Monday 1 January 2024

11 Years: Happy Soberversary

11 years ago, I woke feeling dreadful from the night before.

I was released from hospital following being sectioned four weeks earlier but drinking still controlled my life. Despite being a depressant, drinking drowned my sorrows, battled my mental health and psychosis and helped manage my disability pain. However, the truth is, I drank  because I wanted to. Although I had other acts of self-harm entering the hospital, alcohol was my greatest. The doctors noted, due to alcoholic jaundice, that my eyes were tinted yellow. If I continued drinking, alcohol would kill me. They indicated treatment could reverse these physical effects, but couldn’t guarantee how much.

Getting discharged felt like getting my life back. I was optimistic, positive, and ready to live. I was diagnosed with a Dependent Personality disorder with Emotional instability traits. My drinking was attributed to these diagnosis as I was just as dependent on things as people. Hence, my alcohol dependancy maintained my emotional instability but it wasn’t an excuse. I continued drinking when I got home. It still held me and worse, I was letting it. I spent time in hospital sober but the moment I was released I was back on it. In some ways I was in control: I didn’t drink around the boys or through the day but every freedom moment I was drinking. I was the “perfect high functioning alcoholic,” said with disdain. The reality showed different. It was my first thought and one I carried throughout my day.

This day was different. I woke up feeling dreadful. I woke seeing my babies climbing over me, wishing me Happy New Year (Something my Dad got them to say to wake me up) and it hit me hard. What was I doing?! I had to stop! I wanted to wake up to my kids in my life not just for this day or year but every single one. 

I poured every bit of alcohol down the sink. I booked an appointment with my GP, searched for my nearest AA meeting, and decided to stop. It was a long car journey to Maidstone for each meeting but I felt like I was forming distance between me and alcohol every time. Despite the continued craving, the help from doctors, AA, friends, and family who helped me through it, it was a long and tough year.

It took another year for the cravings to stop but still I felt that pull in difficult moments; something that remains today. Its built into my mentality. Something goes wrong and my mind goes to alcohol. AA taught me that I wasn’t over it: “We have recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body . . . we have seen the truth repeatedly demonstrated;  Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” So I’m not a ‘recovering alcoholic, but, an alcoholic’. A Recovering Alcoholic is one who has recently stopped and is in recovery. That’s not me. I am a alcoholic. It’s still present within me despite sobriety.

My eyes are no longer tinted yellow but yellow flecks remain, creating a permanent reminder, a scar of the damage I was causing. It reminds me of where I was, the rooted internal feeling, and why I never drank again. It hasn’t been easy. Recovery costs friendships. Why invite someone who spoils the fun when everyone drinks? It was worth it though. I’ve witnessed my babies become amazing people. I’ve met Hannah and am getting married this year. I’m undertaking and following a path in theology, which feels so perfect for me. I am healthy and feeling great. I’m totally in control of my life. So today I celebrate, 11 years of fighting, but zero regrets. 


Carissa said...

I can really relate to this so much. Thank you for sharing. Also, a huge congratulations x

MrKitney said...

Thank you 😊 I'm still so proud of getting this far.