I was born on the 27th May 1977 in Milngavie. I have drank alcoholically since I was 17.
I left school at 16 and started an apprenticeship, I had called a family friend knowing he was a business owner and asked if he knew where I could find work. To my surprise he offered me a job on the spot. I wasn’t even really sure what the job was until I’d been there for two days. As it happened I was going to be a Controls Technician which I was ok with. I’d never had any ambitions in life anyway, but this gave me a new purpose.
At this point, however, I was already showing clear-cut signs of alcoholism. From a very early stage of my alcoholism I’m ashamed to say I had started to drink-drive and as time passed by I even got to the stage where I was drinking whilst driving. My wife hated it and rightly so, I had watched my Father-in-law slowly pass away from alcohol abuse, but even as we sat with him in his final hours, all I could think about was my next drink.
Drink-driving became very much a daily occurrence, I’d also started to borrow endless amounts of money through Payday Loan Companies which unsurprisingly spiraled out of control. On one particular occasion my wife was waiting for me as I returned home drunk again, she noticed I had driven the car home which didn’t help the situation and she began asking some very difficult questions about where all this money was coming from and where it was all going. I erupted in anger and found tablets that my wife was taking for Shingles, I must’ve taken about 50 of them at least. I stormed back into the living room and started goading her. I was on my way out, I even started singing ‘bye bye’ to her. That was the last thing I remembered.
I woke up in a hospital room after my family being told that 20 minutes more and I would have been dead . As I slowly came to from my medically induced coma I was greeted by the site of my Mum in tears, my wife in tears and my Dad at the bottom of the bed looking at me with sheer disgust. I honestly believe he was disappointed to see me wake up – he’d quite simply had enough.
I left hospital and within a week I was drinking again. This time I was drinking in casinos. I could drink for longer hours and ultimately pretend to be someone I’m not. I could be talking to someone and tell them I’m a Doctor, go to the toilet and come out a Pilot. I just couldn’t accept who I really was. On one particular evening I was on my way to the Casino and I was mugged – I was very drunk and frankly an easy target. I sustained a brain trauma that night which eventually led to what I can only describe as a complete mental breakdown. My wife reported me missing and I was eventually found slumped in a phone box in Glasgow. I was rushed to hospital and awoke to the familiar site of my wife, Mum and Dad. The only difference this time? I didn’t know who any of them were.
The injury had affected my memory, I didn’t know my name or date of birth and I certainly didn’t know who the three strangers sat in front of me were. The ironic thing was, I didn’t trust them. I had stolen from these people, physically, mentally and emotionally and now it was me who didn’t trust them? Hard to imagine I know. My wife did what any good partner would do, she told me that I didn’t drink or smoke and I believed her. Soon enough, however, I rediscovered smoking and later ‘a pint’. My Dad had taken me to a local bowling club for the day, I was disgusted by the first taste but it soon disappeared. When I finished that first pint I was off and running again, as though nothing had ever happened.
My lowest point came not long after. I had moved back in with my parents as I wasn’t allowed to be left alone and on one particular day where I couldn’t access any alcohol, I decided to seek out anything that would give me a ‘dunt’. I found myself a bottle of weed killer, topped it up with lemonade and off I went. I burnt my insides and mouth so badly that I was eating through a tube for weeks.
Upon yet another recovery, things began to go into freefall. I was back drinking and had another failed suicide attempt. I took a massive overdose of Paracetomol and Cocodomol which after around 5 days caused me to go into renal failure. The ironic thing was, I knew the drink was causing this mental state, there was no denial, but I would never ever blame the drink. I don’t think I really wanted to die, I just wanted to wake up and be fixed. I would always tell myself “I WILL NOT HAVE A DRINK TODAY”, but it was only ever a matter of time before I would be hunting one down.
I realise this is quite hard-hitting stuff but anyone dealing with addiction will tell you that things only get worse before they get better. It’s tough to read I know, but beating around the bush never helped anyone. In order to aid your own recovery and potentially help others, acceptance is everything. I’ll continue looking at the darker moments in my next blog, but I assure you all that more positive times lie ahead – eventually.
Welcome to my journey,