I asked on Facebook and Twitter if anyone had any questions because I had received a lot of amazing feedback and people contacting me away from the blog and here is the first questions I will answer.
Again I will stress these are my opinions, it is important to know there are properly trained people out there that would probably disagree with me.
“do you ever crave a beer and how did you stop?”
There is a very short answer to this question….. Yes and I don’t know…… but if you have been reading my blog you will know by now I never use 5 words if I can use a couple of hundred!!!
Yes I crave beer, wine, cider and most strongly for some reason Southern Comfort (with a little bit of ice, no mixers that is just madness!!!). I was in a pub yesterday ordering a “cup of tea” walking up to the bar I was looking at the good stuff but I know I can’t go there it would destroy me!! In AA there are phrases like “one day at a time” I think these are a few very important words with alcohol and indeed mental illness. I think other people set goals like I wont drink until the end of the week and then the end of next week and so on and if that works for them that’s great but for me it was one day at a time.
So in short I do crave alcohol, i’m not sure it is a physical crave more a mental crave I want the feeling of being relaxed and if i’m honest the feeling of being completely out of it. There is another saying I took from AA “I have another drink in me but I don’t have another recovery in me”. I could not go through getting off the booze again, it is not easy!!!
On the “how did you stop” part of the question there is a short answer to this as well “The Woodbourne Priory” I am ashamed to say I am not 100% sure of the guy’s name I would accredit most of the praise to, I think it was Chris. There is of course a whole big story prior to me going into the Priory but I will cut it short’ish. I tried Aquarius after it was suggested by a counselor I was seeing at the time (Shaun was the guy that got the ball rolling he is an amazing man who stopped pussyfooting around me and said “until we sort out your alcohol problem we will never sort out your depression”), unfortunately Aquarius didn’t work for me, I will stress however I know lots of people it did work for it is an amazing charity, the reason I think it didn’t work for me was I basically just lied through my alcoholic, selfish, incredibly manipulative teeth. I told them what I thought they wanted to know and then I stopped going, I didn’t want to stop drinking.
I never tried AA because that is for proper alcoholics, you know the guys on the bench begging for money…… What a tool I was to think like that but I am pretty sure I am not the only one thinking like that and if you are reading this with the same thoughts then you are wrong. I have mentioned AA a number of times now but unfortunately I do not got to AA anymore, I wish I did, I often think I may be in a better place if I had carried on with AA but I can’t change that now. I am a very stubborn person and unfortunately although I have taken things from AA I don’t always agree with the things said in AA. It is important at this point that I stress that AA has helped an awful lot of people and I have thought long and hard about saying “I don’t always agree…..” I do not want to say anything that could possibly harm anyone but that is my point when people think of alcoholics they think of AA and this is for a good reason they do an awful lot of good, BUT for me it wasn’t the answer and the reason I decided to say this is that if AA hasn’t or doesn’t work for you then I believe there are other options but you wont know if it is for you until you give it a try and I don’t mean just go once try it again and again and go when you don’t want to go it works for so many people.
I am going to contradict myself now as I said I would on the “About Me” page, I got a lot from AA. Part of the one month in the Priory was two AA meetings a week, there are some fantastic people in AA and being able to spend time with people who had been soba for 10, 20 years is inspirational and makes you realise it is possible. There are also people there that fall off the wagon and with their strength and the people around them they dust themselves off and get back on again, this is very hard to see but also inspirational there is no shame in relapsing you have been drinking for a long time there is no shock that you go back to it. I saw a guy who had been soba about 15 years start drinking again it was horrible to see but he stopped again. There were people that would relapse again and again but they kept going, there was one guy who shared that he thought he needed to relapse to make him understand he couldn’t control the drink. Everyone is different even though the stories they share mirror your life almost exactly they are different and need something different for them to get it.
Without a shadow of a doubt the Priory stopped me and probably saved my life, I was lucky I was in BUPA and got the treatment for an excess of about Â£250, in fact that was one of the reasons I did go into the clinic, I realised I was lucky and that not everyone had the opportunity to go to such a good clinic and if I didn’t go it would be like I was taking the piss out of those people (sorry I couldn’t think of better words to describe that).film Despicable Me 3
The clinic took me out of “real life” and allowed me to concentrate on the job in hand other people in there had visitors I decided I didn’t want visitors, there were 5 or 6 people in the group I was in we did a lot of group therapy (scary but so beneficial!!!) a lot of that group therapy was based around the 12 Steps. I struggled for a long time with these because I fixated on the word “God”, in the end I just ignored the God word and listened to the rest. The point at which I thought “I’ve got this” was we had to write our “life story” and read it to the group (yup scary!!). The others guys life stories were incredible and upsetting at the same time, it was then my turn so I read it out and got some great feedback “you are so brave” “you have been so honest” etc etc. Then it was Chris’s turn to give me feedback (Chris was the guy in charge who earlier in this post I said I would accredit him with most of the praise) I don’t remember his exact words but they were along the line of “you haven’t been brave, you haven’t been honest, you have let us in a little bit but you have given us what you think we wanted to here”. You may think “harsh” the other guys in the room thought that as well I could see it in their faces, but he was spot on. I had used my alcoholic manipulation skills and manipulated most of the room, fortunately apart from Chris. We had words about this but he was right and in challenging me he had made me see I wasn’t putting in the effort I should I was still lying to myself and everyone else. So rightly or wrongly I decided I would never be able to do everything they wanted from me so I had to find the tools I could use. I have heard it said “think of AA as a tool box and use the tools that are right for you” so my main tool is Step 1 – 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Out of the 5 or 6 that were in my group I think I am the only one who never drank again, I could be wrong. I am pretty sure that the people in the group, the counselors and the people I met through AA thought I would not make it and lets be honest I still might not make it. People say “you are not an alcoholic anymore if you haven’t had a drink for over 10 years” I don’t agree with that I am still an alcoholic and will be until the day I die, I am just a soba alcoholic.
You can give up, even if you don’t want to. You may not want to but you know you have to, I still miss booze but I no longer have that option I look at it in this way “I abused alcohol so much I no longer have the right to enjoy it”. Again this might be right it might be wrong but it’s my sobriety and I don’t care if the experts agree with me or not. Reading through what I have just written I am thinking what a load of bollox so many contradictions but again I don’t care contradictions happen in life all the time especially in my mixed up brain, because I think one thing one day doesn’t mean I have to agree with that the next day. I disagree with myself all the time.
Keep smiling 🙂
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