Its a strange concept for me to think that alcohol used to be my friend, but that is exactly what it was. My whole life was about drinking and getting drunk. So when the end of my drinking came it was a massive decision for me to put it down.
Alcoholism is so much more than just needing to drink. Its a state of mind and a whole craziness in my head. It became a state of mind for me and my identity, so a whole reputation to live up to. I loved the attention it brought me but I also hated it.
In the end I was drinking alone in an empty room in my house, with everyone else in the house avoiding me. My moods were unpredictable and erratic towards the end and I was well aware of the person I had become but I also remember I had a very lucid thought that I wasn’t ready to give up drinking.
Some years previously I suffered some allergic reactions that would cause my throat to swell, as well as my face. I later found out that I was allergic to mushrooms, the first thing I did was give them up and over time everything got better. I now have a healthy fear of mushrooms and don’t consider them in my diet. When I was in active alcoholism I was aware of the damage I was doing to myself and the others around me but, unlike the mushrooms, I couldnt put it down.
Finding the fellowship was a little like my diagnosis. Suddenly I had people around me with the same illness and it gave me the re-assurance I needed to stop drinking. Hearing my others fellows talk about their experience and reactions to alcohol helped me face my demons.
When I found the 12 step programme I was able to put down the drink and not take another one but it was hard to let it go. I had a bond with alcohol and used it as a comfort when I needed it. I thought about it all the time and couldn’t even walk down the alcohol aisle in the supermarket.
Slowly but surely I listened and hung onto the fellowship. I made good friendships that replaced the one I had previously had with alcohol. I recognised myself in the people around me and knew I could have what they have.
It sounds easy, but that is far from the truth. What it is however is simple and liberating and has helped me become the person that I know I really am.