‘Why I drank’ by Veronica Valli

Unknown-4Here is some powerful writing from Veronica Valli, recently posted on her blog and taken from her book Why you drink and How to stop: journey to freedom.

‘I tried to drink like ‘other people’ because they looked ‘normal’ to me. Other people drank and they were fine; I could tell. I would judge them by how they looked on the outside and I wanted to be like that.

Something inside me was different and it wasn’t fine. Which is why I had to lie to myself – a big fat lie that ate me up and that I had to keep telling myself, because it kept a lid on the horror. I had to lie about what I was doing to myself. I had to lie about how I really felt. I had to lie about who I was. I had to lie because I was terrified of the horror inside me being exposed.

This may only make sense to someone who has had a problem with drink or any other mood or mind-altering substance. Or it may make sense to you if you have lived a life of desperate compromise and unfulfilled promise.

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Excerpt from Brad’s Recovery Story: A Spiritual Awakening

stories-04Here’s an excerpt from Brad’s Story. Brad was in the process of breaking away from a life of drinking, crime and violence.

‘3. Starting with The Breakfast Club
In 2006, Thames Valley Police informed me that Paula had taken her own life. This made me angry. I thought she was selfish leaving three kids behind, although I’d left my kids behind years ago.

I continued drinking and six months to the day my best friend Mick died in my arms at Calderdale Royal, having fallen and banged his head. Mick’s death crushed me. It was this was the first time I can remember showing any real emotion. To this day, I shed a tear when talking about him, as I am now. We had done everything together.

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‘Courage and Recovery’ by Pat Deegan

“When I talk about my recovery, people sometimes tell me I must have a lot of courage. However, if I am honest, I would have to say I never felt particularly courageous during my recovery.

Mostly I felt determined, afraid and uncertain. I felt determined to get well, afraid I couldn’t do it and uncertain about how to get the life I wanted for myself.

I was not a courageous hero. I was scared and vulnerable, but I continued (on most days) to put one foot in front of the other on the long walk of my recovery…”

Brad’s Moment(s) of Clarity

stories-04Here’s the second of our Moment of Clarity series, taken from Brad’s Recovery Story

‘At this time, I thought willpower is what I needed to stop drinking, but I soon found out that this wasn’t the case. I was lacking a true willingness and desire to get well. I daydreamed and dreamt about stopping drinking, but I think that’s all it was at that stage. There was no real consideration of the work that would be involved in stopping.

Anyway, I decided I needed a break from the booze. I retired to bed and began going through the terror of a full-blown rattle, something I hope I never have to go through again. Five days later, I was physically dry. I then decided to see how long I could abstain from alcohol. After six weeks of no alcohol, I still wanted a drink. In fact, my desire for alcohol was worse than ever.

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‘Recovery Rocks – Tara Weng’

dubs-300x225Here’s the latest edition of Veronica Valli’s excellent ‘Recovery Rocks’ series, this edition involving Tara Weng.

Veronica says, ‘The wonderful thing about getting sober is that it’s not just the life of the alcoholic that improves, but everyone around them too. Tara Weng describes how the relationship with her son has improved since she has got sober, because of her sobriety she now gets to see her kids transform into amazing human beings. You just can’t put a price on that.

Apart from her most important job of being a mother, Tara is a freelance writer…

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‘Addictions Expert, Veronica Callanan Speaks on TV’

“I was born feeling different. I just felt uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt that the whole world was behind a glass screen and I was one side. I just couldn’t figure it out…”

How often have I have words similar to these from people who went on to use drugs and/or alcohol to help them deal with these feelings… and then developed a substance use problem. I’ll be talking about the role of disconnection in addiction in later blogs.

Veronica goes on to describe her recovery and provides a message of hope for people affected by alcohol dependence. Please check out her website, there’s some good stuff on there.

 

Brad’s Recovery Story: “A life beyond my wildest dreams’

Following a life of crime, fighting and drinking, Brad started his recovery journey after  a spiritual awakening and being told that alcohol wasn’t his problem – it was him.

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‘Stigma’ by Peapod

blog-14-06-2013-image1We all know that people with substance use problems and their families are stigmatised by many people. Here, Peapod blogs about stigma on Wired In To Recovery in 2009.

‘My dictionary defines stigma as “a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach.”

It’s a problem for addicts like us. I’ve been subject to it a few times in both active addiction and in recovery. Recovery is such a good news story. Why do recovering addicts still suffer from stigma?

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