I was high, alright. I was functioning. To a degree.
But it was my degree of dysfunction that I never considered. Not for years, anyway. Not until the downward progression of my addiction had me totally non-functioning did I even begin to consider the possibility that I had been dysfunctional to varying degrees - for years.
You see, for years "I thought that there were two different kinds of alcoholics, those who did function (have a job, a place to live, friends, relationships), like me, and a second kind of alcoholic who was quite unlike me [like the brown-bagging beach bum I eventually did become!]. I was unaware that there is only one kind of alcoholic and that they are all 100% alcoholic and that if they are functional at present, it is only a matter of time until that progressive, downward spiral jettisons them from whatever functional path that they may have thought that they were on."
As I progressed on my downward slope, denial of my worsening condition was easily glossed over. I could forever blame my failures on bad breaks or dumb luck and the undulating hills and valleys of addiction could convince me for a time that things would get better and that I could continue being the high-functioning alcoholic I imagined myself to be.
"What will I become?" slowly turned into "What has become of me?"
"By the time I had a reason to stop drinking, reason no longer had anything to do with it."
I don't mean to discourage anyone who identifies as a high-functioning alcoholic except to suggest one simple little question to ask yourself: How much better might you actually function if you were to delete alcohol from your life? And I might proceed to add that perhaps your alcohol use (which you describe to yourself as an aid to your performance) is actually a hinderance to your performance.
Try sobriety and you just might find that it suits you better than you might ever have imagined.
In sobriety, I am high-functioning. I am an alcoholic who is in recovery. But, truth be told, high-functioning alcoholic was not ever in my portfolio, although I could have sworn it was.
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
Passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal