It’s been over 100 days since I’ve had an alcoholic drink.
I have achieved this with the help of family, others, and a degree of self-determination.
My family has a history of alcoholism; I had been a drinker since high school and a heavy one for over 10 years, increasing my abuse of alcohol and even codeine for the best part of six years.
On Melbourne Cup Day 2012, I had just completed another 24 hour “bender” consuming over 4 litres of cheap cask wine and passing out yet again once I had reached my full. I was an emotional wreck after that one and decided that day it was going to be over. Finally. The next day, the first thing I did, even though in a haze and emotionally unstable, was to open up completely to a couple of family members about my habit, and also to my best friend, who himself has alcohol issues.
I found confession to be an immediate release and the subsequent advice, from family and also my GP gave me a little more strength to go the cold turkey. I even tested myself by leaving a small amount of wine in my fridge for the next week or so to see if I had enough willpower to resist.
About a week later, a series of DT’s or tremors and emotional downers hit me like a brick wall.
Would I relapse, finish that wine, then head to the bottlo and try and solve this with yet another cask? Instead I went to the doctors straight away and was prescribed some anti-depressants, and received enough support from that consultation to evade the bottlo that day.
Further reinforcement came from my past. I only had to close my eyes to recall past misadventures – popping a few codeine tabs and drinking like a fish to medicate myself away into some fantasy land events. Remembering the ill effects is a reminder not to mix the them again.
So I got through week two, only just, but I got through.
I also had to make a major decision by early December about moving. How that would affect my part time work and my home business? A number of other things weighed in as well, just to make the quitting that much harder. Panic often set in over the next few weeks as the date to move closed in. Eventually, my wonderful sister was able to offer me support with a place to live, away from my current digs, and into her house where there is no alcohol.
That move came about a month after I had stopped drinking. It’s now over 100 days since the move. I had my first dry Christmas, I’m alive and kicking and recovering and allowing the medication to do its prescribed work. I really feel that there is more purpose in life and more to look forward to as 2013 moves on.
Finally, another reason or motive for me to fully give up drinking is how the alcohol was affecting my voice. I work part time from home doing all sorts of voiceovers for all sorts of clients and have noticed a definite improvement in my vocals since quitting the grog. So there’s another reason for me to be positive about the future without drinking.
To anyone who reads this or wants or needs some encouragement to quit or stay alcohol free, it can be done, even cold turkey like I did, but you do need support other than yourself. Talk to family, friends, or your GP. Open up, admit your shortcomings, and then determine where you want to be in the future. All the best in your quest.