At 32yrs old when I come to A.A. I was desperate, suffering from a disease that I didn’t really know about or understand. I didn’t think I could ever give away the alcohol; it was progressively my world for about 20 years, then the good times got fewer until there were absolutely none. I was heavily involved in sport during my teenage years & early 20s, which slowly & insidiously went as I drunk more. I became a spectator, critic & someone I despised in earlier years (a barfly).
My name is ... and I’m an alcoholic, 12 years has gone by and I’m basking in the joys that a clean and sober life has given me. I struggled for years when I was first sober, but I held on, now I don’t know myself! I am who I always wanted to be. I have what I’ve always wanted to have. I’m not lying in bed in the weekends hung-over. I have a peace and love for life that I couldn’t ever find in drinking, but I’ have found through sobriety.
I had my first drink at about 7 years old. My older brothers were into swiping the odd one from someone’s stash at one of my fathers many party’s, so of course I had to follow suit and get amongst it too. I can recall sculling it back as if it was fizzy drink, but I didn’t start drinking regularly till about 14.
I really enjoyed going to parties with mates on the weekends, running amuck and just carrying on like a normal teenager, well so I thought. I would only ever drink one way and that was to scull it back hard, the sooner I got drunk the better, the day that I could drink a dozen beers couldn’t come fast enough. That was our measure of how much of a man you were, by how much you could drink. So there I was, a man at 16, hahaha what a joke.
In 1999 I entered the University of Canterbury, aged 19. By the end of the year I had told everyone I’d decided to leave. No one could know I hadn’t studied. That I couldn’t be disciplined. That I couldn’t face sitting exams I knew I would fail. That I was secretly going on massive drinking binges. I would try to drink as much as I could without blacking out. But once I started I had to keep going. I had to have more. Over time the binges were getting closer together. At that time I could still hold myself back for a month or sometimes even two.