Hi there, it’s Dermot here, I just want to take a moment and introduce myself, if you will hear me out, or at least read a bit further…..
I was born in Zambia in 1969 of Irish parents.
I had a Normal upbringing, you could even say it was privileged, living as an expatriate in a Poor country, we would have had a very good living standard compared to the majority of the population.
We had people, who cleaned our houses and tended the garden, it was normal practice there, but my relatives back in Ireland were often offended by this.
Despite this “privileged” upbringing, I was very much an introvert as a child, which even led up to my teens and twenties. I was more comfortable in my own company, the company of family and children of the staff, whom I considered like family to me.
I never really felt like I fitted in with my peers in school and elsewhere.
I suffered from dyslexia and was lazy at school, so I was sent away to boarding school twice, the first time I ran away, but the second time they sent me so far, it was impossible to escape.
They were the worst years of my life and as I was constantly bullied physically, mentally and emotionally, it made me even more introverted. At least I studied hard and passed my exams (anything to get out of that place).
I don’t blame my parents for sending me away as I do now see, being a parent myself, they just wanted the best for me and they placed huge value on formal education.
I remember my first drink at 15, it was as clear as day. I hated the taste of it, lager, but boy did I love the effect. It took me out of myself and from that moment I was hooked.
My drinking career was reasonably uneventful I would have drunk more on my own in solitude than in company. I never had enough money to drink socially, and the times I did, I would black out (lose all memory) and not even know how I got home.
I have examples of the consequences of my drinking days in my blog posts, some are funny, some sad, but all paint the picture of unmanageability due to alcoholism.
My drinking career was probably the best career, I thought I was good at.
I did a lot of stupid things during those years. The worst being drink driving. In Zambia, you could get away with it at the time, and Thank God no one was injured or worse, killed, including me. I did walk away from 2 car accidents, relatively unscathed.
My Last 2 Years of Drinking
My last 2 years of active addiction to alcohol was a living nightmare.
I was a secret drinker and what you call a functioning alcoholic, as I just about holding down a job.
Most of my drinking was done in my room in a house share after work, 7 days a week. I drank 1 x 70cl bottle of vodka every night, sometimes even more if I could afford it.
I would pass out, wet the bed, and be in a terrible state every morning. Besides the daily hangovers from hell, I suffered from rheumatism, constant chest infections, circulation problems and problems with my legs (Ataxia).
I also started having alcoholic seizure fits.
What was worse than how I was affected physically, was how I was emotionally and mentally. I would not answer phone calls or text messages.
My family was desperate to get hold of me. I had no friends and isolated.
If I ever did go out to a pub, I had to drink a bottle of vodka before I went just to pluck up the courage. I always passed out and was thrown out.
Bad to worse, then better again
At Christmas 2002, after drinking a bottle of whiskey at 7:30 a.m., I proceeded to go to work and was sent home as I was so drunk, I couldn’t even stand. I was put on final notice and if it hadn’t been around Christmas, would have lost my job.
This was the first best thing that happened as it was a wake-up call – a break state. It scared the shit out of me and made me suddenly realize that my life wasn’t working.
I was not ready to blame the booze yet, but I did blame my circumstances and where I was at in life.
I knew that I had to move to make a change, but didn’t know how or to where or when.
In mid-March 2003, a man who I worked with, Jim, asked me a question that I believed saved my life. All he asked me was, “Why are you here?”
When I asked him to elaborate, he made me see just how important family is and that I need to be with them. I will always be in a debt of gratitude to Jim, to me he is a saint.
The following day, I went to a travel agent and booked a plane ticket home. On the 10th of April 2003, I left Cork, Ireland and headed home to my family.
Back Home with my family
My drinking didn’t stop, though I wasn’t drinking as much as I was living with my parents. I became a binge drinker and my binges got worse, as did the alcoholic seizure fits.
On my 34th Birthday, we went out for a family lunch at a restaurant and I had “the mother of all seizure fits”, right there in front of all my family. The next thing I remember was waking up in hospital, attached to all kinds of machines and drips and all my family standing around my hospital bed.
Like a huge wave of relief and a load of other emotions, I knew at once, in my heart that I would never drink again, The secret was exposed and the lie over. I have never drunk since.
A new beginning – My Recovery
I went to treatment in Johannesburg, South Africa and spent 40 days there. It was an experience and I met some very interesting characters, though I did get the opportunity to leave a lot of crap behind.
Coming out of treatment was very confusing for me as I needed to change, but my confidence, self-esteem was still very low and my ego very high.
I struggled with the “poor me’s”, I began to isolate again, and I cross addicted twice, the first time to the gym and then work.
I ended up working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, for my brother-in-law. This suited him well as I was like a Duracell Bunny, but my batteries did start to run out about 8 months later and I was becoming burnt out.
Resentments began setting in, and as I was a people pleaser ( I still am) I could not say no. I eventually had no choice but to hand in my resignation. My big ego expected them to come running after me, which didn’t happen.
We are all just a number at the end of the day.
Finding my vocation in life
I did though do an online counseling course, as I now had time to do so, which was the start of a new career and vocation in life.
My life did begin to take a bit more shape, as I was beginning to get direction, make goals for myself and was no longer running from pillar to post.
I was called back by my brother-in-law to run the business for a few months until the new manager came. This too worked like a dream as I was paid double my old wage and saved enough money to pay for my flight to Ireland again, to volunteer in a treatment center, that my uncle had set up a few years prior to me getting sober.
Ironic, isn’t it, back to a land that gave so much pain!!. The rest is history and here I am now
Turning from victim to survivor
The hardest time in my life, after losing my parents, was the last year of active addiction and the first year of recovery.
When I see people in aftercare after treatment, my heart goes out to them as I know the anguish and confusion that early recovery brings.
One foot is in the past, euphoric recall or terrible guilt and shame, one foot is in the present dealing with reality & emotions & they are heading in a future direction that is either full of anxiety or unrealistic expectations.
My Passion in life
My greatest ever achievement and blessing in my life is my family.
Only a mere 15 years ago, I never ever thought I’d ever find myself a girlfriend, never mind getting married and having children.
But here I am now, what was a distant dream, became a reality for me and I am now happily married and have 2 beautiful boys.
How did this happen?, I took action, I had enough of being a bachelor and decided, enough is enough. I challenged my own introvert self and stepped up to the plate and never gave up.
Recovery gave me this strength and I am so grateful to have what I have and be where I am………
Setting a direction in life
Routine, self-discipline, and balance are all essential in recovery from addiction, or at least the desire to achieve them.
It is not easy to do so, but it is achievable and EVERYONE in recovery can do so. The important question is how badly do you want to stay in recovery and what are you willing to do to continue in recovery.
Remember stopping is a lot easier than staying stopped. To stay stopped, you need support from other people in recovery, family, genuine friends and other supports. You also need something totally new to do.
However, life has a strange way of repeating itself if you let it. Routine, habits and comfort zones, can lead to any of us falling into automatic pilot and thus our life returns to “Groundhog Day”
I had a huge awakening… My father sacrificed his life for me by working himself, for the same employer, for 40 years, to the bone, only to be retired with a handshake.
It always really saddens me that although he provided for me very well, I never really saw him growing up, we never go to know each other. I vowed that I would not repeat history and I thank my father for giving me this enlightenment.
Time is so precious and I have vowed to devote my time to my family first. I strongly urge you to do the same.
As Wayne Dyer says “Don’t die with the music still in you”
Let go of everything past
When it comes to your life, your career or maybe lack of one, I feel that early recovery or now is a good time to start thinking about what you might want to do in and with your life.
Now I don’t mean jumping right in, what I mean is to start thinking of what you might like to do. What is your passion, what is something that you haven’t done before, even dreamed about, that you might like to try?
Find Your Passion in life
Dreaming and having dreams is what life is all about. “What would we be if we didn’t have dreams?”
I struggled in this area, as I was unsure what I wanted to do and I did not want to go back to the hospitality industry again. My passion/ vocation found me, luckily, but this might not be the same for everyone.
I know that all recovering addicts are super achievers, how could we not be, think about it, it was hard work maintaining active addiction in the first place.
It is important though to find something to do even in the interim.
Boredom is a killer
In early recovery, you CANNOT afford to sit around bored as that is lethal and I’ve seen many people in relapse groups and one to one sessions and the main reason for relapsing was boredom.
If you have a computer and an internet connection or access to one, then I suggest that you start to learn about the internet, how it works, e.t.c.
There are literally thousands of blogs & video blogs on many platforms like Google, Bing, YouTube. You can literally learn or start to learn anything.
Besides recovery blogs on this website, I do have blogs on affiliate marketing and you are more than welcome to sign up to my blogs, leave comments and even contribute if you like.
“Life is not a destination, but a journey, which we must all learn to appreciate and enjoy”
That’s me, hope I can be of help to you or give you some value. You can comment below or on my Facebook Link: Realizeurdreamz2
If you want me to get in contact or to leave a comment or read more blogs you can follow my other site: Realise Your Recovery Dreams