I started drinking alcohol at the age of fourteen with my friends but it was not a regular occurrence until I turned sixteen and found that I was able to get served alcohol in the local pubs and off licences. Even though I was drinking most days it did not become a problem until I started university at the age of eighteen, I had just split up with my girlfriend and as it was ‘socially acceptable ‘ to drink in the daytime while at university I did exactly that and would spend all day and night drinking alcohol.
I was not getting involved in university life at all, I didn’t join any clubs or societies and would avoid my lectures so that I could sit in my room with the curtains drawn and drink on my own. My drinking and behaviour whilst drunk had put a lot of pressure on my relationship with my family and I lost a lot of friends, I had put on a lot of weight and always felt ill and tired. I had a good job in between term time but had stopped turning up for work and when I did go in I would be intoxicated. After 18 months my family persuaded me to go and see my doctor who did some tests and informed me that I had a form of liver disease and must stop using alcohol but the news had the opposite effect, I was so scared that I just continued to drink to block it out. By this point I had developed a tolerance to the alcohol that I was using and would wake up shaking, I had tried to reduce but had only managed a few days here and there and I felt desperate. I went to a few Alcoholics Anonymous meetings but left them feeling less confident than when I arrived and I really didn’t want to have to attend meetings for the rest of my life.
One of our family friends works for CAIS and suggested that I should attend one of the Intuitive Recovery course being delivered in Wrexham which started a few days later. I approached the course with an open mind but no real expectations, after the experiences that I had already had I was not expecting much but found the course very easy to understand, it left me feeling empowered and gave me the realisation that I was in control of my addictive desires.
Since leaving the course I have stopped drinking alcohol and more importantly I know that I will never use it again. I feel much happier and a lot healthier, I have lost weight and always seem to have energy. I have recently been back to my doctor for a liver function test and the results came back as normal which I am really happy about and it as left me feeling optimistic for my future. Other people have noticed the change in me as well, my family and friends are starting to trust me again and when I go out with them I am really enjoying their company rather than looking for excuses to slope off for a drink. My work life has also improved, I have become a trusted employee again and have taken on a lot more responsibilities, regaining the respect of my co-workers in the process.
I am now really looking forward to completing my degree and getting fully involved with university life. I am also in training for a half marathon in October which is something that I never thought I would be able to do and a good example of how my outlook on life in general has improved since I decided to stop drinking. I am very optimistic for my future and it feels good looking more than just one day ahead.