Author’s Note: This post is part of a larger sequence on addiction, and sampled from an appendix post of mine. For more background on the appendix format I used, read this.

If you are in, suspect you are in, or have struggled in the past with some sort of addiction, feel free to join this Discord server. It is a recovery group I set up focused on helping EAs struggling, in case they think they would benefit from having a space where they can discuss more unique struggles with a group of people who are more likely to understand them. It is currently relatively inactive, but I am trying to change this. If you are uncomfortable with this for any reason, but still want help, feel free to get in touch via DMs, and I can try to help you in some other way.

Image from the film “Pink Floyd - the Wall

This post is in part a response to my earlier post on alcoholism, but is largely made of lots of different newish points about addiction. It is the final draft of one of the posts I made for Draft Amnesty Week. I made moderate changes to most sections, but the biggest change is I just have a ton more content now. Part of me is worried about just being known as the EA who overshares about alcoholism, but at the same time the amount of treatment I’m getting now makes it hard for addiction not to be one of the most salient topics on my mind, and because of events that followed it, I feel some guilt with where my original post left off.

In my draft amnesty post, I mentioned a few additions I might make. I wound up only adding the section on philosophical positions common in EA and inconvenient to recovery. I also added a section explaining why I am now a teetotaler, and considerably expanded the section on kratom. I wrote the response to Ozy Brennan’s sex addiction post I mentioned, but wound up making it its own post. I mostly skipped the broader policy pet peeve I mentioned, except implicitly mentioning it in a footnote (I may or may not write this as its own post at some point, and I already discussed something like it a bit in the beginning of my post on suicide). I also skipped writing a section on medical options, in large part because the combination of my original post and the Lorien Psychiatry page already cover most of what I would say. I will however briefly mention that there are exciting upcoming developments in this field which a recently launched EA group is trying to promote.

Also, worth having a content warning of some kind here, this post gets into some unpleasant territory (though often briefly) - addiction, relapse, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, strained family relationships, unemployment, the works. Especially Appendix A which is also quite personal, but to an extent also Appendices E and F, and a couple of the footnotes. Feel free to sit this one out, or at least Appendix A.

Thanks to the EA forum, my sister, my Discord pal Leo, Nick as always, Nicholas from Curing Addiction, and miscellaneous others, for the helpful feedback/consultation for this piece.


Appx. A: the Personal Stuff


In my first blog post I said that I felt I was past the worst of it, and I was optimistic for the future. Unfortunately, I was actually past a particular bad spot, and just before another one. Overall, I never went back to drinking as much as I did in December 2022/January 2023, but the consequences of the drinking I did got worse, my ability to maintain a semi-normal life deteriorated, and I wound up getting much stronger treatment.

I started getting worse at maintaining my Summer plan for sobriety sometime in July, and getting sicker and sicker physically (subsequent testing has shown the development of chronic gastritis, most likely with some bleeding out), and eventually decided I needed to spend some time living with my father outside of the city. The exact things that went wrong with this arrangement are complicated and not all of them are mine to tell, but I was drinking quite a lot during this period, and it culminated towards the end of the month in a drunk episode involving quite destructive behavior, including serious self harm and property damage, as well as lashing out at my family. When I said in my post that you should really appreciate the people around you throughout this…this was only a few months before I failed terribly at this standard.

I eventually agreed to go to rehab, but refused to spend time in a halfway house afterwards because I wanted to keep my job. I wound up relapsing as soon as I got back to the city, and after about a month needed to go to medical detox. I relapsed badly again after this (at this point my health was extremely poor), though I never got back to needing tapering or detox again. I decided after a while of this that I needed to quit my job anyway, and go to a halfway house after all. I have now been sober for a little over three months, though considering how wrong I was about improving when I wrote the original article, I hesitate to say that I think things are permanently better. I am optimistic, but this is a disease people deal with for decades, and many of them nearly die before successfully quitting (and of course others just die).

That said, I am in a safe environment now and trying to find a longer-term safe environment, I’m sober longer than I’ve ever been since this whole thing started, and I am in an outpatient program and going to groups nearly every night. I am not sure this is the end of the road, but I’m in a better position to end this than I ever have been before. I was optimistic when I wrote this article, but I haven’t been optimistic again since then, not even really in rehab. I am optimistic again now, and I think it is more rational than the last time I felt this way.

No comments on this post yet.
Be the first to respond.
Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities