Franky’s story

My name is Franky, and I am a female alcoholic from Sydney, Australia.  I drank for many years, about 35yrs all up, but it got totally out of control once I crossed that little red line.

I was sooo unhappy and depressed and just lived for when I could have my next drink. After I had done all the things I had to do, like work, phone calls, driving and doing errands and I had the first drink of the day, I simply couldn’t stop. Whenever I allowed myself to drink I drank until I blacked out and did things I couldn’t remember. I’d phone people, at any time of the night and not remember what they said or what I said …. was lucky if I woke (or ‘came to’ really) in my own bed.  Sometimes, I scribbled notes on the telephone pad which I could not read the next day …. on one of those occasions I had invited some friends for dinner and a few days after I had been talking to them they turned up with a few bottles of wine in their hands at 7pm that night.  I opened the door and wondered what on earth they were doing there, I was already pretty gone by then and after joking about how forgetful  I was<LOL>, I suggested take-out Chinese ….. those friends did know I had a “drinking problem”.  They were actually drinking buddies and they soon caught up with me that night … I guess I passed out again…which is what happened every time I started drinking.  I did some terrible things that I’d rather forget about … but I have done my 4th and 5th Steps in A.A., so I don’t share that sort of stuff from the keyboard or from the floor at F2F meetings.

I had been able to drink ‘normally’ for about ten years or so but certainly loved it, I loved the taste and the effect it gave me. I used to love parties and always found excuses to have them just so I could drink. I used to give lunches at home so we could start drinking at lunch time. If I was out shopping I always used to find a place for lunch where they had alcohol. None of that coffee or tea stuff for me!  The next ten years of my drinking were getting worse; I started to use the drink to medicate myself if I didn’t like the situation I was in … I tried to block it out … and from there it progressed. At about this time I started to try and control my drinking.  Oh, all the different methods I tried …. changing drinks, not red wine but white wine … not spirits but wine and beer only … tried to time it, like put it off till later … and if I managed to wait until later I used to feel so good about myself, I would start to speed drink even faster than normal to reward myself. Forever trying to get that “high” I once got from having a few drinks in the early stages of my drinking. I never ever found that same feeling again.  I tried to control my drinking like – not drink during the week and only at the weekends, all to no avail. I would always break down and give in and try again the following week etc etc…

After my last partner and I split up, I was free to drink as often and as much as I wanted to and I did, they were the last 3 yrs of my drinking, it was alcoholic drinking.  I did all my “busting” before I came into A.A. My will power is really strong in all my affairs, but staying stopped was something I just couldn’t do … I still thought I only had a drinking problem, I never thought that I could be an alcoholic. I had many “rock bottoms” but I finally gave in and asked for help after just a ‘normal’ night of passing out …. but I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I rang the office of AA in St Ives (here in Sydney, Australia) and someone there said she was an alcoholic, and I remember thinking, ‘Oh dear, I am talking to a real alcoholic’. <LOL>  This lovely woman told me when and where the meetings were after I told her I wasn’t an alcoholic, but just had a drinking problem. She suggested I should go to one of those meetings. I then rang a friend from sailing; he used to drink as much as I did and even more, and he had suddenly stopped drinking all together, I was always in awe about how on earth he could do that, and he had told me that he was going to AA.  I remember thinking at the time, ‘Yes, you might have needed it but that’s not for me, I am not that bad!’

Anyway, I ended up ringing him and telling him that I wouldn’t mind checking out one of those meetings and would he take me.  Well, you should have heard his response, he said that he had been expecting a call from me with that request, since he had been watching me – he even rescued me once when we were all at a raft up with about 10 or so big yachts average size of 30 feet plus at one New Year’s Eve I tried to go from one boat to the other stepping over the rail and missed and fell in between 2 boats and would have been dead or a very squashed human fender had he not been sober and witnessed me doing it and pulled me up straight away….Oh that was a close one…..

He took me to my first meeting, and it was an awesome experience, the people there were really friendly and ordinary people just like me…and they welcomed me and they told me to keep coming back. They all seemed to be really happy and were laughing and cracking jokes…. I thought these people would have to be on something, they are far too happy since they are not allowed to drink.  You see, I thought if I can’t ever drink again, what’s the use of going on living? What is there to live for?  I had no idea that these people were on a natural high, because of A.A. and the 12 Steps. They told me at that first meeting that I only needed to do it one day at a time …. just one day …. so that’s what I did, and that was the only way I could do this….and I still do it that way now.

I am so grateful to have found A.A.  In the beginning it was very hard, but I stayed busy and went to meetings and started baking cakes and walking the dog every day. I didn’t eat the cakes , gave them away, but it has become a hobby now :-).  One lovely lady who lived really close to me, picked me up and took me to meetings all over Sydney. She introduced me to where all the meetings were and to the members, mainly the winners, she always said, ‘stick with the winners’, so I have been and still am! We were sharing in the car going to and from the meetings and it was a great introduction for me. She also rang me every day and had a chat and got me used to sharing with her how I was feeling.

The people in AA were so helpful. There is no way I could have done this by myself! They told me to not pick up that first drink and to keep coming back and to do as many meetings as I could fit in. They made me feel so welcome and the women really nurtured me. It was really nice to find people that really seemed to care how I was doing.  I took on all the suggestions they gave me and have been sober now for over 14 years. My life hasn’t just improved … it is like I am reborn. God gave me another chance at life, and I am determined to live it to the fullest!

A lot has happened to me in my sobriety, My father died when I was one year sober and my mother 3 years later….and lots of other personal problems with my family. I have had plenty of struggles … but I know that I have my Higher Power, who I call God, and He is always there for me, all I have to do is talk to him and pray, and He gives me the strength I need to keep going.

I love living without the numbing effects of alcohol now . I practise living  life on life’s terms without the crutch of alcohol or other drugs. I even gave up the cigarettes! I am free, of all those horrible addictions by just following this simple program, go to meetings and do all the suggested things. I have learned to feel what a natural high feels like, and believe me, it feels fantastic!

I also have a lovely grand daughter from my eldest son, she is 11 years old now . The first year of her life I had her here at my house every second weekend, we did a lot of bonding that way and had I still been drinking there would have been no chance of that! And to this day she has never seen me drink an alcoholic drink.

I stay very close to my Higher Power, who I call God…and am very grateful that I have this program to live by and another chance at life. I am happy, joyous and free most of the time.

I Love Life!

Franky