Meet The Old Me…

Meet The Old Me…

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,

Graham.

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34 Comments

  1. Andrew McMillan
    September 30, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Wow graham! Some hard hitting stuff!

    Looking forward to ur subsequent instalments, and reading about your journey!

  2. Graham Westwater
    September 30, 2016 / 5:28 pm

    Good honest read mate. Well-done. Will be keeping an eye out.

  3. Nicholas buist
    October 1, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    I very emotional read! Graham is truly one of the most inspiring people I have had the pleasure of meeting, a true gent.

  4. October 3, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    Thank you for telling your story. You are most definitely not alone, and we are most definitely not without hope.

  5. October 3, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    Your honesty is refreshing. Sending love and light your way.

  6. October 3, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    My colleague at Blogging for Beginners. Heart warming courageous story.
    Lovely to see it out Graham. Brilliant

    • October 3, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      Thanks grandmawilliams, your enthusiasm for blogging really helped me, I am so overwhelmed just now by the response

  7. October 6, 2016 / 12:34 pm

    Thank you so much for liking and following my blog. I am amazed and inspired by your story. I have only just begun to read but so far, it speaks to me deeply. Thank you for sharing openly and honestly. No doubt you are touching those who need to hear. ❤️

    • October 6, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      Thank you Alexis, all I hope is that I can help someone to help themselves and also try to give the family’s an insite, thanks again

      • October 6, 2016 / 3:48 pm

        I can tell you that just reading a few of your blogs, I all ready feel better! I am only on Day 3 of a Cleanse and I find my brain telling me it’s okay to cheat on Friday. I cannot imagine going through all that you have! (BTW- I will not cheat!)

        • October 6, 2016 / 7:36 pm

          Amazing Alexis 3 days is brilliant, you have made the hard decision to stop so don’t worry about Friday until Friday comes then deal with it, my first sober Friday was tough but waking up on Saturday morning made it all worth while, my brain can still tell me it wasn’t that bad but I know the pain I was in and never want to go back there

          • October 6, 2016 / 9:41 pm

            Thanks so much, Graham! 👍

  8. October 6, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    great writing and incredible that you come through such tough times, thanks.

  9. October 7, 2016 / 3:06 am

    Hi Graham!
    Thank you for sharing this. I am thinking of my son while reading your story, he didn’t reach that point. He was gone too early. Thanks again
    Aui

  10. October 16, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    Wow. So much of your experience resonates with my husband’s journey. Unfortunately he never managed to get better. I had hoped one day he would be blogging on his recovery. Although initially not a drinker, towards the end he was drinking heavily and taking sleeping tablets, and I think this affected his mental state in the same way your drinking affected yours. He ended up taking an overdose of barbiturates combined with 2 strips of my migraine prophylaxis and died. I don’t think he truly meant to, but he was in such torment by then.

    Almost scary – he was born on 25th May 77, 2 days before you.

    Well done for getting to where you are, and for recognising what happened. Wishing you all the best with your recovery. I know it’s never easy.

    Cx

    • October 16, 2016 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting, I am absolutely blown away by what you have just wrote, I am so sorry for your loss, it’s when people like you reply to my blog that it makes it all worthwhile, thanks again and hopefully you will continue to read. G

  11. May 17, 2017 / 7:12 am

    I could read a book about this without finding such real-world apacrpohes!

  12. May 17, 2017 / 8:43 am

    I might be betanig a dead horse, but thank you for posting this!

  13. May 30, 2017 / 11:26 pm

    This is a brave first chapter to your traumatic story. I’m going to have to read on…

    • grahamwilsonundrunk
      May 30, 2017 / 10:28 pm

      Thanks

    • grahamwilsonundrunk
      May 31, 2017 / 12:50 am

      Thank you Jane I really appreciate that, would love your feedback 🙂

  14. Sam
    June 23, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    Such a frank and honest account Graham, thank you! I’m in recovery myself (20 months) after many many attempts. I can relate to so much of what you have posted and I can feel the absolute desperation of your drinking days! My 20’s were just a write-off and now even after 20 months I still feel I’m in a ‘thawing out phase! Sobriety still scares me sometimes, but it’s a million times better then where (we) have come from. Best of luck and I’m sure I’ll be an avid follower!

    • grahamwilsonundrunk
      June 23, 2017 / 2:52 pm

      Hi Sam, thank you for your comments, being sober still scares me sometimes but the thought of a drink scares me even more, 20 months is amazing and if I can ever be of any help do not hesitate to contact me, thanks again

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