Alcohol & Me…Charlie’s Story

DACA’s one-to-one counselling can help you find light at the end of the tunnel.

Ten years ago I realised my relationship with alcohol had changed from having one too many on a night out, to sneaking up to the local Spar to buy a carryout at times when I was least likely to meet someone I knew.

I had become totally withdrawn, a nervous wreck. I would then sit in my flat alone, drinking and feeling sorry for myself.

This pattern continued for the last 18 months of what I now call my ‘drinking to escape myself’ period.

Most folk who know me now would see me as a sociable, out-going person that maybe talks too much sometimes (they have a point). However, back then, that was not the case, I had lost all confidence in myself and life. I saw myself as one of life’s losers.

Although I did not know it at the time, as I thought I was just another ‘alky’, I was drinking copious amounts of alcohol to escape from myself and my ever increasing negative outlook.

One morning, after another stealth mission to the Spar, instead of getting tore into the eight cans of Stella as soon as I got back to my flat, something clicked in my mind.

For hours I sat and stared at the cans, with a mantra just repeating itself over and over in my head ‘this has to stop, one way or another, you can’t go on existing like this.’ I’m not afraid to say I cried my eyes out.

I now believe my body was telling me it had had enough, both physically and emotionally, what I have now come to know as hitting my own personal rock-bottom.

Instead of drinking those cans of Stella, I emptied each one of them down the sink, with each of them draining away, reaffirming my decision that I wanted to reclaim my life back.

Initially I attended AA meetings to help me with my alcohol cessation and, to be honest, to get me out the flat. Sitting alone without drink to ‘help’ me escape was a whole new set of horrors.

However, it did not take me too long to realise that I was not an alcoholic, I’m not saying drink was not a problem, obviously it was, I began to realise that turning to alcohol was a symptom of what was really happening with me; depression which in turn had led to a complete lack of self-esteem, leaving me with no sense of self-worth and no confidence whatsoever.

I knew I had to get my head sorted and over time, thankfully I have achieved that to a point where I have begun to like myself again. To me that was a major achievement as I hated who I had become back then.

For seven years I did not consume one drop of alcohol, I’m convinced I would not still be on this planet if I had done. Now though, I have a ‘normal’ relationship with drink. I do enjoy the odd beer or two, never to excess though.

My life has completely turned round from those dark days ten years ago, now the future seems to be full of endless possibilities as opposed to the vision of a dark tunnel I was staring down back then.”

Did You Know?

Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol provides 1–1 counselling support, groups and activities to help reach your drinking goal — you set the goal and choose what works for you.

Call 01389 731456 or 0141 9520881 or pop into our offices at Westbridgend Lodge, Westbridgend, Dumbarton G82 4AD or 82 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank G81 1UG.

We’ll be in Clydebank Leisure Centre today, November 14 from 10am — 3pm with some therapy tasters, info & advice.

#AlcoholAwarenessWeek #AlcoholAndMe #TalkToMe #AAW

Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol (DACA)

Written by

Supporting the communities of West Dunbartonshire since 1976. Our services include alcohol counselling, groupwork and health & wellbeing clinics.

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