I have had a long history of alcohol dependency (30+ years), which took me to some very dark places. My drinking was very heavy, and driven a lot by anxiety, depression, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Whenever painful feelings came up, I would drink to numb myself.
I became extremely ill, both physically and mentally. Also I was unable to work in my profession as a research scientist any longer because of drinking. I feared that I was going to die. My world became very small, me and the bottle, and was suffering from extreme psychological anguish.
I have undergone many treatments in the past 13 years - detoxes (many), rehabs, day programs, AA, NA, counselling, CBT and pharmacotherapy. At times, my recovery has felt like a revolving door, with many relapses, but I have persisted with treatment. I currently have a counsellor through Turning Point who I see weekly. This is helping me to stay sober. I started taking Naltrexone about 8 months ago, and I am finding that this has markedly altered the severity of my cravings to drink.
Recovery for me means being abstinent from alcohol, reconnecting to the world, maintaining relationships, and being able to function in my daily life. In the future, it means being well enough to re-enter the workforce in meaningful employment. I also have a strong desire to help others.
My life is relatively stable. I have been sober for a while, although I still feel vulnerable when it comes to alcohol. I am not able to work as yet, although I do one day a week of volunteer work in the area of human rights. My relationship with my partner is improving. However, I do experience strong feelings of loneliness at times, and feel that my life has little meaning. My health is improving. I have recently been in a period of serious depression after the death of my beloved mother, but I am not drinking to deal with my feelings. I attend counselling regularly through Turning Point, and this is helping me a great deal.