By Keith O'Neil
I remember waking up in a strange sort of boxroom, a single bed in a foreign place, a chair, some drawers, what looked like a window but I couldn’t see out, and this stranger sitting smiling next to me.
All was quiet, where was I? How did I get there? What time, day, month was it?
I just lay in a sort of dazed, confused state for what seemed like an age until the silence was broken by a soft caring, reassuring voice. This, it turned out, was a nurse watching over me.
I felt nothing but a strange emptiness, not pain or fear, not happy or warm, just empty.
I was urged in a comforting way to get up and follow my nurse into a large room off a long clinical hallway. The room was full of strangers, all men, sitting around tables eating breakfast. There were a few people standing watching over them all.
Was I in heaven or hell, who the fuck were all of these people in this strange place?
Living without alcohol
I felt no fear but was apprehensive as I was urged to sit alone at a table where breakfast was put down in front of me.
As I sat there, blankly staring at the bowl in front of me, little things started coming back to me. I knew I was in there because I had planned and carried out an attempt to end my life.
As the hours, days, weeks went by I remembered lots of vague little details of the past months. The darkness, sadness and sheer hopelessness that was my life living as an alcoholic.
I spent just short of six months in that place… Talking, seeing psychiatrists and counsellors, getting different treatments to try and prepare me to get my life back on track. In fact just to learn about living without alcohol.
Now this was 3 years and 2 months ago, 3 years and 2 months without a drop of alcohol. My life’s starting to feel good, I’m starting to like myself again. I’m beginning to believe in myself.
None of these things would have been possible without the help and support of so many doctors, nurses, counsellors, support staff, family and a lot of strangers that have turned into lifelong friends.
Never give up
My whole point of this longwinded snippet of my recent experience in life is to tell you all to never lose hope, never give up.
Talk to someone, anyone but make sure you share your troubles.
It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
You’re on a different path through life than most people but you can get through it.
You will need to be strong and fight every day of your life, but it’s worth it.
YOU ARE WORTH IT.
Big love Peeps. Xx