Alcoholism with other Psychological Disorders
My experience: I have had psychological disorders most of my life. I have had a lot to deal with – as a child growing up I knew I was different from the normal kids. I have Tourrette's syndrome and distonia, and physiological disorders which I have to deal with as well as my alcoholism.
I started to drink at the age of 12, it all went downhill from there really. I had trouble straight away: courts, police stations, hospitals and even three spells in the mental health unit, as well as a long spell in a mental health project. I also went to prison, this is where it took me. I had all sorts of help in the mental health and also in the alcoholic programme, and mental health counselling.
I was in a very dark place before AA, self-harming, hurting myself and taking pills to try and kill myself, to escape this pain and suffering I was enduring. I was also inflicting this pain on to my family and friends, through my behaviours and consequences.
Seven years ago I died and was brought back to life; I had taken an overdose because I was in despair and felt I had nothing to live for. At this particular time all my family and friends had washed their hands of me. I didn’t care about anything or anyone, all I could think about was myself.
I came around very scared and gripped with fear. I knew I had to sort my drinking out; I knew I was an alcoholic. I could not stop drinking, the obsession to drink was physical and mental, and it was with me whether I was drinking or not.
I would be so drunk, but still wanted to drink more, I could never drink enough.
My first AA meeting was when I was 24, but I wasn’t ready at that point, I came back to AA at 28. I could identify with other alcoholics’ shares.
I am so grateful for the help I received from other institutes but they could never treat my alcoholism, AA is where I could get sober, and I am still sober today. One day at a time, I responded well to the structure and discipline of my home group. It has enabled me to have a stable life, I was made to feel welcome and given a service position to do, I was expected to do my service position well. People helped and encouraged me, it was important for me to know what I had to do, I was told to work through the 12 steps with a sponsor, and my sponsor is just an alcoholic who lives the 12 steps.
My home group is my sanctuary, where I go and carry the message. It keeps me on track. I was a stupid immature child. Now because of my home group and structure I am working towards being a lady. I have had a transformation in the past 5 yrs 3 months; my family have also changed as a result of my recovery. They have peace of mind today, and so do I.
I don’t think I could have changed the way I have, if I was in a place where I could do things my own way. By falling in line with a strong structured and disciplined group, grounded in the 12 steps and the Big Book, it has helped me to start becoming a part of society for the first time in my life!
I have so much gratitude!
Di, Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth