Sobriety finally happened for me in 2010 following a couple of decades of alcohol abuse. I was 40 years old and my drinking had spiralled dangerously out of control following the death of my Mum in January 2010.
Drinking in my teens was minimal, but when I entered my twenties which was during the period of the nineties 'ladette' culture I became a massive binge drinker, but, I was young and I seemed to be able to handle it. I did always feel different from my friends though; I used to observe how relaxed and carefree alcohol made them, but no matter how much I drank I still always felt self-conscious and was a chronic overthinker about Every.Little.Thing! I guess I drank more and more to try and reach their seemingly unattainable level of happy-go-luckiness, but was always unsuccessful.
By the time I reached my late thirties I was drinking daily, all through the day, more and more, in a futile attempt to quieten the incessant chatter of my noisy mind. Drinking until I reached oblivion and passed out did help to quell the noise, but this resulted in me being in a permantely 'topped up' state and eventually my body had become so addicted to the alcohol that I had to constantly drink throughout the day and night in order to just function.
When my mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July 2009 my drinking reached new heights as I was struggling to cope with the thought of losing her. At the same time I was also going through a divorce following a ten year marriage, was moving house, trying to hold down a job I'd had since 1986 plus failing miserably at trying to be a good mum to my young daughter. The noise inside my head was in overdrive!
After my mum died I tried so hard to stop drinking, but each attempt was followed by withdrawal fits and hospitalisation. When I look back at this I realise how very lucky I am to have survived these episodes.
In mid 2010 my best friend started to accompany me to weekly alcohol counselling sessions which eventually led to being admitted to a rehab centre in Manchester which was my first step in getting well.
The rehab centre helped me to stop drinking by using medicine to help me to withdraw safely, but the real work begins when you leave this safe haven. I started to attend AA meetings, made friends there, got myself a sponsor and worked the 12 steps of AA. One day at a time I began to feel like a 'normal' human being again as AA gave me the tools to help me to live back in the real world without the need for any other stimulants.
Now, in 2022 and 12 years on I am happy to say that I have maintained my sobriety by doing the work, attending meetings, helping others and making sure that self care is something that I am mindful of on a daily basis. I would never take my sobriety for granted as it is a gift that has to be treasured and cared for. I am also extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way. I now have a fantastic, honest, loving and trusting relationship with my amazing daughter and have remarried. In addition to this I have rebuilt and repaired relationships with people I have let down over the years. It all takes time, patience and understanding, but the rewards are immense.
I feel very lucky and privileged to be a part of the Recoverlution team and am excited about what is yet to come and the potential that this platform has to help many many people over the coming years.