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Alcohol Awareness Week 2012 19-25 November – My experiences of alcohol addiction

It’s ‘Alcohol Awareness Week’ next week so I decided to share some of my experiences of alcohol addiction and trying to give it up, as well as drug use – ALL of which I regret! It is so easy for some people (like me) to get involved in heavy alcohol use so and it really can ruin lives and kill, so I feel it is really important to raise awareness along with everyone else.

Alcohol has sadly played a bigger part in my life than I would like, that is for sure. I started drinking at 14 (apart from getting drunk at around 8 at home once) and would binge drink to blot out my world and enter an inebriated one. I had my first bout of depression at 15 which came and went through my whole life to date, amongst other mental illness symptoms not then diagnosed.

I continued to drink as I left school and got a job, drinking heavily on weeknights despite getting up for work the next day. That, plus mental illness caused me to lose my job, but the alcohol gave me confidence when out dancing in nightclubs. Until I was drunk, I couldn’t dance or move to music so I began to have to drink more and more, getting sick and suffering hangovers galore.

I then turned to drugs, once introduced to them by my boyfriend – marijuana, ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine and the partying got wilder, lasting all night long into the next day at weekends. My IBS got worse (brought on earlier by my eating disorder) and this was not helped by alcohol or drugs or the disorganised eating and starvation.

I then went abroad and gave up the alcohol and drugs more or less to save money, although I still smoked cigarettes.

That then mucked up any chance I had of gaining a routine in my life, and I travelled more and more to far flung places where I took up alcohol and drugs again to fill in time, give me confidence, keep me going through my depressions and my work abroad. I was addicted, every day and couldn’t function properly without it. Binge, binge, binge…

Although I gave the drugs up quite a few years ago now, I continued to drink, and as my mental illness got worse my drinking habits went the same way. Family problems, relationships becoming abusive, my bankruptcy, flamboyant weekly work do’s all drove me to drink more. Then when I began working for myself at home, it made it even easier to drink during the day as well as night.

Here’s a sample of how my life got in 2009… CLICK HERE TO OPEN IT IN A NEW WINDOW

Much of my drinking was kept secret from my parents, just as my eating disorder, self harming, rape, later promiscuity and other self destructive events. As well as getting over mental illness, I had to tackle the alcohol and cigarettes.

So I logged my progress over a few years (I always kept diaries and journals anyway) and wrote my book ‘My Alien Self: My Journey Back to Me’. This is my autobiography of getting over mental illness but in it I talk about my alcohol and drug addictions and attempts to beat them.

Since then, I have been on healthy eating diets, limiting my alcohol at the same time, I’ve tried measuring my wine out to exact amounts allowed per day. I gave up drinking in the day time, even continuing to do so on holiday, and although I drink every day still, I am in control of how much.

Now I write this article for ‘Alcohol Awareness week’ at a time when I am still drinking every day – something I want to stop, and I will in time. Thing is, I should’ve looked for help – charities etc – but I didn’t, which is why it has been so hard.  And I allowed the bad things going on in my life to drive me to drink more and destroy myself physically, which in essence is further self harm. If people do bad things to us, or bad things happen to us, or we have mental illness to contend with, the last thing we should do is punish ourselves for it but it seems a good way to blot things out at the time. And so it goes on…  So I urge anyone reading this, affected by alcohol in a destructive way, to look for that help. CLICK HERE TO SEE MY LIST OF HELPFUL ALCOHOL AND DRUG ORGANISATIONS IN THE UK – OPENS IN A NEW WINDOW

So it’s best to stop making excuses like I have and try to take in just how damaging alcohol is on our bodies.

This website ‘Alcohol Concern’ talks more about the Alcohol awareness weekCLICK HERE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE – OPENS IN A NEW WINDOW 

I hope that this article helps a little to show how alcohol addiction can begin and continue.

Good luck to all those trying to kick the habit or cut down.

Amanda 🙂

 

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3 comments to Alcohol Awareness Week 2012 19-25 November – My experiences of alcohol addiction

  • Margie Miklas

    Great post on a difficult subject. Thank you so much, Amanda, for sharing a part of your life in a way to impact others and help educate about addiction..I applaud your tenacity.

  • David Prosser

    There’s little point in me saying that those with mental illness problems shouldn’t start to drink. Not because of whatever medication they take but because the drink can make the mental problems much worse. Progression to drugs from drink follows fairly easily.
    I’m not known for my sympathy towards alcoholics or addicts who choose that way of life for themselves but it’s a different thing when the drinking etc starts with mental health problems. Somehow the ‘professionals’ in this country don’t seem equipped to notice and deal with that problem but concentrate on the effect rather than cause. It’s also a shame that some people don’t know they have a problem while others do but decide not to speak of it and won’t seek help.
    Without the help I’ve had I’d be either a drowning man or dead and at the start of my problem my preference was for the latter. I’m so glad you’re getting some of the help you need now Amanda ( better late than never)and thst you recognise som,e of the problems you have can only be cured by you. I hope you succeed in the end and forge a real life for yourself full of the happiness you missed when younger.

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