I Drank Again
I was born in Essex into a family of five – 3 sisters and 1 brother. From as far back as I can remember I felt different from the world, I got myself into trouble with police, my parents and parents of other children who I’d hang about with. I’ve never walked the right path, always walking on the wrong side of the road of life, causing my parents a lot of sleepless nights and concern, and this at a young age.
Nothing changed going into adulthood – expulsion from school at 13, police stations, courts etc. All this before I’d hit 16. I was smoking dope daily at 13, drinking alcohol. I remember my first drink but can’t remember anything after that total blackout. And that’s my story of alcohol: drinking to blackout and not knowing where it will take me or what I’m going to be doing. I drank like an alcoholic from day one. I never had control over my liquor consumption.
I should have stopped drinking from a early age as it didn’t agree with me, but I kept drinking and doing drastic things over and over again. I found myself in prisons, courts, hospitals, probation, group therapy. I didn’t care as I thought I knew best. I thought that alcohol wasn’t the problem but that it was my childhood or other peoples’ fault: people just don’t treat me right. I’d get sacked from every job or just not turn up as I thought I’m too good and should be manager; or I need to emigrate and live in Australia or save the world in Africa. I was always looking at the world and others thinking they were the problem. I wanted to be someone else doing something else somewhere else. I heard that saying in Alcoholics Anonymous and thought “Wow that’s how I feel”; and similarly with a lot of things I heard in AA.
I arrived in my first meeting about 3 years ago after my long-term girlfriend had left, due to my drinking again! I’d be angry daily, trash things in the flat, I’d be abusive, threatening and violent and had no control over what my actions were. I was sick and I knew it but didn’t know why and that disturbed me. I’d make countless promises and knew I’d break the promises because I knew in myself I had no control over my actions and my mind. I was powerless to do the right things, emotionally and mentally I was in trouble. The easy way out was to kill myself. I was a failure and life was crap and I’d been dealt a crap hand. I was suicidally depressed daily, one minute I’m fine next minute I’m depressed and I just couldn’t understand why.
Well I do today. It’s an illness of alcoholism and I’ve got it. But what a joy! I’m not weird, I’m not socially retarded. I’m not a useless human being (well without taking certain actions I am!) But I have a solution, to help me overcome all these things, to live a useful and happy life without the need to drink alcohol to make me function normally and to block myself off from the world and my problems. The solution lies in getting a sponsor and taking the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. By doing that I’ve finally realised I’m the problem in my life, not other people or the world! It’s me and me only.
I have taken my will back and thought I known best, left my home group, and shortly after that I’ve picked up alcohol and my old head comes back and I suffer from those things I’ve said: depression, anxiety, worthlessness, isolation, etc. But by working the program, doing my daily suggestions and having a sponsor, the obsession for alcohol goes and I feel great in myself. My head slows down and doesn’t spin like a washing machine; thinking constantly – its hard work and draining, I get a sense of freedom, and peace of mind, which is priceless for someone like me. I’m a better person to others, my fiancé, parents, family and the general public.
This program gives me a conscience which I don’t have if I’m not working 12 Steps. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done; and I’m so glad to have found out I just suffer from alcoholism and I have a illness. It’s about thinking of others and not myself (which I’ve been a legend at for the duration of my life!) I need a sponsor’s guidance to check my thinking out with, and I relate myself correctly to this man. I can have what he’s got: sobriety, contentment, a purpose in life, consistency. And he’s just an alcoholic who’s taken the Twelve Steps and has kept walking the road for 20 years doing exactly the daily suggestions given to me when I first came to AA meetings.
I needed guidance from a early age as I was off the wall then. So it makes sense for someone like me to have a sponsor and follow him as my way doesn’t work. I’ve proved that to myself time and time again. For so long I thought I was alone in my world and different from everyone else or special. But today I’m just one of many with this illness. I’m a part of the Road to Recovery group – I’ve found friends and fellows all following the same path, and at last I’m not alone. I’m a part of a Fellowship and what a great feeling it is to realise that all that’s wrong with me is that I am just a alcoholic with a illness, and that there is a solution and it is vastly more than that.
Road to Recovery, Plymouth