On the Road to Recovery by ShareGood Contributor Tom Messplay

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ShareGood blogger Tom Messplay recently shared an inspiring and candid multi-part series about his journey with alcoholism.   We thank him for bringing to light a disease that affects millions. An update on his recovery can be found below.  For the first posts in his series click HERE.

On the Road to Recovery by ShareGood Contributor Tom Messplay

My last post was last August. So much has happened since then. I am currently at the 20 month point in my recovery. Life in recovery is truly a rollercoaster ride of peaks and valleys, good days and bad, days of feeling euphoric and days of pure hell.

In most instances it is all about positive attitude, mental strength, undying desire and commitment to living a better life. It‘s also about service to others, to help others through their own journey through recovery and sobriety. I have learned much from my own journey and those of others. I will be writing about my own experiences and providing links for additional information. I hope this is of benefit to others either directly or indirectly.

Denial
The first step in recovery is to admit you have a problem. I knew long before I took action to get better. I told myself for years that I was losing control of my alcohol consumption. I was afraid to quit. I was afraid I would find that if I couldn’t quit that would mean I was an alcoholic. I didn’t want to be an alcoholic. I wanted to be a normal person, have a drink or two and be satisfied. I knew I couldn’t do that. I also told myself that I could quit whenever I wanted and I just didn’t want to. This mental conflit went on for quite some time.

When confronted the alcoholic/addict will almost always deny the allegation, just as I did. They will make excuses, such as “it’s a tough time right now, It’s just temporary and then I’ll get back on track, Yeah I’ll cut back.” I personally used all of these. Then of course there is anger. If my wife brought it up again, I would lash out at her and tell her it’s no big deal and her bringing it up all the time wouldn’t make me stop. And of course the blaming of the accuser, “It’s your fault I drink so much because you just keep nagging me about it, it’s the only way I can stand to be married to you, don’t talk to me about how much I am spending I make all the money around here.” In spite of all this my wife stood by me. Eventually she stopped bringing it up to avoid the conflict. She knew if getting sober wasn’t my idea that I wouldn’t do it. In some instances the confrontations become violent (something that I never did).
I, like most had to hit rock bottom before I would be able to quit. Everybody’s rock bottom is different. My drinking escalated over years. I felt worse in the morning as time went by. It took me longer to shake off my hangovers as my drinking increased. In the end it would take from late morning to noon before I felt normal again. One morning I was so sick I knew I couldn’t continue. I told my wife I needed help.

I had taken the first step on my road to recovery.

Please click HERE for an interesting and helpful post from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.