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A New Direction

Lisa B, London UK


My name is Lisa B. I am an alcoholic.

I am 51 years old and live with my husband of 28 years, my daughter and youngest son (23 & 21 years).  My eldest son lives with his partner and my two grandsons (aged 4 yrs & 7 months).
I am the eldest of three, with my parents being together until my dad died in Dec 2000.
I had a good upbringing.  My parents had boundaries with us which was good.

My dad drank daily and  to us this was normal, but now I question that. It never affected him or his work and he could walk away. He would have two pints at dinner time and two at tea time and stop. He only would have a few more if at a party. I never saw my dad drunk.
My mum drinks and since my dad died this has increased, but I have stopped her drinking at my house now and she is happy to accept this.

I have always had low self worth, had to put on a brave face, to be strong.
I have always been in constant pain. I deal with this daily, due to having arthritis  since  I was diagnosed at seven.  It was predicted I would be in wheelchair by 40 and after my eldest I would never have any more children. Due to being told these sort of things, I have always had to have control and prove people wrong which I did. I have had numerous operations, my first at 12 yrs old. I could control my operations, I could push myself and this is  something I have to continue to live with and to control.  I still need operations, but on my terms.

With alcohol I have no control.

I was scared of the part in AA where I had to hand over control, but I know that it's not all within my control.  There is the 'stuff' I think I can control, but can't and I am willing to learn the difference.

I drank growing up, but nothing different from my friends, I never drank any different from my hubby or when my kids were young. I went to every play, parents' evening and football match. We had and continue to have a good life.

I suffered from depression since my early 20's or even earlier. I have bipolar which  is now under control  on the right medication. I had three suicide attempts in 2013, the last two only four weeks apart, and the last one I wasn't drinking. The last one left me in ITU for 72 hrs with the doctor unsure if I had permanent liver damage. Fortunately, I haven't.   I now believe that someone was looking out for me, as with all three attempts I was in ITU.  Due to the last two being so close together I spent three months in a mental health hospital where my med's were sorted. This was voluntary although I never really had any choice.
I had a fall in 2012 ( this was out my control & I could deal with it like my arthritis). I was off work for four months. This is when I started drinking during the day, but not every day.

I went  back to work for four months and went on to have a total knee replacement and again started drinking. From here my binges got worse and worse.
I never believed I had a problem,
I wasn't drinking daily !
I wasn't drinking in the park!
I wasn't drinking in the morning!

I held down my job (substance misuse nurse ! Yes, the irony is noted ).
I took voluntary redundancy in January 2016.

Last year it got worse and I moved out of home for six months. My family couldn't take any more. During this time I didn't drink. I moved home in January and relapsed in ten days. I wasn't drinking daily, but when I did I would go all out. By the end I was drinking daily and in the morning.
Although I admitted I had a problem, I never admitted that.

The Thursday before my last drink on 26/03/16, I was so drunk I blacked out in the middle of the day on the front room sofa and wet myself.  This was in front of my mum and my youngest son and was the first time I had ever done this.
I woke up in bed not knowing how I got there.

I then drank on the Saturday which was my last drink and when I got up on Sunday, I finally admitted and accepted I had a problem and I  needed help. I went into rehab on 31/03/16 for four weeks. This was  a 12 Step focused program where we went to AA meetings. I did my first 3 steps, found my HP and became open and willing to the process. I  handed over my control.

I go to F2F meetings and do service, but do not yet have a sponsor there yet. Meanwhile, I do have an online sponsor thanks to this site and am continuing to follow suggestions and work the Steps. 

I read my BB, daily reflections, pray, keep a journal and do meditation. I ask for help ( which I have never done before), I listen, I am honest and I share at meetings. 
I am finally  willing and open-minded.
I now know that I have always been an alcoholic. it was just waiting for the right time in my life to come and bite me where it hurts.

Without the program I will drink.

The Big Book states : "We" not "I".  This allowed me to know I am not alone.

I have hope, a new direction, freedom and much more thanks to being sober and AA.

 I know that I can't be complacent and that I need to work each day as " it works if you work it"  and  I will because "I am worth it".

I know that anything I put above my recovery I will lose.

I hope this is not too long and gives you an understanding of me and  my story.

To be Continued ...

Stay safe and strong. Stay close to AA.

Lisa B - alcoholic

Location: London UK

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