Alcohol Addiction Recovery – Jane’s Story

My name is Jane and I am an alcoholic.
True, I have not had a drink now for 5 years but I know that if I have just one drink today, within a week I would be drinking round the clock.
I have no reason to be an alcoholic. Some people have had bad experiences in life and they have become alcoholic on the back of losing someone they love or some awful experience in their life. I cannot say that was the case for me. I had a happy childhood, with good parents and a brother and two sisters. My parents brought me up well in a secure home.
However, I always felt a bit left out. I was not that confident. I thought my older sister was prettier, my younger sister had more personality and my brother was the only son so he had a naturally favoured position. I could not see that I had talents too and I was as much loved as them.
I worked hard to be noticed and to make my parents proud. I did well at school and achieved awards at a few clubs I attended. I went to university. My lack of confidence was a bit of an issue but I made friends through making an effort and I soon realised I could do the academic work. I think I still felt a bit ‘less than’ some of the other students who all seemed so confident and accomplished. But I did OK.

I then got quite a good job in the city. I worked hard again, and had a positive attitude which meant I progressed up the ladder to a senior position. I still could not quite believe in myself but it was a drinking culture and a few drinks (or more) with colleagues at the end of the working day boosted my confidence. We celebrated good deals, commiserated with each other over bad ones, there were staff welcoming events, leaving dos – any excuse to drink really. I came to really rely on these sociable gatherings. Sometimes I let myself down by getting too drunk but so did some of the others. I suspect that the others did not need to have a few drinks when they got home though which I did. Once I started drinking I did not want to stop until I went to bed.
It then got to the point where I started planning my working days and social life around the opportunity to drink. It began to affect my memory and my performance but I clung on to my position and just about managed to keep all the balls in the air.

Until the day I didn’t. Someone decided to report me for being slightly inebriated in a meeting. I was called in to my boss’s office. He was very nice but referred me to human resources who sent me home. I am not sure what that was meant to achieve but all I know now is that once I was at home with nothing to keep sober for, I just drank more. I drank all day and every day. I was only meant to go home for a week or so to get my act together. I did not go back for 3 months.

It soon became apparent that I needed help. A good friend looked into finding me an alcohol rehab clinic and it was the best thing they could have done. I was there 28 days, had a medical detox and more importantly got to understand myself. I realised the reasons alcohol helped me initially but had become destructive in my life. My rehab journey is another story but I got the hope I needed for a future without alcohol – and 5 years on I am living proof it can be done. I can honestly say the last 5 years have been the best in my life – I am fulfilled, happy and can really enjoy myself without alcohol.