jobs I hate and start doing work I love—after all that I don't feel the need to drink and I see that for me alcoholism is a label for a condition within a condition and this outer condition is called family trauma. And when I peel away that trauma, I have no need to function as an alcoholic or label myself one

There is this process of waking up. Of coming to realize. Of becoming aware

Just as I think "I'm an alcoholic" and then I learn that "I was mistreated as a child," so I think life is a process of waking up and up to deeper, more real realities. Like un-peeling an infinite onion

For a while I thought I knew nothing. For a while I thought I was a programmer. For a while, a lover. A writer. For a while I was humiliated by my dad. For a while I humiliated others, since I had been taught to act that way. For a while I thought I was damaged, since I had so much trouble. Then for a while I envisioned myself a cheerleader (the opposite of humiliator) and next I will envision myself differently and use different terms and the whole thing will be a parade of expanding awareness the end of which I can't imagine