I’ve heard it hinted at in meetings and have seen people struggle with being both gay and an addict or alcoholic. And we’ve even talked about here before a little. But I have often wondered if the two have anything to do with one another. Am I an addict in response to my gayness or was I an alcoholic long before I realized I was gay or vice versa?
I am positive that the exact order of these traits is not really important but still I can’ t help wondering if one made me more predisposed to the other. Now, I am certain that I have a century of alcoholism in my family tree. Does having an alcoholism in my family make me an alcoholic automatically? No but it certainly made it easier to become one. By the way, I’m a freelance writer, playwright and publicist so take my sociological and psychological babblings for a grain of salt. But studies from non-goofballs have linked genetics and alcoholism so let’s just assume I was at the very least at risk for becoming alcoholic before I was born.Now being gay boils down to genetics too, I believe anyway. I feel like I didn’t choose either one and maybe that’s the answer to my question right there.
Right before I had one year of sobriety, I was with my parents in Arizona. My mom asked me if there was anything they could have done as parents that would have made my life easier. It was a legitimate, albite loaded, question considering the year I had- getting sober and finding out I was HIV positive. I had to think about it and had to think about her feelings. Were there times I felt unloved when I was a kid? Sure. Were there situations I wish never happened in my childhood? You bet. But would I change any of that? And my answer to her was “No.” I honestly feel like being an alcoholic and contracting HIV and surviving abusive relationships and facing my demons were just what I had to do. No it hasn’t been a non-stop hilarious party and big chunks of my life could even accurately be described as shitty. But I have to believe it has all been for something. Maybe I’m here to help other gay drunk HIV positive people have a laugh. Maybe I’m here to keep learning and facing demons. I don’t know.
I do know that we all have to work with the “gifts” we have, regardless of what order we got them in. And if I’m really lucky I’ll have a lot of chances to become the best possible gay, HIV positive, recovering alcoholic that I can be.