When I took a look at what's happened over the last 20 years it became obvious just how big this whole addict thing is, so big it is hard to comprehend it at all. Was it because I was inherently bad? Surely not, I view myself as a good Christian trying to only do good. Was I mentally ill? Suffering from depression? Probably not, although I was in and out of many mental institutions, the common denominator appears now to have been drugs or alcohol in whatever form, or indeed withdrawal from them. The depression was a blanket used to explain away why I was sad. It's easier that way as I can keep drinking once I escape and go back to what was my 'normal'. Even drinking gave me the comfort of not having to understand and face up to what was happening to me, I was happier not knowing. Drinking lots of alcohol, particularly when sad about something or someone is proven to bring you down and cause a temporary depression with similar symptoms, it is a depressant. Also, the usual lies to the doctor about how much I drank made that diagnosis harder. Anyway, I grew up thinking that I had a depressive illness which, alongside alcohol, turned out to be a self fulfilling prophecy! I was depressed because I drank and I drank because I was depressed, I'd sleep to drink and I'd drink to sleep. This was my life and of course all the prescribed medication wasn't doing anything because I was drinking loads and also kept forgetting to take them. Ironically I was taking more illegally bought prescription meds than those I was prescribed. I looked into my life to try to understand why I have a history of doing weird and bad things. Hurting people when I never intended to and destroying perfectly good relationships with people. Over the years, and these are just ones I remember from the top of my head, there has been many things that I've caused or that have happened to me. There was a couple of times when I've just run away and gone missing, leaving my family worried. There has been many hospitalisations, including one during the families mourning of my Dad. Others include being held in secure units after going crazy, two arrests, both for drug charges, the latter, 'possession with intent to supply' could have got me a prison sentence and it nearly did! I will talk in more depth about how I was sectioned (voluntarily) and my trips away and nights in police cells at another time. It's interesting that part of the AA pre-amble says that continued drinking and just taking that first drink will lead to 'Jails, institutions and death'. I've done two of them and not been far off the third! It's so true and on my last relapse I could not explain or comprehend how it went from that one beer to lots of beers and a bottle of vodka every day. It just happens, that's it. There's not even a point like where a non-drinker would claim they'd had enough and go home. This is how frightening this disease is, I am totally powerless over alcohol. I am an end stage, chronic alcoholic which means it will kill me. That is unless I do all the things that keep me sober, I work the 12 steps of AA but other people stay sober in other ways. For me sobriety has been because of the place I'm in and the people I am surrounded by. It nearly did kill me because of my last relapse but I was given a chance by God's grace. I won't take a chance on this again because I do believe that next time will be my last. That is why I am to remain sober for the rest of my life, one day at a time.
I don't know of an alcoholic who's desire it is to be out of control and hurtful to others in a drunken state. They don't want it but there they are annoying or insulting people, in my case falling into a bush at 4am and staying there. It wasn't my first choice of accommodation! It sounds weird to non-alcoholics because they can have a few drinks and stop, we cannot. It's not even an excuse, it's just a fact.
I cannot only look at my previous relationship, the one where I got married, as it is only a tiny fraction of the bigger problem and when dealing with things there is a lot more to look back on. Stuff that happened years and years in the past. That's where the problem lies as far as I can see. People who are not in the know or new to recovery often focus on the crisis that got them into rehab and not, as in my case, the 20 years previous to that, my life as an addict. So my marriage ended as my wife couldn't deal with my drinking. I don't blame her, I don't remember a lot but I've heard that I'm not a nice person when drunk. She married me without that vital piece of information that would have made her think twice. She didn't sign up for this so she cannot be at fault for leaving. It's hard to accept full responsibility and not feel angry and resentful but I am doing well, I'm not saying negative things about her from now on. Not anywhere but especially not here as it gets in the way of what I want to write about. I've done my time of saying bad things and blaming her on other sites but this is for everyone, it's not my personal sounding board to slag off the ex wife. We are divorced and that is the end of it. Getting angry and holding on to resentments doesn't work. It just messes with your head and indeed your recovery. It holds you back and takes the attention away from what you should be doing and it will eventually bring you down. The problem I had was that being an addict for all those years, I was an expert manipulator and managed to get people to believe what I said, I was in control, or at least I thought I was. Now, my task is to realise that I cannot control others and I cannot change the way people feel. The marriage is in the past, I cannot do anything now other than move forward.
I've been on the beach today, It's amazing living in a beautiful part of the world where beaches are on your doorstep. I could not appreciate any of this a year ago as I was in too much pain but now I love it. I'm very fortunate to have this life, in this place with such amazing friends. I'm feeling good and confident and I've even gone back to college to study to see if my brain still has enough cells to function. I wake up happy, I go to sleep every day happy and grateful for my life and the alcoholfreeme.com