HOW I RECOVERED
This book – Surrender
With imperative but simple tasks and tools
To keep away the slips that lead to falls.
The importance of gratitude you will find out
As it generates positivity without a doubt.
So now not taking anything for granted,
Finding appreciation from which you will never be parted,
Explaining spirituality to find your Higher Power
For it to grow your recovery from seed to a flower,
Using a set of unique principles called the twelve steps
Which require daily practice and be assured are not complex.
There will be addiction meetings in every town –
AA is my choice to attend and is imperative if I am down.
In this room you will find a sponsor possibly becoming a friend,
Making sure that any rules you do not try and bend,
And showing you the steps for a permanent desire
Not to drink or use, and extinguishing that fatal, insidious fire.
This book must outline the three stages of relapse –
An emotional, mental and physical cycle ending in collapse.
But mistakes will happen, so this is a huge opportunity
To start again, recharge the batteries and this time see
That addiction with its lingering obsession
Leading to shame, guilt, worthlessness and depression,
Will be banished for the very last time
Due to your strength and faith, resulting in a feeling so sublime.
Now is the time to open your mind and heart
To produce a magical journey that you will progressively chart.
Enjoy reading and discover freedom within these pages,
Only a short book, mind you, but it took absolutely ages,
You can look afar but my honest story is one of a kind,
As another personal detailed recovery process you will not find,
It does not dwell on a past traumatic horrendous story,
IT IS A TALE OF ADDICTION RECOVERY IN ALL ITS GLORY.
How I recovered
I wasn’t in denial – I could have easily stopped drinking
Why did I go to rehab? I didn’t need to be there. I could have gone a few days without drinking. But then again, did I ever do that? I always thought I could, but was I being honest and realistic? – Blimey. In the beginning, I was so confused and muddled I needed a drink!
My sobriety is what my family wanted, but what did it have to do with them, anyway? It was my life, and I was okay. They had distanced themselves, not even inviting me to family occasions and totally ignoring my calls and texts. When they did phone, why were they so concerned with my addiction, attitude and health? Surely, if they loved me, they would stop mentioning it, stop saying that rehab was my only option, knowing it would upset me? I had told them so many times that I didn’t need to go to a place like that and that there are so many people who drink heavily like me. I just did not realise that I was hiding my existence behind a mask, enabling anything that would allow me to drink, thinking that my acute, severe anxiety and panic attacks were due to the normal pressures of everyday life.
My friends thought I should speak to someone. They weren’t my real friends, or they would have just left me alone. It was none of their business, and I told them that. My true friends were in the bar chatting and telling stories, and I loved every minute of it, even though the same tales were repeated daily. No one could remember one day from another, so the conversations always seemed interesting and witty. It was sociable, and we all enjoyed each other’s company. One thing I couldn’t understand, though, was that no one else ever came over from another group to say hello. I put that down to them being arrogant and rude. Never mind the fact that after these sessions I frequently had difficulty getting home. More than once, I even ended up with fractured bones from intoxicated tumbles on the pavement, trying to navigate my way home when the bar had closed. Of course, that was nothing to do with me or my drinking.
I was told that my bones were brittle due to my drinking, and eventually, because of my alcohol abuse, my nervous system short-circuited, significantly affecting the movement of my legs. I struggled to walk and would lose balance for no apparent reason. They say that alcoholism is a progressive disease, or is it a mental illness? I ended up being barred from countries and airlines due to altercations at airports and on flights. Looking back, it is extraordinary that I was never handed a prison sentence in England or abroad for countless such drunken offences. I ran out of money. I had no idea why I lost my last job – well, my last three. In fact, my work regularly ended with me being fired, which seems so unfair as I’m a nice guy and I’m pretty sure I did everything they asked of me. Even my friends in the bar couldn’t understand it and bought me a few pints in sympathy. Lovely people saying that there was nothing wrong with me and to just forget about those idiots, as they have no respect for normal people. My girlfriends were the same, very comforting and understanding, with alcohol acting as Cupid to start the relationship – but I could never work out why they didn’t last for more than a month . . .
So, in the end, I decided to go into rehab just to keep everyone else happy. I thought it would be a walk in the park, as I would be totally different from all the others. I was always absolutely convinced that I wasn’t the problem – it was everyone else, totally misjudging me. I always thought that for some reason they were jealous of my routine and lifestyle and hence wanted to sabotage it for me. My drinking bar buddies agreed.