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Man stress nearly killed me – and more than once.

I can offer a big tip that worked for me, worked as in I no longer now feel suicidal or pursue active self-destruction.

For me, no salvation was possible without realising I am an alcoholic, and finding a way to overcome the obsession and compulsion for drink and drugs.

That was what fuelled me for 16 years.

A daily, often hourly hit of booze, weed, ecstasy or something else bought me minutes or hours of sweet relief from the stress and depression that otherwise somehow seemed to envelop me.

If you want to quit substance abuse, but can’t, then the AA book, fellowship and meetings are guaranteed to work – if you follow the plan and hang with the right people (who are ALWAYS to be found).

Even if you don’t have an addiction problem, the programme of accountability and restitution is a path to happiness.

To summarise, you learn you are a selfish prick, and all the problems in your life aren’t due to everyone else as you previously raged, but entirely of your own making, either by thoughts, deeds or attitude.

Being full of anger and resentment isn’t some sort of entitled righteous indignation,  but a damaging poison – who’d have thought it…?!

With this realisation, and not being pissed or stoned, control can be regained and a lot of stress disappears completely, or recedes to manageable levels. The lifting of depression this way is as successful, but longer lasting than with Prozac.

Just complete the 12 steps, that although hard, are all achievable.

Oh, and I never twigged I was an alcoholic till my very last drink.

This was despite (in an ideal world) drinking a bottle of wine and half & a bottle of whiskey each day, and smoking a joint every hour or two. This was despite my love of, or my actions on drink and drugs losing me relationships, friends, jobs, cars, places to live as fast as I could get them – and being massively depressed. It’s a madness as well as an illness.

I’m fairly smart, yet not once before the last savage bender (where I almost attacked the mother of my son) did I make the connection between picking up the first drink and drinking to oblivion.

Jeez, that was some heavy po-faced prose – and I’m meant to be a happy upbeat salesman! Well I am now, thanks to almost 8 years of permanent sobriety, and no fear I’ll ever drink again.

When Stuart asked me to write a piece I knew I needed to start with this as for me, and countless other men, drink was seen as the solution to stress yet it was in fact the greatest cause of it.

PS Don’t worry, if you aren’t an alcoholic, I hear drinking can still be fun!

Cheers,

Ben.

By |2018-03-08T12:24:39+00:00March 3rd, 2018|Guest Writer, Post of the Month|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. richard crisp 4th March 2018 at 8:56 am - Reply

    Thank you for your honest contribution…I am meeting an increasingly large number of individuals who are struggling with the demon drink but having on occasions in the past over indulged when I had wanted to block out personal issues, I totally get why alcohol has become a major factor in people’s life’s. You have been on a fascinating journey and I commend you for being able to move away from this demon before it eventually destroyed your life…perhaps you could share more about the AA programme…importantly once again you provide a wonderful example that anyone can change if they are focused and determined enough…thank you once again for sharing your experiences on the MANSTRESS platform

  2. Ben 10th March 2018 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you Richard. The deal with AA is you share the cure! Though I am far from perfect in thought and deed, I am never as depressed and dangerous as I was when a practicing or undiagnosed alcoholic.
    I’m failrly smart, I got A, B and C GCSE results without really trying. Then I went to prison, and got turned on to drugs.
    I never thought I was an alcoholic, my dad was an alcoholic, he never had a job or a car.
    I often had a job, sometimes a new one each month. I also always had a car, sometimes it was even taxed and insured.
    I drank and took drugs for RELIEF from stress, I needed to – how could they be the problem…?!
    16 years, with all the evidence available there for everyone to see, yet NOT ONCE till my very last drink, did I twig that I was an alcoholic, and that the misery in me, and that I caused others, was a almost infinitely worse due to it.

  3. Guest 16th March 2018 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    I read about this website when I picked up “Your Local Paper” today in King’s Lynn. I’m not sure whether writing anything is a good idea, I tend to want to write to impress – to ponder over every phrase – and try to hone every sentence. But I know this is part of the ridiculously complicated person that is me – the chap that most of the time I hate. In old age I had hoped to find some calm, some escape from the fear and anxiety of everyday life. I too used and abused alcohol, eventually went to AA and found so much love and insight there. I haven’t touched alcohol for well over 30 years but that’s isn’t to boast. For most of those years it has been knowing how indescribably terrible my life was when I drank, and how damaging I was to those close to me. The love of my life was booze. It gave me an escape from the torment and fear of trying to be me – an Oxbridge scholar who hated university and the expectations that I felt everyone placed on me. I was a teacher and I think I was pretty good at my job and of course fear and self preservation prevented me from drinking during term time. Well, when you work in a boarding school there are too many people, and they were so much more capable than I was ( or so I thought ). Why am I writing this now ? Because my life is still full of dread, ( fear of the day ahead mostly ), although I know the day will be as unremarkable and boring as most days. I get angry with myself for not making more of an effort, but I’m still a timid little boy really and joining a club or whatever is too frightening a prospect. Maybe, just maybe, writing this might be a start. After all – I tell myself – it’s quite possible that others who feel the need to join may be as mixed up and hopeless most of the time as I am.If there’s one thing I took away from AA, it’s that although I think I’m unique, other people have a story much the same as mine.

  4. Richard crisp 16th March 2018 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    Guest …thank you for your contribution…when I was speaking on radio Norfolk the interviewer asked me whether I found writing cathartic…and I instantly thought that was the key for my two colleagues…both Stuart and Paul have discussed their personal struggles on this platform, but until I introduced them to the idea of Manstress and explained the journey I had been on for the last 10 years, they had never talked to each other about their problems…writing copy regularly for this platform is gradually allowing them to remove the shackles that were controlling their negative feelings and their resulting, sometimes ridiculous reactions.

    You clearly have an internal strength because abstaining from alcohol for 30 years is quite amazing. Not only would I urge you to keep writing because I feel that your experiences would really hellp others deal with their struggles BUT as we have collectively discovered the whole process is incredibly cathartic and could be the lever you need to finally deal with your demons.

    Please keep us updated of your progress…

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