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Gary W's Recovery Story

I Was Just Sick and Tired

By Gary W.

Updated January 31, 2007

I drank for 13 years, after coming into the Rooms I felt I had lost nothing - I hadn't been married, I hadn't had kids to lose, no great career. Then I realized how much alcohol had stolen - dreams.

My father was an alcoholic, all I ever saw him do was hit my mother, like many other alcoholics I swore I would not be like him. Yet for 10 years I functioned as an alcoholic, work, home, drink, blackout, back to work.

I Wished For Oblivion

My health got worse - ulcerated gullet, failed liver tests - but nothing abated my slide. In the end all I wished for was oblivion.

It had all started so well, at 19 I was at medical school, my family was all so proud. In the end they asked me to leave, I stopped attending lectures, would disappear for weeks, all their delivered brown envelopes I ignored.

I Balked at Change

The 'Yets' started happening: driving offenses, warnings at work, staggering weight gain, dead eyes. God decided enough was enough, I was just sick and tired. Treatment gave me time away from alcohol, the AA rooms continued the recovery.

It has taken me a long time, I was probably not desperate enough and balked at change. I spent my first three years in AA in a 'Fur Lined rut.' I was comfortable in my own misery as it felt familiar and non threatening. I arrived late at meetings and left early and therefore didn't feel 'part of'.

Delivered From the Fear

In the last few months I have become secretary of a Big Book meeting and on occasions I find I can look people in the eye, not look down as I have all my life.

I used to berate myself for my lack of quality sobriety and that I lagged behind others, I don't do that now. Recovery comes to us all when it is meant to.

I pray to my higher power morning and night and in the day if I am frightened. Fear has crippled me all of my life, slowly I feel I am being delivered from its crutches.

Courage to Ask For Help

In recovery your feelings return and if you have the courage to ask for help it is usually freely given. I still struggle with that one.

My alcoholism was shifted to food and other addictions in sobriety, I find that when I started to love myself a little better, the perceived opinions mattered less, as the saying goes: 'Those that matter don't mind, those that mind don't matter' Sobriety is a journey, and a bad day in sobriety is a hell of a lot better than a good day in active addiction.

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