The following is an article by Bill Holland which takes the reader on a journey inside the mind of man who once was addicted to alcohol. Bill is an alcoholic who has not touched a drop of alcohol in the last five years.
I came across Bill in HubPages where he writes under the name billybuc. Bill’s articles on alcoholism had a profound affect on me because I had never come across such an honest and open account of what it feels like from the inside and after reading one powerful story after another by Bill I asked him to write a guest post for our blog. Here is Bill’s story and for any of you out there who are struggling with addiction read the rest of Bill’s stories in Hubpages and be inspired by his life and his message. If you know anyone struggling with addiction then let Bill’s story be a message of hope and please share it with them.
If you live in the Isle of Man and after reading this story you feel that you would like help to overcome your alcohol addiction you are always welcome to come and see Mary or Xavier Nathan who treat addiction using a combination of Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy at their private practice in Peel, Setanta Hypnotherapy Clinic. To book a free initial consultation you can call either Xavier or Mary on 842938.
I did not grow up hoping to be an alcoholic. As a child I did not wish one day to be alienated from society, locked in a world of solitude and fear, nor did I have any idea that I carried the disease of alcoholism within me. As an adopted child I had no warning of what was to come, no medical records or family history to read that would alert me of the dangers lurking in the shadows.
You see, alcoholism is a cunning and baffling disease, one that lies in wait until the unsuspecting finally takes that fateful detour in life and stumbles down a road that for some is a one-way street of hopelessness and ultimately death.
As is the case with most alcoholics I knew I had a problem with alcohol long before I finally admitted that I was an alcoholic. The key, I reckoned, was to fine-tune my drinking. I attempted to only drink on weekends and when that didn’t work to only drink with friends. When those solutions failed I changed my drinks, only drinking beer or only drinking mixed drinks, always looking for the key that would unlock the world of responsible drinking. The key, for me, was not to be found for I had unleashed the devil and the devil was in fact me.
You see, alcohol is only a symptom of the real problem with an alcoholic. We alcoholics are in truth running from ourselves, so disgusted with who we are that we continually seek solace in the mind-numbing effects of the drink. It is, of course, only a temporary solution because no matter where we go, there we are. We simply cannot run from ourselves and that knowledge, when it is finally realized, is the most devastating of them all.
We may not have a choice in being an alcoholic but once we realize that we are and once we realize that there is a solution we do have a choice. You will gather no sympathy from me if you are an alcoholic, nor did I deserve any. What you will receive from me is empathy for I know the suffering you have gone through and I know all too well the hopelessness that accompanies this disease.
Hope was finally offered to me in Alcoholics Anonymous. I make no claims that AA is the only way for an alcoholic to find happiness and peace of mind. I am not a Big Book thumper nor am I a paid representative for that organization. I can only tell my story and if it helps others then I am pleased.
In Alcoholics Anonymous I found a solution. By practicing the Twelve Steps in my daily life I have found freedom from a disease that was determined to kill me. Do you find it strange that I attribute human qualities to a disease, as though the disease itself has a mind capable of making decisions? It is not so strange at all because for me it is impossible to separate the disease from who I am. It is always patiently waiting for me, doing push-ups so to speak for that moment when I let down my guard and become susceptible to its siren song.
It is up to me to keep that seductress at bay. I have a choice to live or to die. It should be noted that I did not quit drinking because I feared death. A little over five years ago, alone in a hotel room in Anchorage, Alaska, one day from certain death, I did not fear death. Instead, some weak light of hope shined within me and it was that light of hope I clung to and which eventually led me back to the halls of Alcoholics Anonymous and a new life.
Today I love life. Today I live my life to spread that light of hope to others out there who may be close to giving up the struggle. Today I choose to live!