Politics, Community & Society > Is Drinking a Problem for You?

Is Drinking a Problem for You?

Published: April 3, 2009

I know what a huge immense task it is to have a real look at ourselves and face the fact that well, perhaps I do drink too much. There has to be that inevitable day when you face yourself in the mirror, the person you cannot fool, and admit to yourself and to someone else that, yes, I have a problem. Well I know how that feels because I was a bloody stupid idiot with my drink, everyone knew it, but I stayed in denial because nothing gave me the feeling that a few beers would give me; it was just heaven, and so I stayed in complete denial for at least sixteen years despite the incredible turmoil, despite the pleas of my mum, despite countless times when the booze was destroying my life, those around me and any possible hope of a decent future. Even when I had to face the fact I needed alcohol to stop the shakes, to get to work, to sign my name, to get to sleep, to meet and talk to people, to have to front up at a early opener, I still would not admit I had a problem.

Eventually though, the body and the mind can no longer cope, the tolerance has been almost whittled away and any joy or happiness is replaced by fear. An overpowering fear that reduced me to a whimpering wreck. How could this be for someone who was smart, intelligent, well educated, proficient in many sports? There is no place more lonely than when you come to a point that you have drank yourself sober, no more ha, ha, ha. No more bravado. I could not face life, I wanted to end it; how pitiful when I really had so much going for me, so much love, so many prospects for a abundant future, abundant life if only the grog could be taken out of it. By gee, you get frightened enough you will get down on your kness and pray. Make no mistake about it, alcohol is the great pretender, promising you so much only to take it all away. And take it in a brutal fashion. I prayed and was somehow given a nod to go see a movie in which the theme song went this way - "do you know where you are going to, do you like the life that life is showing you?" For the first time the message was clear, it just got through to Terry what others had known for sixteen years. I ran out of that cinema and went for professional help.

The result of that "giving in" was an absolute miracle with a special person suggesting a visit to AA may be the best thing I could do. And she was right. I had one drink that day, I was not going to botch this and got to my first meeting. It certainly was the right time for me as I identified with the very first speaker; he practically told my story and I cannot tell you what a blessing, what a relief that was, there were so may others just like me and it was the turning point in my life. Do you know that I slept like a baby that night and I was hooked. I never looked back and my life now is absolutely marvellous.

There can be NO shame in coming along to AA as it IS a disease and the people are so welcoming, so loving, so non-judgemental, so supportive, and guess what? They are all there for you as they have all done the same and can share their story. And it is far from sombre, the meetings are bright, interesting and full of empathy and humour. You only have to memorise how drunks have a great time in the pub before they just imbibe that bit too much, and so we have such hilarious times in the meetings. Quite simply we just sit and laugh with one another as we relate similar stories and you sit there and think - yes She/He is just like me and so this is how i can follow them and get well and gain serenity, honesty and peace of mind, all that once was so elusive to us. No, people have the wrong perception of AA, it is a wonderful organisation that allows you to sit and listen and decide what recovery is best for you, on your own or take on a sponsor. Honestly, if you give it a chance you will never look back and can also be glowing with health and get that wonderful feeling that then comes from helping that next newcomer. Nothing is beyond me now. And the beauty of it is, the beauty of it is, it's just One Day At A Time. What do we have to lose?


1. Barbara on April 4, 2009

Great to read your story, Terry. Thanks!

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A wonderful story of how people who were once a menace to society have now turned their back on alcohol, turned their lives around and willing to tell their story to help others, and in the meantime have a good time and support one another.