So lets get straight to the heart of it.
I am an alcoholic. I still find that difficult to write or say but it's the truth and I have never admitted that to anyone I knew before.
Over the last few years errr nah decades I have drowned myself in alcohol. In the early days I could handle it - youth is wasted on the young after all :) - and I could still turn up for a work the next day after drinking 2/3 to a full bottle of vodka. Every day. And work like a dog.
Although from memory I may have given myself a day or two off here or there. Most nights were spent unconscious on the sofa, waking up at 5 or so a.m. and deciding to go to work so I could do more hours to make up for my hangover which meant I could get home a little earlier to start drinking.
That pattern continued for many years - slow learner it seems.
As I got older I was less able to function drinking so much and I started to cut back., you know. To less. Like 2-3 litres of wine a day.
Much more reasonable
I was basically a functioning alcoholic. I preferred to drink alone and if I was in a social setting I might be the guy who had 2 or 3 glasses more than everyone else but was rarely much more drunk than others.
But at home, even up to a few weeks ago, and especially while I am not working it was not uncommon to open up a 4 litre cask at 11:00 a.m. and find it mostly empty by the timeI fell asleep that night.
I am sharing a house with someone else and often felt guilty about not contributing enough so I have painted 4 rooms of the house, 3 while I was drunk. They actually look pretty good but I digress.
I became more and more and more isolated, slowly friends and family stopped calling or emailing.... I just stayed in my room and drank.
And sometimes rang people when I was in the right frame of mind to sound happy and not too drunk. But I rarely remembered these calls. Nor much else. I had gotten to the point of pretty much blacking out.
Something happened two weeks ago. I am not being mysterious it's just WAY too much information as a back story to impart here but it basically could have easily meant I would be kicked out of my place and also lose the part time job which is my sole source of income.
Living in my car on social security was actually a real possibility.
And it shook me to the core. 3 years ago I was a high flyer in Dubai...to this.
I felt sick to my stomach for days as I pondered whether this could actually happen and waited for those around to determine my fate.
After a few days I grew some kahonas and faced the issue head on - apologising and being 100% honest about my alcohol problem and that I was never going to drink again.
I have an AMAZING boss and a wonderful housemate who appreciated my honesty and forgave me..
I have tried to quit a few times before but in the back of my head was a little voice which told me I could quit and then go back to it and control it.
Make boundaries like don't drink alone, don't have more than X drinks a day, do not drink cheap cask wine etc etc etc....
This time around I quickly realised its the NEED to set those boundaries which clearly indicates you have a major alcohol addiction.
I have told my closest family members and also I am starting to tell friends. I have never divulged this information before and I feel good because it tells me I really am committed.
And I am.
I feel AMAZING after 13 days sober. Incredible. Clear headed (apart from some very weird nightmares lol ). Getting up in the morning instead of staggering out of bed.
Bounding out of bed will come soon
But most of all I feel overwhelmingly grateful. Up until now when I thought about trying to quit I just figured I was 52 and really where could I go from here - my path was decided and I really had no options.
NOW I look to the future with hope not with the need to drink away each day.
I even meditated this morning and as I thought of how grateful I was to be getting my life back, to have true friends who support me, to be rebuilding relationships with family who just wanted to know what was up....I had tears of gratitude and joy streaming own my face.
Oh - and there was snot - LOTS of snot he he
I just couldn't stop.
My emotions are starting resurrect and I am starting to feel again.
And apart from a very vague sort of occasional itch-I-can't-scratch feeling (which really is not even close to wanting to drink) I feel INCREDIBLE. AMAZING. AWESOME. ANd bizarrely enough really REALLY relaxed suddenly.
*big sigh of relief*
So there you have it.
And now I am sober I feel so much more in control. I have cut my smoking from 25 cigarettes a day to 10 just in the last 10 days and I feel confident I CAN quit.
I WANT to eat healthier and I am enjoying doing some exercise.
Of course there will be tough times but with the help of AA and my amazing friends there is nothing I can not conquer.