Brought up on the West Cost of Ireland
Hello my name’s Terry and I’m an alcoholic. I’ve always been surrounded by alcohol as far back as I can remember. Both my parents were big drinkers and still are, I was brought up on the west coast of Ireland and was always waiting for my parents to come out of the pub, and when they did there was always a party at our house. I used to pinch the odd drink and myself and my mates drank it. I was about 11 or 12 at the time. I didn’t like the taste of it but I liked what it did to me. I used to get that warm glow inside.
There wasn’t much work in Ireland at the time and my dad had to travel to here the work was. Sometimes he would be away for months at a time, so maybe I started drinking more to block that out. Eventually my whole family moved over to England and I was bullied in school and I used to bunk off school and drink with my mates. I got a part time job and I went out weekends and got drunk. I then started working and living in pubs and my drinking really started to take off. I met my wife and things were good for a while, but as time went on my drinking got worse and worse. In the end we separated, I lost my job and the roof over my head, got divorced and ended up homeless. I ended up in hospital after a major bleed.
Luckily the night before I had got to an AA meeting. There were a lot of people at the meeting and they were very happy and understanding. Lots of people from the meeting came to see me while I was in hospital and carried the message of AA to me, and so my road to recovery began. I got a temporary sponsor and he gave me a list of things to do like pray for a sober day, talk to newcomers and read my Big Book. I began to see hope for the first time in over 20 years of drinking. I came out of hospital a week later and straight into a meeting and was blown away by the shares I heard. A couple of people from the Fellowship put me up over the weekend and on the Monday I got into a homeless hostel. I kept my head down and went to up to ten meetings a week. My sponsor started taking me through the Twelve Steps and I haven’t looked back since.
I went from a homeless hostel into supported housing and went back to college to do my English and Maths. Today I have my son and my family back in my life and have a good job. The obsession with alcohol has been completely removed, I think about others today and not myself. I’ve got a beautiful partner and a lovely home and I’m so happy. Things crop up, but that’s life and I’ve got a program to deal with it. This is through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and my very strong and loving homegroup, my sponsor, and of course Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole.