Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to Quit Drinking - An Alcoholic's Story

I started drinking regularly when I was sixteen years old, I enjoyed the confidence drink gave me as I had always been a shy and retiring type. I found drink enabling in the beginning and I enjoyed having scores of drinking companions and many sexual encounters. I was never without a girlfriend, but every relationship I had failed because of my drinking habits and lack of respect for my partners.

I used to get in some shameful states, missed a lot of work, drove whilst drunk, embarrassed myself in public, my sexual promiscuity brought me into contact with sexually transmitted diseases including Chlamydia and genital warts. In the early days of problem drinking though you are usually forgiven for being inebriated, you may lose some friends due to your behavior, but generally people are very forgiving.

When I was in my twenties I had the misfortune of becoming incontinent if I drank more than five pints of beer in an evening. Alcohol had started to do some real damage to my body, but I still continued. It wasn't too much of a headache then as I just made sure I didn't go over the five drink limit. I found I could still drink more as long as switched to spirits after reaching my self imposed limit without fear of wetting myself. However, sometimes I'd still drink too much and would wake the next day finding my strategy had failed.

When you're drinking too much your body will give you warnings and give you a rude awakening, but when alcoholism kicks in one tends to ignore the signs and continue anyway. I also tried to kill myself a few times whilst drinking and have several scars on my arms where I attempted suicide. I did my best to hide the scars on my arms, because I did feel ashamed of my behaviour, but I still continued to drink.

Relationships became more of an issue, I could never be faithful when I'd been drinking, I just didn't give a damn what I did and I started to realize that alcohol was not making me confident anymore and I had become more insecure. I met some people over the years who were not impressed by my alcoholism, but I thought it was they who had the problem rather than myself. I mean, I never got physically aggressive, I'd say and do some dumb things, but I didn't consider my behaviour to be too severe. My parents and my employers expressed some concerns about my drinking, but I continued to drink regardless.

Along the way I became a father to three children and my alcoholism entered a controlled state for once. It was more important to ensure that my children were properly provided for, than to feed my habit. I'd still drink but cut down to a large bottle of cider once a week and a "binge" once a month. I discovered home brewed alcohol during that time, finding I could make alcohol for pennies. So once again my alcohol intake increased. I went to university as a mature student and took a degree in computing, at University my drinking increased further, due to cheap alcohol prices and new drinking buddies.

Surprisingly I graduated with a 2:2 in computing and then started working in the Computing industry. In the late 1990's Information Technology was paying some really crazy money, for a while I was taking home $1200 a week. Affording booze was never a problem in those days.

My problem drinking was affecting my work though, and once again my relationship,  I was put on Prozac (antidepressant) which when mixed with alcohol, completely intoxicated me, I really was "not of this planet" at that time and I lost my job, my relationship ended bitterly and my children were sadly affected by the split. Once again on my own, my drinking spiralled out of control, I'd start the day with several cans of really strong cider and I'd continue to drink throughout the day. Every day I drove whilst inebriated, risking not only my own life, but the lives of others.

I started my own I.T business and started to make a reasonable amount of money. (I dread to imagine what my clients must have thought about me because I was always mildly drunk). The business started to grow though and in a short time I had four employees. Getting alcohol was never an issue, I could buy as much as I wanted with company checks, but I was dissatisfied and after getting a new girlfriend, quit the business and moved to Wales.
The language barrier made it hard to set up a company in the area and without work, I reverted to drinking a 2 liter bottle of very strong alcohol a day. The relationship was co-dependent and I was pleased to have a partner who enabled my drinking. I continually drove whilst drunk, the relationship was very challenging but solid, until insecurity really started to get to me. 

I started to believe my girlfriend was cheating on me and really started to lose my mind. I decided once and for all in 2006 that I was going to quit drinking after taking an overdose. I tried Alcoholics Anonymous, but it didn't work for me so I did a lot of research and found a way to stop drinking on my own without support.

Three years on I am happily married,never relapsed, I have several successful online ventures and I know that I will never drink again. People in the house frequently drink around me and it doesn't bother me, apart from when they're very drunk! I know now that inebriated people are not good company and I can sympathize with those people I annoyed whilst drunk. I can't say that it's been an easy ride since quitting alcohol as I've had to deal with my insecurities without an alcoholic crutch, but I'm happy these days and the future does look good..

It's incredible, once I couldn't imagine a life without alcohol, now I can't imagine a life with it!

If you want to stop drinking you can download my ebook describing the tools I've used to successfully stop drinking for good. If you value your life, relationships and employment you would do well to address the problem today. It will without question be the best decision you ever make. I am a living example of that fact.

Rob Maggs is a reformed alcoholic dedicated to self improvement and personal development. He is a Software Developer and Web Designer based on the Isle Of Anglesey in the United Kingdom.


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