I started drinking and using drugs when I was 15 and spiraled fairly rapidly. I'm Irish-Italian so the genetic setup was there. My addiction was largely driven by social anxiety that emerged in adolescence as I moved away from a deeply religious upbringing in the Baptist Church to a wider social network of kids from all over the world at a large public high school.
Being numbed out and less anxious was a total win for me in the beginning. I had a rough run from 15 to 22, most of which was spent blacked out in warehouses in Detroit dressed in jnco jeans taking whatever I could acquire with whichever low quality skateboarder boyfriend I had at the time. By 22 I had been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning (turned blue, resuscitated), gone temporarily blind for six hours in a k-hole, had multiple run-ins with the law, and experienced a lot of exposure to violence and trauma.
My bottom occurred when I was high during a mental health crisis my brother had (he has schizophrenia). I wasn't able to be fully there for him during a terrifying turning point in his life when he really needed me to admit him to the hospital. I realized the extent of my spiritual bankruptcy when it seemed like a good idea to leave him and "go back to the club."
I got sober through court-mandated AA, a decade of therapy, and a lot of love from women in recovery. Its been an odyssey. Here's 16 Ways my Recovery has Changed at Year 16: https://www.workithealth.com/blog/16-years-recovery-lisa-mclaughlin