I’m 50 years old at time of writing. I was an alcoholic by the age of 20 years old. Some of my friends at that age were heavy drinkers. I was heavier. From the age of 18 years old I drank hard & by the age of 20 I couldn’t go a day without a drink.
I know I was an alcoholic by the age of 20 because a few times I would go a day without a drink. I would sweat, shake and became edgy. I met my future wife at 23. She paid no heed as my drinking didn’t alter my personality. All the while my intake gradually increased.
When my then future wife expressed concern I said I would stop & threw all of my cans of beer away. This was when another symptom of alcohol appeared. I got sneaky. I would buy bottles of vodka and hide them around the house & property; long grass, chicken grain, bushes and wood piles. When I came into the house after a drink I would go to the toilet & leave reeking of everything but vodka. Toothpaste, deodorant, Listerine & handwash.
At this stage I never drank to excess. I was never really drunk but never really sober. Then I upped the ante over several years. I was a State Registered Nurse & would have a tipple before, during & after work. Again, I was never sober but never drunk. The ‘twilight zone’ I called it. I got married when I was 29.
By the time my son was born I was 30 & my drinking was escalating. My daughter was born 3 years later & my drinking was noticeable. In my mid-30s my wife asked me to leave. By the end of that day I had found a lovely flat with great views. When it came to drinking, the gloves were off. I was drinking vodka every waking hour. I was able to get my act together when my children stayed with me.
As time progressed my grip on reality was slipping. I was making late night phone calls, sending nonsensical emails & so. The only thing that I was on time for was bills, groceries & rent.
Then 1 night I suffered an alcoholic seizure. I was kept in overnight & sent home with no information or referral….not that I would have paid attention at that point. I suffered a 2nd seizure a few weeks later & it was the same routine at the hospital.
A few months after that I was apprehended for exceeding 0.05%. I went home & got drunk. In a moment of drunken clarity that only an alcoholic can know I rang my parents & told them that I couldn’t live like this any more. They came & picked me up.
I spent the next several years living with them. Even though there was a pub 500 metres away & I had a few opportunities to go there, I didn’t….& didn’t want to.
I returned to be closer to my children after being sober since the age of 42.
Late in 2014 I had a slip. This time with bucketloads of beer….no vodka. I ended up in hospital with abdominal pain, back pain and vomiting blood. This time I was pumped full of goodness knows what for 3 days then discharged.
I don’t know what triggered this lapse but it is behind me now.
I will not have a drink today.