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  1. #1

    Default A Cautionary Tale

    Hi my name is Al Muir (almuir) and this is my story:

    A Cautionary Tale

    What alcohol has done for me? Plenty. First of all it has cost me all my friends. At its height drinking drove me indoors divorcing myself from the societal framework I'd managed to erect. I outdrank everyone else and could no longer afford to drink in public houses. Plus on the one hand my paranoia was so bad that I imagined everyone was looking at me -- knowing I was alcohol dependent. I jealously wanted to guard and protect my drinking so I hid away indoors out of the way of prying eyes. On the other hand I felt shame and guilt about my secret pleasure.

    The phone which I had long since stopped answering ceased ringing; I stopped answering or even opening my mail; I ignored the door bell when it rang; In short I would do anything to prevent people from seeing me because I was embarrassed.

    As far as personal relationships go it ( drinking ) put paid to all of them. I could not hold down a serious relationship emotionally or physically -- alcohol having a negative influence on sexual performance. As a result I have been abstinent for some twelve years.

    I am now diabetic. This is a direct consequence of the effect alcohol had on my pancreas. I suffered acute pancreatitis on six occasions resulting in my current legacy of a pancreatic oedema. My specialist/registrar told me that any further consumption of alcohol would lead to necrosis and ultimately -- death.

    Drinking cost me my job. Initially I managed to cover it up but after twenty years of abuse this became impossible and I began to miss days, weeks as well as making mistakes at the workplace.

    Having lost my job I could not rely on any savings to live on because I had spent all my money on alcohol. Indeed I was in severe financial straits having taken out several loans which I was unable and incapable of repaying. This resulted in me filing for bankruptcy.

    As my finances were in such poor repair because I had stopped answering my mail and therefore paying bills I was hit by an eviction order forcing me to seek help and guidance from Accommodation Concern and the Citizens' Advice Bureau. I nearly lost my flat.

    My flat was my final refuge -- my place of safety and it was under threat. When looking at my Hierarchy of Values I had lost friends, social network, money, health and now possibly -- accommodation. Everything I held necessary and dear. Everyone I had loved. And very nearly my sanity resulting in a very well-intentioned suicide attempt.

    The trouble with alcohol and mental health is that firstly it masks symptoms of serious problems ( dual diagnosis ) and secondly should you manage to get diagnosed as depressed it negates the efficacy of any antidepressants or antipsychotics. I have since been diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder and traces of bi-polar depression.

    Given all this and it has been truly cathartic noting it down, I cannot say that I miss drinking alcohol. In fact I hate the stuff. It's why I became a facilitator for Smart.

    I wish for many people especially the young to read this or something like it just to offer a warning. Alcohol is not great -- it destroys

  2. #2
    LMR555's Avatar
    LMR555 is offline Former SMART Super Moderator
    Former SMART MB Liaison
    Former SMART Online Facilitator
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Southwest Fl


    Greetings Al,
    Welcome to SMART Recovery Online. Thanks for sharing your tale. Thank you for volunteering!!!!

    Last edited by LMR555; January 25, 2015 at 11:18 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    smack dab where Time begins


    Nice to have you here on line with your backstory. Glad you turned things arround.
    Wherever you go, there you are

  4. #4
    I_am_Ned's Avatar
    I_am_Ned is offline Former SMART Message Board Volunteer
    SMART FtF Facilitator
    Join Date
    Oct 2012


    Hi almuir, thanks for sharing your story, and for stepping up as a facilitator for SMART.

    I am I_am_Ned
    I see no reason in what you just wrote to drink

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    Hello Al, and welcome to SMART Recovery Online!
    Thank you for telling your story. I, too, hope it helps others and, as you said, especially the young.
    I am glad you are here with us, and you are volunteering to become a facilitator.
    I wish you the best of success!

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