Good times? I never had any good times drinking. I wasn’t that type of drinker. I would only drink to destroy myself. It was much easier to drink than to commit suicide with a gun or a knife or pills. (Shecky, 23 - sober alcoholic).
Alcoholism is a problem that effects many of us, but we fail to recognise its true devastation until its too late. Matt, a sober alcoholic identifies he used to “live to drink and drink to live.” Drinking was a controlling force in his life that got ‘out-of-control’ leaving him miserable.
Often the problem begins when we start to drink away the pain and misery of life. Then progressively the drink begins to cause more pain then the original. For Matt the concern laid with not being able to guarantee his behaviour after he started to drink. The misconception that ‘just-the-one’ would be okay, let him down regularly. Matt described this brilliantly “if you stand on a railway line it will be the first carriage that hits you, not the third.”
Active alcoholism is a progressive illness and like all diseases can be treated. However, if not treated early it can be a very isolated and lonely disease after friends, family and lovers have gone as a result of the ‘crap’.
To seek help for yourself, friends or relatives about alcohol dependencies a number of services exist within the community, many quite specifically targeted towards members of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. It is important to remember that drinking in excess is treatable and can result in a much happier lifestyle.