I Lived in a Fantasy World
I started drinking at 13, but even before I started drinking I lived in a fantasy world. I was chaotic and full of fear and didn't fit in anywhere or with anyone.
The first time I took a drink I drank to blackout and that continued, I ended up in hospital getting my stomach pumped and I remember family saying "You won’t do that again will you?" But I continued and I continued to want to blackout. I enjoyed drinking, but the ultimate for me was to drink to oblivion. I was like a tornado running through people lives. Always causing trouble and I could never be honest about anything. I was constituently incapable of being honest with myself.
By the time I was 24 I moved away from London. I had already pushed most of my family and friends I had left away. If anyone told me I was drinking too much or challenged my behaviour I'd cut them off. When I found the hair of the dog properly at 24, I thought all my wishes had come true. I was a manager for a large pub chain and managed to keep my drinking hidden from everyone, including the person I was living with.
Again I kept moving. I moved 4 times in 3 years. By than my depression was getting worse, I was having suicidal thoughts throughout the day. I remember having a moment of clarity one morning realising I didn’t want to drink but I had too. I got suspended from work and was in London. I was blacked out for a while. Then my head just wouldn’t stop. It was racing a million miles an hour and the drink was just not working. I was full of fear and panic.
I was taken to a hospital and spoke to psychiatrists. They said they couldn’t do anything as I was too intoxicated but gave me a leaflet about alcoholics and suggested AA. This is when I finally accepted I was an alcoholic for the first time. I went to AA for a while but I had gone insane so was waiting to get into a treatment centre in Plymouth. I arrived at the treatment centre and instantly thought defiantly I don’t belong here. I was in there for 7 months, and I was mad as a big box of frogs.I was awake for 72 hours running riot. Then down for days and up down up down.
By the time I left that treatment centre I was again full of fear and panic I knew I was going to drink again. I hadn’t been going to meetings. I had no excuse I just wanted to drink. I drank for 9 days. The consequences were not at all bad. I was blacked out but my dad was coming on the Sunday so I got sober for that.
I got to a meeting and I truly had had enough. I had an inner collapse. I wanted to live happily (not that I truly understood what happiness was at the time). I got a sponsor and I followed her direction , checked out my thinking with her constantly. I did the suggestions for 2 weeks and things started brightening up. She than took me through step 3 and that day I started my step 4 inventory.
Step 4 showed me who I am, I’d always felt lost and didn’t know who I was. But after step 5 I felt like I knew who I was. Steps 6 and 7 are principles I practice daily as I need to be aware of my defects and ask God to remove them. Step 8 was a game changer for me. It truly showed me how I had treated people and it was a painstaking part of my development. I have made a handful of amends to family and a few financial amends.
My way of thinking has changed. I can comprehend the word serenity and I do know peace and that is a miracle. I am so grateful for this. Step 10 helps me recognise when I’ve done something wrong so I can continue to make amends. Step 11 is bringing me closer to my higher power. Step 12 keeps me sober. I enjoy spending time with newcomers and doing service whilst thinking of others. I am not wrapped up in me me me. Because I’m not wrapped in myself, the fear and panic that has plagued me all my life has subsided.
It’s no longer my show. I have completed step 3 so I can have faith that it will all work out and I won’t be given more than I can cope with. Having a sponsor, a strong home group and the 12 steps has truly changed my life. I am now 5 months sober and I am eternally grateful to AA.