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Hi my name is Bill: I started abusing alcohol when I joined the Navy in 1969. I became a hardcore alcoholic with the worst curse of all. I was also a highly functional alcoholic. Nothing like a history of success to feed your denial. That denial kept me prisoner of my disease for over 30 years. In 1995 I decided I had to quit or I would lose everything I had. I would stop  for my family, for my job, for my friends, for everything else but myself. I would have small bouts of being clean but never sober. Clean is a state of body, sober is a state of mind. You can't get sober without a solid commitment to clean. With each relapse I would sink lower and lower in despair. I knew I was disappointing my family and friends and doing some serious damage to my body. Through the various programs and help I got from the VA I stuck with it. My friends and family  would just have to live with the disappointments and if they gave up on me who could blame them. But I would not give up on myself. If I did I was doomed.

Sometimes I would but together 6, 7, 8 months and then fall back. For me the answer would be to find the reason for the relapses. I learned that the most important thing about a relapse is what you do immediately afterwards. Keep drinking and I'm that much closer to death. Get back on the wagon and I'm that much closer to success. I knew that the success rate was very low, but for as many different reasons a  person becomes an alcoholic/addict there are different journeys to sobriety. Then out of the blue I realized I was 1 drink away from disaster. I GOT IT!!!! For some reason the desire to take a drink just left me. I grabbed hold of that with a death grip and held on for dear life. I've now got 5 years clean and sober, but I'm not kidding myself. Never let your guard down. My point is: stay with it. You cannot get sober unless you work at it and there are no hard rules for when it will happen or why. But just as importantly: get sober for yourself. Learn to love yourself enough to know you deserve a better life. I you keep working toward something then you're earning it. And know there is no success calender. It will happen when it happens. NEVER GIVE UP. The last five years have been the best of my life and I have every reason to believe I've quite a few more to look forward to. When ever you can do whatever you can to help the alcoholic/addict recover. The rewards for both of you are like nothing you could have dreamed .

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Categories: Alcohol, Recovery


February 04, 2013 | Megan

Thank you for sharing your story. Hope is what we all need sometimes…and hearing your story of sucess reminds me that it is possible. My brother is an alcoholic and I don’t know how to help him.

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