Loved back to life

June 2008 was the worst and best month of my life. My partner had said she was leaving me after nearly a year of us being together. She felt that I had an addiction problem and it was one that she couldn’t support me through, she rightly said that the road to recovery would be a long one. I didn’t even think I had a problem but I decided to pretend that I was going to do something about it by saying that I would go to a meeting of alcoholics anonymous. I figured that if I looked like I was doing something she would hang around. I agreed that I probably drank too much as there were some nights I just couldn’t remember; I would end up being violent and aggressive. I would wake up not knowing how I had got home or what I had done. Deep down part of me I believe was really sick of living this life but a way out of it didn’t really seem possible.

My problem wasn’t alcohol and drugs, it was living without them. I could stop drinking and using, any time I wanted to. I had done it many times before! Sober life would become unbearable though and I would go back to drinking and using again, even after being arrested for selling drugs.

So to keep up the pretence that I was dealing with my problem, that I wasn’t convinced I actually had; I asked a friend to come with me to an AA meeting. When we were nearly there I wanted to go to the pub instead! My friend refused to let me though and I will be forever grateful for that. I walked into a meeting that night and I honestly have never looked back. The welcome I got there was amazing. People took time to speak to me and to explain their story to me and even though I felt my drinking was different, something was the same. I was forced that night to look at just what my drinking was doing to my life.

I suffered terrible mood swings before and after drinking, I woke up the next day shaking and sweating. I was told that a part of the illness of alcoholism is that sometimes you will be able to only drink a few drinks and you’ll be relatively sober, but that those times are few and far between. So right; it was happening less and less that I could drink without getting drunk. I didn’t get into trouble every time I was drunk but every time I got into trouble I was drunk.. From that night on I did what was suggested to me. I went to lots of meetings and started to talk about how I felt. People in those meetings loved me back to life. I couldn’t have done it without them but I also do take credit myself because I turned up at those meetings faithfully. I started to get well and I started to like myself again.

My partner left me two days after I started in AA but I didn’t drink. It hurt so badly but I didn’t lift a drink because I knew from that first meeting that I had used alcohol to cope with many things in my life. I haven’t touched any mind altering substances since being in AA and I was so happy and proud of myself to celebrate my first year sober. I have a relationship with someone new today, I have an amazing relationship with my family and I can look myself in the mirror again. Even when times get tough my worst day sober is much better than my best day drunk. I am getting on my feet financially and work is getting better and better. It hasn’t always been easy but no one promised me it would be. They just promised me that it would be worth it. My Grandfather is very ill right now and the joy is that I can actually be there for him with no regard for myself. I am terrified of hospitals but this isn’t about me. It’s about him and I will do anything I can to make him happy. I still do as many meetings as I did in the beginning because I need that to stay sober. If I am not feeling good I pick up the phone to a fellow AA member and we talk it out. I keep sober company as I don’t ever want to be tempted to go back to that way of life again. Sober, clean and happy is where I want to be.