My name is Sally and I am not an Alcoholic! Addiction
I met Sally during the London conference on the Three Principles and on that occasion I heard her conclude her speech by saying:
My name is Sally and I’m not an alcoholic!
While I, Simona, Carla and 747 other people of the public were weeping tears of hope, joy and deep emotion for those who had made possible what seems impossible: get out of alcohol addiction after almost 40 years of alcoholism.
I then had the pleasure to meet her again a year and a half later in Spain, during a training course led by Dr. Jack Pransky together with the wonderful Gabriella Maldonado.
I believe that nothing is worth more than Sally’s words to describe the path of profound transformation that, after decades of suffering, has managed to fulfill thanks to her wonderful Essence and a deep Understanding.
For the past 37 years I have been addicted to alcohol. It began when I was 17 and met my first boyfriend. He was 10 years older than me. Going to the pub every night was all he wanted to do. We would go to the pub seven nights a week and I discovered that, if I had five halves of lager I would start to feel happier and more confident. This became a Habit full stop at the weekend I would wake with a terrible hangover. I soon realised that if I had 5 halves at lunchtime, hair of the dog, my hangover would go. This highlights for me how quickly I got entrapped in the addiction cycle of thinking and the illusion that alcohol fixed the feeling and gave me confidence. This pattern continued for about 10 years but what I hadn’t realised was that the alcohol also turned me into a Jealous angry monster. I was very emotional and put it down to hormones but it was the alcohol making me paranoid I caused so many unnecessary arguments.
After 10 years I met my second boyfriend and my drinking stepped up a gear. I worked full time as a senior science technician during the day and in the evening work in a pub. This was perfect for me, as I could see my new boyfriend and help myself to free drinks for both of us whilst being paid. After work we would go to a nightclub and consume more alcohol. I was drunk seven nights a week. At this time drinking was fulfilling my wishes. I was happy and full of confidence. Eventually my True drunken personality started to rear its ugly head again and my hangovers became more extreme.
My first drink in the day at weekends had to be 12.00 precisely. If I couldn’t get a drink by this time I became very anxious and angry. If I was going out for the evening I was often drunk before I even got out of the door. I ruined so many events with unacceptable behaviour, embarrassing friends family and not realising. By the morning Id have forgotten what I done.
My work started to be affected, I had to take days off sick with anxiety depression and the hangover from hell. In 2000 I took voluntary redundancy after 16 years at the college. My drinking got progressively worse, my performance at work suffered and I lost jobs because of my drinking. I was full of shame and isolating; I also was done for drink driving. I repeatedly tried detoxing in treatment centres and joined AA to try and stay sober but every time I would relapse and go back to the same horrific lifestyle and misery. The craving to have a drink became overwhelming and I thought if I just had a few drinks in the evening I could control it. The first drink would never really hit the spot but I promised myself I would only have a few drinks every evening. One glass of wine soon lead to a bottle and before long I was back to square one drinking all day time off work with a massive deterioration in my mental and physical health. I was absolutely devastated how could I have let myself get back to this mere existence again. I was vomiting every morning not eating and not looking after my personal care. I felt so alone and desperate, I just wanted to die. I even had several attempts at taking my own life with overdoses of paracetamol and other pain killing drugs on top of the alcohol.
This pattern continued for six years in and out of different treatment centres desperate to find a solution to my addiction. I was a gibbering wreck, I was seeing shadows and imagining people even talking to people that weren’t there. I felt like I was going mad I really thought my life was over and didn’t care. At this time I had been living with my mum who had dementia for 10 months she was also receiving treatment for breast cancer.
I was desperately lonely and spent my days doing housework and cooking and caring for my mum. My day started at 6 a.m. every morning when I would awake with a start filled with anxiety and shaking from head to foot with withdrawal symptoms. I would Stagger downstairs there’s into the garage where I sat on a little stool in the corner in the dark to get some alcohol down me to try and stop the shakes. This process would take about two hours of drinking neat spirits vomiting drinking vomiting drinking eventually the shaking would pass and I would feel ready to face the day.
One step from death
Then one night in December 2014 I went to bed as normal at 8 p.m. and began to sweat like never before in my life. I spent most of the night changing bed clothes as everything was wet through. I began to shiver so I started my drinking regime to try and relieve the symptoms.
This time I could not keep the alcohol down I could not function at all and was so frightened I eventually called an ambulance. The paramedic arrived and after some quick tests rushed me to hospital with lights flashing and sirens going the paramedic told me I was on the brink of death. I had no idea I was dying. I found out later I had acidosis and hypothermia and all my organs were shutting down. Unfortunately my dice with death wasn’t enough to curb my drinking so on discharge from the hospital I moved back in with my mum and the nightmare began again. I found any task like cooking or cleaning overwhelming and I just couldn’t cope. I would drop things knock things over burn myself fall etc. I would crawl to bed in the evening so grateful to get through another day alive but actually didn’t even want to wake up. I was so scared the noise in my head was driving me mad I thought I just can’t do this anymore I am going to die or end up in a mental hospital. I felt so desperate I cried out to the shadows I was seeing. Please help me, I had an overwhelming feeling of wanting to survive it could not get any worse than this and I just wanted it to end.
I realised I had to make a choice once and for all to do something about it. After frantically searching on the internet I found a treatment centre in Southampton that would take me and my dog Tilly, she was all I had so I wouldn’t consider going without her. On to December the 18th 2014 I was admitted to the Manor clinic in Southampton for a month. As expected from my previous experience of treatment centres it was very tough. . I had lost the ability to walk, my nervous system was shot and I needed a full two weeks detox which was pretty horrendous. Gradually after a few weeks I’ve started to feel a little more normal.
Second Part of the story you’ll find here!
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