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When I first got sober I started to correspond a lot with people and also use forums for recovering alcoholics, so, I have a LOT of rambling to share with you. I was planning on trying to make it into a book . . . .  but somehow or another I just havent got around to it yet.  Its no use to anyone sat on my computer though, so I´m going to share it with you, and if the most useful thing it does for anyone is entertain them, well, thats not a bad thing.

I just want to point out that I do NOT speak for AA.  This is just my own experience and any opinions I express here are mine (and possibly mine alone!).

Ok, Im going to take a deep breath and dive in here.  Its baring my soul time and I have a little bit of fear about it . . . . but, here goes . . . .  

The greatest misconception about me, as a chronic alcoholic, is that alcohol is my problem.  You could certainly be excused for thinking that.  If you knew all the problems alcohol caused me, and, more importantly, those around me, it would be natural to assume that when I stopped drinking, my problems would be solved . . . but alcohol was not my problem, it was my SOLUTION.

Acute alcoholics develop alcoholism through excessive drinking . . .but I´m a chronic alcoholic and I was "suffering" from alcoholism before I even took my first drink.  

Im not a chronic alcoholic because I drank obsessively and abusively.    

I drank obsessively and abusively BECAUSE Im alcoholic.  

I "suffer" from alcoholism when Im sober.  Drinking relieves that suffering, and for many years it was alcohol that helped me to survive life.  Without it I would have, no doubt, committed suicide.  I had a sense from early childhood of not fitting in.  I didnt feel a part of anything.  I always felt apart from everything and everyone.  Nothing really made any sense to me and I didnt feel comfortable in my own skin.  I didnt like myself even as a small child and I was painfully shy, withdrawn and deeply unhappy.  I was suffering from alcoholism BEFORE alcohol even came into my life.

March 2008

When I was 8 years old my cousins thought it would be funny to see what effect alcohol would have on me.  I guess most normal kids of that age would have taken one sip, declared it disgusting and then drank no more.  Not me.  It was homemade wine and no doubt it was pretty grim, but thats not what I remember about it.  What I remember is that all of a sudden I had found something that made me feel good about myself.  I didnt feel shy or tortured.  I didnt feel inadequate, and all of a sudden I felt like I could talk to my cousins and not feel like a silly little kid.  Without realising it, I had found the answer to all of my problems.  At 8 years old I drank and drank and didnt stop until someone stopped me.  I drank until I fell over.  I loved it.  

For the first time ever I had escaped from the unbearable feelings I lived with every day.  It was like a switch had flipped and all of those feelings just vanished.  For those few hours of drinking I was not unhappy in my own skin.  For the first time ever I liked me.  I had found a magic potion.  

Fast forward to March 2008.  Im 41 years old, and Im trying to find the courage to end my life.  I have NO IDEA that Im an alcoholic.  Im aware that Im drinking much more than I used to but Ive always been a drinker, drinking has been a part of my life since childhood and Im unable (and unwilling) to see that I might have a serious problem in regards to the amount of alcohol Im consuming.   My life is so horrible that I feel the need to drink more to cope with it all, but Im not coping at all.  I want to die.  Im living alone in an isolated village in a foreign country, with no real friends, no job, no income, no transport, and 7 animals that depend on me for their survival.  My life is unmanageable and I feel powerless to do anything about it.  I just cant live like this anymore but I have no idea how I can get out of the situation.  I hate myself and I hate my life, but Im too frightened to die.  I´m also too frightened to live.  I´m frightened of everything.  I have terrible crushing phobias that make it almost impossible for me to use ANY form of transport as Im terrified that Im going to be in a horrible accident . . . . and I can see it in ALL it´s gory detail.  Every journey in a car is pure hell for me, so Ive given up going anywhere – its just not worth the agony.  

I have a strong desire to cram at least 100 painkillers down my throat and then stick my head in the gas oven – because I am deadly serious about ending my life and I dont want there to be ANY mistakes.  I have seen for myself the failed attempts at suicide and its not pretty.  But I just do not have the guts to do it, Im consumed by the fear of messing it up.  Who will look after my animals if Im successful in my attempt . . . . and who will look after them if I mess it up and end up a brain dead vegetable??? Either way theyre screwed, and so am I.

I have pains in my kidneys and liver (at a guess) and Im sick every morning.  I cant sleep or eat, and I cry a lot.  Ive lost around 25lbs in body weight in less than 12 months, without even trying.  But nobody knows theres anything really wrong with me, because when I step out of my front door Im dressed nicely and Ive already had a few drinks to make going out bearable.  Im still reasonably sociable when I drink with others, but Im alone and desolate inside.  I look like Im having fun . . . sometimes.  But by the end of the evening Im sat at the bar crying, confused and desolate.  My mask is starting to slip.  When I get home a sort of madness descends upon me and Im terrified.  Only more drinking keeps it at bay. I feel that Im losing my mind.  I drink until about 5 or 6am and try to snatch a few hours of sleep.  Its almost impossible because my mind just won´t shut off, theres constant noise and chatter, and crazy scary thoughts which make me terrified of myself and everything around me.  I lie rigid with fear wishing I would die there in bed so that I dont have to face another day ...and another night.  

When I get up a few hours later, all I want to do is drink, but if I drink in the morning it might mean I have a drinking problem, and I just cant face that possibility.  Drinking is all I have left that feels good.  I feel dead and empty inside, but at the same time fearful, paranoid and emotional.  I drink coffee until noon.  Then I feel its ok to drink beer.  If I dont drink in the morning, I cant possibly be an alcoholic . . . right?  I drink a couple litres of beer during the day, and then, if I stay in, I drink at maybe a couple of litres of wine (mixed with lemonade because I think it makes me drink less).  

Sometimes Ill go out in the early afternoon with the intention of just having a couple of beers and then coming home.  Im always confused when Im the last one to leave the bar at around 2am.  Whilst Im drinking I get anxious when the glass is less than half full, and I have to get another one lined up ready.  I cannot afford to take the risk that the barman will be unavailable to serve me immediately when Ive finished my drink. Its got to the stage where my drinking has to be continual and uninterrupted once I start or I start to have a panic attack.  I have some small idea that this may not be normal, but I dont pay much attention to it, because as far as Im concerned its the rest of my life that´s the problem,not alcohol.  But, when I drink, Im loud, and overly friendly.  I get myself into situations that make me confused, paranoid, and full of self loathing the next day.  I have blackouts, I dont remember how I got from one place to another and I dont remember conversations Ive had and things Ive done.  I become almost too scared to go out.  I cant trust myself.  One day I go out at noon to get some groceries, and I dont come home until 5.30am.  Despite my BEST intentions to just go shopping and not to stop for a drink, I somehow end up drinking for 17 hours, and come home without any groceries.  

Life gets worse and worse until it becomes no more than a living death.  One day in March  2008 I decide that I must stop drinking.  I dont want to stop, but I have no idea what else to do, Im desperate.  I cannot imagine a life without alcohol, but I cannot go on with my life as it is, as I feel that Im teetering on the edge of complete insanity . . . .  

. . . .  and that´s enough for now I think.  I dont want to bore you rigid with my first post, or have you crying into your coffee!

More soon.  Thanks for taking the time to read me happy  


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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Suzann wrote Apr 17, 2010
    • Dearest Rachel,

      I wish I could put my arms around you as a sister and just hug you and let you know how much you are loved. I wish you were my little sister and lived with me, and I could be your family and you would always have someone to depend on and someone to love you.  

      I totally feel the pain you‘re in (in 2008). And I’m so sorry you went through what you did. I look forward to more of your story, because I know you‘re sober now and I’m so happy for you about that new life of yours!

      Wonderful, wonderful blog, Rachel, and I’m sure it will help many of us who read it.

      [Link Removed] 

      Suzann, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Hbrose wrote Apr 17, 2010
    • Rachel, reading about your past makes me happy for you that its just that! Your past. You’ve done a wonderful thing for yourself by being a survivor.  You chose to live, to help yourself and to be good to yourself.  Good for you, congratulations, I don’t imagine it was easy to overcome.  You deserve to enjoy life every day in everything you do. Make the most of each day, be good to yourself, you are so worth it!  

      I’m glad you have found and connected here to this fabulous site, I look forward to getting to know you and reading more about you. This is a good forum to share and express. You’ll find so many wonderful, supportive and encouraging ladies here. We all need someone and hopefully we can be that someone for you.  heart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Apr 18, 2010
    • Well Rachel, you’ve got me crying in my coffee, but that’s not a bad thing.  I completely understand when you say alcohol was not your problem but your solution.  It was my solution for a long time too.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Karyn Olson wrote Apr 18, 2010
    • Alcoholism hits close to home with me as I have grown up with it in my family and at one time in my life drank a lot myself...Thanks for sharing your story...frown

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Apr 19, 2010
    • Rachel, this took a lot of courage for you to share your story.  Alcoholism is very difficult to deal with and I have people in my life who are trying to combat this “beast” as I call glad you found us here and please do not hesitate to continue to share with us..many hugs!estatic

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