My name is James and I’m an alcoholic.
I said those words for the first time on the 5th of March 2018 around 8pm at an AA meeting and will never forget how strange they were to say.
I’ve thought for a few years I had a drink problem but me an alcoholic? Nooooooo. I have a good job, wife and two kids.
Don’t drink through the day and wash daily lol. I can’t be an alcoholic.
How wrong was I.
My life changed for the better the day I admitted to myself that I am an alcoholic and actually said to a group of people I was.
From the age of eight my dad took me the pub regularly, nearly every night, he would have four pints and I would play pool, something I became extremely good at with the amount of time I was spending in pubs. I’ve never blamed my dad for my addiction as he knows when to stop drinking, something I don’t know how to do.
I began properly drinking at the age of 16, usual drill, Friday and Saturday night out with the mates around town. As I hit my early 20s and money wasn’t an issue I began drinking more and more and over the last five years I’ve drank nearly every night.
I didn’t think I had a problem as sometimes as would go a week without drinking to test myself. But then when I did have a drink, I had a drink.
My biggest problem was I couldn’t just have one. I would call into the local pub for a pint with my dad around four and that was it, I would call to the local supermarket, just for four cans then I would think to myself that isn’t enough I will get a bottle of whisky and just have a couple.
Before I knew it the four cans had gone and so would half a bottle of whisky.
The morning after the night before I would hide the whisky bottle and say to myself wow I feel a little rough. Won’t drink tonight. But as 4pm approached I craved that drink again and life just repeated itself like this.
I wasn’t drinking through the day on weekdays but would often drink on weekend mornings. If I woke and didn’t have any commitments I would have a huge glass of whisky to level off and steadily start drinking as the day went on. Below is a list of things I did.
When I reflect back on them I can’t believe it.
- Drank a bottle of whisky the night my son was born and picked him up with a massive hangover
- Turned up to friends gathering still drunk from the night before and start drinking again
- Drank a bottle of red wine on my way to brother’s bbq whilst wife drove and continued drinking
- Would often hide drink so my wife didn’t see
- Would fill bottles up with water so my wife wouldn’t notice how much I had
The list could go on and on, I would often fight when in town and the big turning point for me was earlier this month, I knew I had to stop drinking.
I had been out in town from 12.30, my friends went home at 7pm like normal people as they knew they had drank enough but not me I stayed out until 11pm on my own drinking and dancing the night away. Two guys jumped the taxi queue, I wasn’t happy had a chat and it became heated, I pushed one over onto the floor.
No big deal I thought.
Next minute I was grabbed by two people accusing me of assault. I quickly put them both to the ground.
Karate, gym and 12 hours of drinking doesn’t mix well.
Before I knew it, I woke up in a police cell.
It turned out that one of the individuals I put to the floor was an off-duty police officer.
Due in court next month.
On this occasion I was lucky and didn’t actually hit anyone so I should be looking at a slap on the wrist and a fine but being honest a massive positive has come out of this negative. I will never drink again. This is the wakeup call I needed. My drinking had become out of hand, I was drinking until I ran out and dropped.
Its very early days yet but I’ve been sober for 16 days.
I have had some fantastic support from a couple of friends and the AA.
Unfortunately, I’ve also had them friends that have told me I don’t have a drinking problem and just to have a couple. I am going to see how my relationship goes with these friends and if they can’t understand my illness then I will have to brush them to one side and tell myself they are not true friends. I have found the last four days ok and not had too much of a craving to drink, but wow last week I was climbing the walls when 4pm came.
I have found eating and drinking water as much as I possibly can really do help.
Gym walking and cleaning takes my mind off things. The positives of not drinking are amazing and are keeping me from picking that first drink up. I sleep well, have an amazing appetite, have lots of energy and time for my wife and two children, I’m sharp and proactive with my work, don’t feel down and depressed, saving a load of money and much more.
The keys to this long new adventure is: one day at a time.
I wish everyone with this horrible illness all the best and don’t take that one tempting drink.
I know now.
It’s not worth it.