When Alcohol Becomes your Master….
How I thought my life would pan out by my early thirties and what actually happened was in stark contrast. I fancied myself as a good catch well educated, pretty and my outlook was one of glass half full and the world was my oyster. I definitely envisioned myself in a successful role, married with a family by my mid 20s. Although I did achieve many things in my twenties which I am proud of, there was always something which prevented me from fully flourishing to my true potential. Unlike my peers who could socialise and use alcohol safely I was a slave to it from my teenage years. Alcoholism had caused much grief within my family circle and I witnessed from a young age the arguments it caused and the heartache. I definitely didn’t have any ambitions that I wanted to be an alcoholic. I was a person who always sought to chase the next buzz in the hope that would satisfy my ego but it was only ever fleeting. In hindsight I was always searching for something or someone to permanently fill the hole in my soul but nothing did. My relationship with booze was one of love/hate. In the early days it was my best friend and I had many a fun nights whilst living in different geographics but this was short lived. Although I knew alcohol was costing me relationships, jobs, friends I was terrified of facing life without it. At the end of my drinking I had no fixed abode was living on a friends couch and was drinking daily round the clock. I was plagued with anxiety, insomnia and self loathing. In the midst of this misery something resonated within me that I could no longer deny that alcohol was my master and I a slave to it. It had robbed me of so much in my life and I knew I needed help. The tunnel was looking very dark through my eyes and the inevitable was I would be on the streets as a result of my addiction and death would only be close by.
Through persuasion from family I decided I had to move away from the city and relocate back to my family home. I had suffered enough mental anguish as a consequence of my addiction that I was willing to overcome the fear and terror of life in sobriety. Getting sober has been the hardest most painful thing I have ever had to do in my life but without question the best. Through my journey of sobriety I learnt that I was not a bad person just a sick person trying to get well. In time I embarked on a 12 step recovery programme and it truly has changed my life for the better. Before getting sober I thought my life was over and I would maybe never laugh again. I could not of been more wrong and the reverse has happened. I used to think how could I ever go to a wedding and not drink, go on holiday etc. In the years I have been sober those things have happened and I was the first up on the dance floor and was content and happy with my apple juice. In the early days of sobriety I found it hard to relax and was always keeping my self busy as I struggled being comfortable in my own skin. Today I am delighted to report, is nothing like my old life. Through my journey I am constantly learning new things about myself. The most profound thing I have learnt through my experience is inner peace is an inside job. Peace and true happiness I no longer seek from outside myself . I no longer need to fill the emptiness inside me that alcohol temporarily gave me escapism from. In sobriety I try to be the authentic version of me and feel compassion for myself. When I embarked on this journey I felt my life was over and yet it was only to be the beginning of a beautiful journey and one which I would not change. Today I accept I am a recovering alcoholic and I feel no shame around that nor does my family. Life has dealt me different blows but my experience has led me to believe that there is positive lessons to be learnt from situations that are life changing. I shall leave it on this note 18months prior to getting sober my mother had extensive brain injury and we were delivered the news she had a 6per cent survival chance. After a long stint in hospital she learnt to walk, talk and eat again a true miracle. Five years on and I am able to be a good daughter to my mother and I earnestly believe that this situation played a pivotal part in me wanting to get sober.
*Due to the confidential nature of the 12 step programme “Sarah” is a pseudo used by the author. Should you wish to make contact with the author, you can do so here.