I never imagined I’d be teetotal at the age of 30, but then, I never thought I’d be alcohol dependent either.
Drugs and especially alcohol had been a big part of my life since my teens and I never really saw it as a problem. I was enjoying myself. Alcohol was giving me the confidence to be perky and sociable in the bar where I worked and to part the rest of the time. It wasn’t all fun and games though and by my late 20’s I found myself drinking a bottle of wine for breakfast, topping up throughout work then drinking until dawn and starting again. I barely slept for fear of withdrawal and developed a cocaine habit to try and keep me going.
Eventually I got suspended from work, I had liver disease and I looked and felt a complete mess. I knew I needed to do something so I took myself to a GP who referred me to CAIS. It was a big relief to know that there were people who could help me. I reduced my drinking before going into detox at Hafan Wen, which I enjoyed, mainly because I was able to share experiences with others for the first time. I came from there on a high and feeling really positive.
My road to recovery was a bit rocky at first though as I didn’t have much support and I wasn’t really prepared. After a few months of on/off drinking I got a phone call from a Peer Mentor (Scott) who I began to meet up with regularly. I also began to meet up with a Refrain councillor. Seven months ago, after a home detox, my mentor suggested I go on the structured day programme which I did and I really enjoyed. It was a great meeting new people and doing new things as well as learning some techniques and tools to help me develop and avoid slipping back into my old ways.
Since then I’ve been training and volunteering with the Peer Mentoring Project and I’m enjoying life and looking forward to a future without alcohol.