Sober Story: Richard

family at beach

This week's Sober Story comes from Richard, a 55-year-old living in Gloucester, England. 

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Mrs D: How long have you been in recovery?

Richard: I've been sober since July 23rd, 2003. So almost 18 years.

Mrs D: What can you tell us about the last months/years of your drinking before you gave up?

Richard: My last weeks of drinking were pretty brutal. I was drinking to try and stop the withdrawals. I went on a 2-week bender whereby I didn't eat and didn't go to work.

Mrs D: Sounds pretty brutal indeed. What was the final straw that led you to get sober?

Richard: I got sober when the alcohol stopped working and left me even more scared than ever. It wasn't stopping the withdrawals.

Mrs D: How was it for you in the early days? What was most difficult?

Richard: The most difficult thing in early sobriety was learning to live with anxiety and paranoia without the crutch of alcohol.

Mrs D: I think a lot of people find this is the case. What about your friends and family... what reaction did you get from them when you quit?

Richard: Some good support from family but basically I was on my own.

Mrs D: Have you ever relapsed?

Richard: No I have never had a relapse.

Mrs D: How long did it take for things to start to calm down for you emotionally & physically? How did you find socialising sober?

Richard: It took me 2 years to feel at ease with myself. I find socialising sober surprisingly easy especially with a couple of alcohol-free friends.

Mrs D: Was there anything surprising that you learned about yourself when you stopped drinking?

Richard: I was surprised to grieve at my parents divorce which was over 20 years before I got sober.

Mrs D: That's exactly what happened to me!! How did your life change without the drink in it?

Richard: I lived in a bedsit all alone when I drank. Today I live with my wife and two children and a nice house. I am dependable at work and so much happier.

Mrs D: That's so fantastic to hear, I'm really happy for you. Would you do anything differently given the chance to go through the process again?

Richard: I would have got sober earlier.

Mrs D: Any advice or tips for those who are just starting on this journey?

Richard: Make sobriety your number 1 priority. Do not drink whatever excuses crop up. Get outside help (I went to AA for 8 yrs). Be true to yourself and don't give in to peer pressure in this booze soaked culture.

5 Comments
  1. Megustalasuvas 2 months ago

    I found the sense of bereavement over my Mum’s death three years ago is right back with me (it’s early days for me) More clearly than when I was at her bedside. No more obliterating it with booze and If , God forbid, I lose anyone else I am determined I would not use it as an excuse to backslide. Thanks Richard and ongoing good luck to you and your family.

  2. Tom4500 3 months ago

    Great story, Richard, thanks. What stands out to me is the 18 years with no relapse, coming out of rather deep alcoholism. And more than that, the advice. I think the advice is about perfect.

  3. Anonymous 3 months ago

    Congratulations Richard! Thanks for your story.

  4. kj47 3 months ago

    Thanks for sharing Richard – I love your advice to make sobriety your number one priority and not drink regardless of what excuses come up. I love this – no matter how bad my day is, so long as I haven’t drunk alcohol that’s a win! Congratulations on 18 years sober – what an amazing achievement.

  5. LostGirl 3 months ago

    Wow that is great inspiration hearing about where you are know, so well done saying goodbye to booze and living a great life, thx for sharing

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