My name is Sally and I’m not an alcoholic! Sharing
Traduzione in Italiano
Flight to Spain
I was so excited when I booked myself on Jack’s EPT course. I loved the way Jack had delivered his program in March. He was so passionate about sharing his knowledge I felt at peace whenever he spoke. Such a tranquil humble man I wanted some of what he had. It was going to be a huge step for me to travel to Spain and my stomach did a somersault as I thought about the trip ahead initially my friend Jacqueline was going to come with me which gave me some comfort so when she told me she couldn’t go due to other commitments I suddenly felt fearful. I was terrified of flying especially alone also I would not know anyone on the course and it was in Spain. What if everyone on the course drinks a lot I can’t possibly consider going now I am now 6 months sober. I was terrified of relapsing so I emailed Jack and said I would have to cancel and that I was going on a retreat in England instead as this seems a much safer option to me. Jack saw through my fear and contacted me to discuss my decision. Within minutes of Jacks Wisdom and reassurance I felt calm and assured that it would be a brilliant opportunity for me and that I would be ok. I just had this feeling that whatever happened I would be safe and get through it with ease Jack had my back.
On the day of Departure to Spain I felt excited about my trip I didn’t predict anything. When I boarded the plane I actually felt quite calm and focused on my fellow passengers and surroundings. I have purposely booked an aisle seat so I didn’t have to look out of the window. As I settled in my seat and focused on the flight magazine I realised I have the whole row to myself so could choose which seat to sit in. After take off I decided to be brave and move to the window seat and look out at the scenery below. I didn’t even think about my fear of heights I focused on the beautiful sights passing by including the awesome cloud formations. On landing it suddenly dawned on me that I had just completed my first sober flight and had overcome my fear of heights.
On reflection about this journey I questioned why I was the only person on the plane with a row to myself spooky universal Mind in Action. I also realised by not thinking about having a fear I didn’t have one.
On the second day of training I started to feel very insecure and anxious. I found it difficult to be in a hotel with a bar with people drinking alcohol around me. I felt like isolating to deal with my feeling of this is I just wanted to run away which had been my saviour throughout my life fight or flight. I then did a deep listening exercise with Suzanne she told me to reflect on my feelings of deceased. I suddenly had an overwhelming feeling of calm and the realisation that it didn’t matter where I was in the world I was safe.
My wisdom told me I didn’t need alcohol to feel ok the uncertainty and this is would pass and so it did. I had an incredible week in Spain with Jack and my fellow students I have made some long life friends and a much better a deeper understanding of how the three principles work within us all of the time. I had so many insights about my life and my alcohol addiction.
A huge Insight
One massive insight I had whilst sharing with Sheila was about how as a young child of about 6 I had suddenly become very anxious I was always feeling sick and waking my parents up in the middle of the night crying and panicking feeling very scared and lonely and I stood in the dark crying. My mum would always get angry and tell me to get back to bed. I long for a hug and reassurance than that never came apparently. I was put on tranquilizers at the age of 6 which now looks very horrific thing to do. My mum always told me she thought the reason for my anxiety and illness was because my infant school teacher didn’t like me and had been cruel to me which I always believed as I knew no better. I continue to tell Sheila about a dreadful event that happened previous to this.
When I was five my mum and dad were having a party at home. As usual all the adults were very drunk. I vividly remember watching them acting very orderly in my young opinion. Suddenly my mum who was very drunk loudly announced to everyone that she had never wanted me and had tried to abort me with a hot bath and a bottle of gin. Everyone was looking at me and laughing I felt so upset and scared. I felt totally rejected and like I didn’t belong in our family. Apparently after that I proceeded to go around the room drinking from the adults glasses and got drunk. I was just five years of age but the adults found this funny. As I said this was Sheila an awful feeling came over me I almost fainted and felt physically sick. It suddenly occurred to me it was shortly after this event that I had started to become very anxious and a sickly child. This haunted me I was speechless.
I realised this is where my insecurities and anxieties had started oh my gosh I had been disillusioned for 49 years and blamed an Innocent infant school teacher.
The closed bottle
I had another realisation in Spain about my drinking addiction. Every morning after about 5 units of alcohol I would begin to calm down and stop vomiting then the cycle of addiction thinking would begin. How long will the alcohol last? Am I sturdy enough to get to the shop? How much shall I buy? Have I got enough money? Will the shop assistants sell it to me? Will anyone see me? Will the taxi driver take me? It was endless! 100% of my thinking was consumed with alcohol and how much I needed just to get through the day. Eventually I would make my way to the shop to get my supplies for the day. I would feel extremely anxious, physically shaking from head to foot. I couldn’t even hold the money in my hand. Then every day without fail as soon as I have paid the money and had the bottle in my hand that shaking would miraculously stop. This now hit me like a brick wall the fear and anxiety was brought about by my thinking.
I was so consumed by my thinking about getting the drink it would actually cause me to shake. I always wondered why I stopped shaking when the bottle was still sealed. Wow what an insight.
The last day of training
On the last day of our training the group had to do a presentation to an audience who knew nothing about the three principles. Jack gave us all specific areas to cover. I was concerned that I would not know what to say or would say something inappropriate. Jack told us to prepare but not rehearse the presentation as he wanted us to speak from the heart and only share what we really need to be true I listened in or to my fellow students and felt so proud of them and happy to know them.
They had set a huge precedent for my presentation. I just told my story of Addiction and transformation as it came to me it just seemed to flow I finished by saying my name is Sally and I am not an alcoholic. I received a standing ovation which took me by surprise I found it rather embarrassing actually. My fellow students swamped me with praise the most emotional comment I received was from Jack when he said I had stolen the show, wow. This was praise indeed from the master. The feeling I had was of astonishment that without any real preparation I was able to speak fluently about my story of transformation. I felt privileged to have come so far in my recovery due to my understanding of the three principles. The audience certainly seemed to appreciate what we all had shared and there was a great feeling of relief and achievement when we finished. I felt honoured to be part of it. We had a final farewell session where we all stood in a circle singing together: That’s what friends are for.
I felt a huge sense of love and the oneness everyone had been talking about it was a truly amazing feeling. I felt very emotional and didn’t want it to end. I felt so privileged to have met all of these wonderful people that I now consider to be my friends. We shared our love and experiences together. I left Spain feeling elated and felt that I had a much deeper understanding of the three principles it had explained so much for me.
A brand new life
I came home with a new perspective about my life and addiction. I stopped attending AA although I think it is a wonderful organisation that keeps thousands of people so far I knew the only time I ever thought about alcohol was when I attended an AA meeting. With what I have learnt about the three principles I was going against what I knew to be true. Since completing my training with Jack I have been doing some volunteer work for Beyond recovery. I have been to prison on many occasions and shared my story with the men. I have also helped deliver a 3 days program in treatment centres in the area which is my passion. This was a brilliant experience for me and the clients gained a lot from the program.
The dreams become true
In May 2016 I was asked to share my story of transformation at the Tikun conference, this was what I had said would happen the Year previous. I was on a panel for Beyond recovery with Jacqueline, Anna and a former prison inmate who had completed the principles programme and was so inspired and grateful he wanted to share his story. I was so touched by his story and felt proud to be part of his new life. Although speaking in front of 750 about my remarkable transformation from addiction was daunting once I was on stage my fears fell away. I don’t know exactly remember what I said but I received a standing ovation so something I said must have been powerful. I found it truly amazing than just after 12 months of learning about the principles my life has been totally Transformed.
Previous to this I had had 16 years of traditional counselling for my addiction and had never managed to see through the fog and come to any resolution. I now have the privileged position of a volunteer at SIAS where I was a client for my addiction for 18 years. I am truly amazed at where my life is now. Hopefully in the future I will get a career in the addiction field helping others struggling with life in addiction.
The last conclusion of my story is that a wonderful man called Sydney Banks really knew what he was talking about. I laughed to myself thinking back when I watched SYDS video on the illusion of Addiction and how are granted under my breath. I said to myself that the man knew nothing about what I’ve been through with my addiction after all I had been born with a disease of addiction. I can honestly say now what I know to be true, that my addiction was just a very very long illusion of my thinking. Oh my gosh thank you Syd idea man who is helping to change the world slowly but progressively. Thank you for saving my life.
My name is Sally and I am not an alcoholic!