At meetings we always hear someone’s story for 10-15 mins, with hope being people hear something that is similar to their own experience. In doing this there is a sense of belonging and it is ok to be you – this I believe is the true essence of going to AA. I do appreciate that this isn’t for everyone but for me it works.
One thought that is always up for discussion is whether our addiction is learned or inherited and was it always to be our destiny. I truly believe I was born this way, my coping tactic was always going to be via alcohol.
I grew up in a town where it was a right of passage to drink and the park was the meeting place. So determined to fit in I would just follow the crowd and do what everyone else did. That therefore involved getting drunk quite a lot. I couldn’t even tell you how old I was but I do know I was very young, probably younger than 13.
I don’t remember getting a buzz or recognising it taking away any anxiety or stress, it was just what we did. I suspect most of my drinking was down to sheer boredom and just wanting to have some fun.
As I got older I went through various phases of drinking or not, I was never really one to drink at home in my twenties but when I went out I always drank to excess. Later in my twenties I started to recognise that I was the only one who’s drinking habits hadn’t really changed. Most people started turning down some nights out in favour of an early night, I never really understood that mindset.
Then in my thirties I found the joy of drinking at home, I could get mind numbing drunk and not experience the same consequences – ideal. What this then did however, was cover up all the emotions I had whether happy or not. I developed the habit of reaching for alcohol in both good and bad times, it was just what I did.
This went on until and event that happened to me on the fifth of December 2015 – my rock bottom. What I do now know however is that being an alcoholic is part of who I am and untreated it will run wild. Right now I am pleased to say that I am up to date on my medication and, although life is tough, I am aware of who I am and why I feel the way I do.