Carol's Alcoholism Story: From The Depths of Despair To a Year Sober
Six years ago I began my sad addiction story. I was what people call a 'social drinker'. Looking back now it all seems like I was happy one day and extremely unhappy the very next day. I have tried so many times to ask myself how I ended up taking this particular road but I have since given up because I decided it would make me crazy just thinking about it. But here goes....
6 years ago, I had everything, a loving family, great friends and what I thought was a great boyfriend. My parents died before I was 10 years old and I grew up with my paternal uncle and his wife. They were good parents but I have come to learn that biology is stronger coz I never quite fit into that offspring picture.
I found out that I was constantly blamed for what went wrong with their biological children and I did not receive many of the privileges and goodies they did. Plus, they were always told to keep me at bay, not to let me too close. I however kept it silent because I so desperately wanted to belong, and in fact none of my friends had ever known that I was an orphan. I didn't know that this terrible longing would eventually lead me to the hardest fight of my life.
When I was 21, I met and fell in love with a family friend, married and 20 years my senior. I was on cloud nine. I was so desperate to feel loved and needed (because I never had that at home) - that I managed to fall for all his lies 100%. I threw out anybody who talked ill about this man. Because I had not been hown love, I didn't love myself enough to know that I deserved better than the first man who gave me attention.
I gave him myself totally. I was a virgin then, a strong believer in 'waiting till marriage' but I willingly surrendered that without a moments hesitation.
Like all 'users', it wasn't too long that he started showing that he was only interested in using me. I used to say he changed, but later I realised that he just started to show himself. Womaniser, emotional blackmailer, psychological abuser, everything negative and very little positive. I started being miserable, I could not confront him coz I feared that he would leave me if I did. Later I realised that if I was a bit tipsy I would confront him. So I decided to drink 'a little' every time he did something I didn't like so as to tell him off. Little did I know that it was the decision that would ruin my life.
So every time he fucked up, I drank and told him off. But he fucked up like 36 hours a day(in other words ALL THE TIME). The funny thing is the
next day I would be sorry and ashamed but I couldn't summon the courage to call/talk to him unless, AGAIN, I got tipsy. So the cycle began, when I was mad, I drank, when I was sorry, I drank. Soon I found that alcohol became my 'man for all occasions' ... I drank when I was angry, when I was sad, when I was bored, when I was happy, when everything. Soon, I couldn't stop because when I was drunk I was miserable but when I was sober I'd be more miserable.
I would drink 24 hours a day, literally! I always had miniature bottles in my bag that I carried to work. When I'd get drunk, I'd black out, urinate on myself, throw up, and generally be a nuisance. Worst, I wouldn't remember the previous day's events. So when I'd be told what transpired, I'd be overcome with shame and turn to my only 'friend' - alcohol. Needless to say, my man dumped me very fast, and I drank even more. I lost my job, so I started stealing to maintain my daily supply. My family disowned me and I went to live with my fellow alcoholics who could tolerate me.
For five years, this was the story of my life. I tried so many times to seek help, I failed. I once attempted suicide but that also failed and made me lose faith in life and so I sunk deeper in addiction. I started sleeping with anybody who could give me some money or just buy me some drinks - me who had been positively a nun!
On and on it went. Life became meaningless until one day, having tried everything, I decided to give my life to Christ. I also went to cheap rehab and took some traditional herbal medicine. I got conselling and soon, I could pass an hour without a drink, half a day, a day, a week ... Now its almost a year.
Sometimes, I sit and think of the time I wasted, the loved ones I lost and I often find myself crying. But I have learnt that I have to forgive myself and look forward to what lies ahead, no use beating myself up over what is done. I can only hope that I didn't do irreversible damage to my life and pray to God to give me a future where people don't look at me and see a drunkard.
I have decided that whatever I went through was a step of faith, and all the wrong choices, bad decisions were all leading me to where I am today. I am not proud of what I've been, but I am not ashamed of who I am now, a stronger, wiser woman.
My experience has taught me that I need to love myself first and foremost in order for others to love me and never to compromise my principles.