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What it was like for us

Some friends tell their stories about how they recovered from dependence on alcohol and other drugs….

Alastair's story
For nearly two and a half years I have been living a sober life, a life free from alcohol, its grip and associated problems.  On a summer’s Sunday in July 2006 in the middle of a hangover I accepted that I had had enough of alcohol and its effect on me and that I was completely unable to control my consumption once I had taken the first drink.  Nevertheless, I went to the corner shop and bought 4 cans of strong lager in order to ease the physical and unbearable psychological aftermath of my latest weekend binge.
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JPJ's story
I had a typical upbringing for a child of the fifties in rural Wales.  Bought up on a farm about a mile from the village with the chapel as the centre of our social and cultural life.  My only other form of entertainment apart from the chapel was the radio.  
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Janet's story - How a hill farmer’s daughter went to Hell and lived to tell the tale.
My name is Janet. I am an Alcoholic in early recovery. I no longer drink, nor, at this time, want to drink. The obsession has, just for today, been lifted from me. Today I can say that I’ve had a second chance at life, and  I am grateful…. for being alive… for having a loving family who stuck with me through  all those times when I yet again returned to drink and never gave up on me. I am grateful for having the friendship and support that AA offers me when life does its thing and throws the unexpected at me.  There is more too…much more.  This is my story.
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Matthew's story - Stopping taking drugs is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.  Just for today, I’m clean.
Addiction? The heavy stuff started at the age of 24 or 25.  I dabbled in most other drugs, but the big bang came when heroin started.  A lot of things were going wrong in my life, and it was an easy escape.  Heroin was the big warm love that I was missing.  Early in my using, things were OK.  I continued to work, and even continued in relationships.
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Lynne's story - The girl with the eating disorder
I remember being fourteen, rehearsing the Urdd Eisteddfod musical, and one of my friends eating a “Mars” bar in the interval.   I remember thinking to myself, how on earth can she eat a whole “Mars” bar?  It didn’t appeal to me at all – in fact, the thought of eating such a sweet chocolate bar in its entirety turned my stomach.  Food wasn’t a problem to me at the time!  Some years later, food was the only thing on my mind from early morning to late at night; and I couldn’t stuff enough chocolate and other junk down my throat. 
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A mother's story
My descent into alcoholism marked the beginning  of 6 years of misery for myself and my family, which included very young children. Outwardly there was no reason for me to seek refuge from life in alcohol, as I was happily married with no financial difficulties,  had two healthy little boys, and lived in a lovely house. The problem was in my head.
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Pamela's story - A young professional woman’s story about her battle with alcoholism
I was born into a normal, stable family in a South Wales city, the middle child of three. I was a bright and happy child but shy and fearful of new situations, for no reason I have ever been able to work out, finally putting it down to just being part of my personality.
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A young man’s journey to find himself

I can feel today. For that I am truly grateful. In my last few years before my rock bottom I felt nothing. I was walking dead. Nothing seemed to be able to touch me, I had become hardened to life, and I spent my life being in the grips of anger, loneliness, self-pity and resentment. My story is not special - its like anyone else’s. My life was void of meaning I crashed through it with my own unmanageable drinking, drugging and behaviour.
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Chris' story - A story about love & sex addiction
I don’t remember ever feeling  comfortable or fitting in with the other boys at school, no close friends, just hung around with the toughest crowd and was always fighting and getting into trouble, flying into rages a lot. I started drinking young and got into more trouble, somehow I managed to finish school and get to college where I met a girl. I stopped drinking for her and became completely obsessed with her, pursuing her until she agreed to marry me. I though about nothing but her and only just got through college as I couldn’t bear to have her out of my sight it was too painful not to be with her, no-one else could talk to her not even her girlfriends or I got insecure, angry and jealous.
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In no more than 1,000 words we invite you to share your experiences of how you were able to change your life for the better. And how about sending a spiritual gem from your own experience that will help other people understand the spiritual journey a little better, a little clearer? Your spiritual gems will be included in ‘Our Little White Book of Helpful Hints’.

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