I Struggle with Addiction. Help! | Advice

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I really want to be sober. I've struggled with addiction my entire life as far as I can remember.

I got away from drugs thankfully in my mid 20s but kept the alcohol. Over the years I have drank so much, prided myself on being a "functioning alcoholic.” Etc. But it is really starting to catch up with me now. The hangovers are worse, and I find myself drinking more and more frequently. I feel like I have lost control, and I am really starting to hate myself. I don't understand why I can't overcome this. I always thought that I could stop, but I never seem to stop. I'm not religious, so the whole AA program is just not for me. I have tried it, and I didn't feel comfortable. Admitting this even anonymously feels like this deep, dark secret that I am so ashamed of. I can't bring myself to tell my friends or family. I have so many fears. Who wants to date someone who is sober? Who will love someone who is broken like this? I feel so alone. I don't know how to move forward, but I know that I don't want to live like this anymore. The holidays always bring a lot of family emotions and a lot of celebrating, which translates to me drinking more than ever.

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for taking what I know was a hard step forward when you wrote this. Even submitting something anonymously takes great courage, and I hope you recognize how brave you already are. Moving towards a life you seek for yourself doesn't always come in large strides. Sometimes it is small acts of bravery, like this one. Many people in our community struggle with sobriety. Our community has always been connected to the safe spaces of bars and nightlife, which can make the idea of sobriety feel potentially ostracizing or lonely. The holidays bring a whole added layer of emotions and temptations that are very difficult for many people, so you are not alone in this. Many people in the LGBTQ community struggle with the standard variation of Alcoholics Anonymous. Still, there are both in-person and online programs that are entirely secular and safe spaces to process your journey with those in our community in a way that aligns with your value system. Addiction is a disease, just like any other disease. No one would ever expect you to treat cancer or diabetes alone; you would seek the help of professionals and your loved ones. Confronting addiction is the same, and you will find professionals and others in our community who are living sober are there to help you through this. Asking for help is easier said than done, I know, but it starts with one small, brave act. You've already done the hardest part; you know you need help, and you want to get well. Submitting this anonymously was also saying it to yourself, and that is a step forward. Now, it's time to look for a program to help you take the next steps. There is a whole sober community out there that is ready to welcome you to the next chapter of your life. You can have a completely full and happy social life within the LGBTQ community that is free of drugs and alcohol. You won't be alone, and you won't be ostracized.

Below are some resources to help you get started:




Have a question for John Porter? Fill it out HERE.

John Porter is an entrepreneur and founding partner at Oasis Asset Management. He has served as a political organizer and strategist within the Democratic Party, as well as serving as an executive board member for the Miami Yacht Club.

The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column is not intended to replace or substitute any financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice.


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