From Suicide to Sobriety

From Suicide to Sobriety

Less than four months ago I was sitting in a darkened room alone, drinking and thinking how I could kill myself without leaving too much mess. Slit my wrists in the bath was the very best I could come up with. It would be something I could do where no-one else would be involved and the evidence of me could be rinsed away without too much difficulty. The problem was that I love my little mother dearly and knew that I would rip her heart to pieces if I did go through with it. So there I was, wanting to die but not being able to commit the act. I was in purgatory and could see no way out of this suffering where even the alcohol no longer gave me any relief.

I didn't used to be like that. I used to have many friends and enjoy my life and had lots of fun. I did feel different to other people though. On the outside I was loud, funny and I guaranteed a good night out. On the inside though I felt like an actress playing out the part of a person that I thought I should be. Yes I always drank more than most people but I am Scottish! I thought that was why I would have such a laugh and it was like that throughout my teenage years. Whenever I had blackouts I'd joke about them thinking they were funny, that they were normal as I'd experienced them very soon after starting drinking. Besides, they didn't happen every time I got drunk and nothing really bad happened.

I moved to California when I was 22 and within three weeks of being there I was arrested for being drunk in public. I couldn't believe it! "That would never happen back home. These Americans just don't know how to party!" I thought. So although I felt a little embarrassed it didn't faze me too much. I certainly didn't think I had a drink problem.

In my twenties blackouts were becoming much more frequent and the consequences of them quite shocking at times. I woke up in my bed at home one time wearing a wrist band from a hospital. Seemingly I'd been taken there and had had 5 stitches sewn into my face above my eye. I have no recollection of the trip to hospital or the journey back home to this day. That scared me enough to not drink for a year but during this time my sober life was miserable and felt empty. I heavily substituted the alcohol with marijuana instead which got me through that time. After all that time without a drink I knew that OBVIOUSLY I hadn't had a problem with alcohol! So I started drinking again. Quickly and more ferociously than before, things got worse and worse. So after a couple more arrests I came back home where it was all going to be different. It wasn't. I stopped going out for fear of what would happen and so I drank alone in my flat more and then on a daily basis. I lost friends as I disappeared from their lives into my own dark and isolated world. I felt so much shame and guilt for things I'd said or done when drunk that I didn't feel I could face anyone. If people came to my flat I would hide away. I wouldn't answer the door or the phone. I wanted to be left alone yet I was desperately lonely. I wanted to not drink but I couldn't stop myself no matter how much I tried. I always took that first drink and I always got drunk. I tried AA a couple of times before but it didn't work for me, I didn't "get it" and would drink again.

When I walked into my now homegroup, almost 4 months ago, I was a broken and desperate shell of a human being. I had no hope AA would be able to help someone like me but I had no better ideas and this was the very last thing I could think to try. I identified, as before with people who shared their story but his time I heard the message loud and clear. I was beaten enough to listen. "Get a sponsor, get a big book, do the steps." I got a temporary sponsor that night.

From starting the steps my life had already brightened up and the obsession with alcohol went within a week. After doing Step 5 I felt unburdened and like I could hold my head up high again. The guilt I'd felt was replaced by forgiveness towards myself. That took away my self-hatred. The resentments I'd held towards other people could now be seen for what they really were. It was me making me feel the way I felt, no-one else. It all seems so simple now, so obvious.

I thank God for the pain and suffering I felt before because that is what brought me to my knees and to AA. I drank for 24 years and couldnít imagine life with or without alcohol but today I wake up and can't believe my luck that I feel the way I do, happy and content. My friends are coming back into my life and I'm no longer scared of what is coming up or what has been before, and it's all thanks to the guidance of this amazing group of people and working the AA programme.

December 2014