Sober Story: Richard

This week’s Sober Story comes from Richard, a 51-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.

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 partner, we are getting married. I have two  young 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.

12 Comments
  1. khaliD SaliH 2 years ago

    This is amazing stories..
    im starting mine today.
    the issue is that i dont a clue how to so it
    no AA here in my country in Africa.
    any ideas

  2. Incharge 3 years ago

    Inspiring. I am scared to go to AA. I feel embarrassed

  3. Anonymous 3 years ago

    The last few months have being very bad rushing from work to get to the pub, lying to my wife even though she can smell the drink off me. I gave up for 2 weeks before Xmas and felt great but was convinced to have one drink at a work do and have spiralled out of control since. It’s like as if the drink is telling me you won’t do that again. Help my life can’t go on like this,

    • Sister#6 3 years ago

      Try one more time. and if that doesn’t work, try one more time after that. And so on. You CAN do this. Just stay connected to us, here, we can help.

  4. Anonymous 3 years ago

    What a fantastic success story

  5. Ann 3 years ago

    I too am afraid of the withdrawal feelings. The anxious feeling is unbearable. What do you think about taking benzodiazepines to decrease the anxiety in the beginning? Ann

  6. Richard Scantlebury 3 years ago

    Hope I can help someone .it’s tough in the beginning but stick at it because it is so worth it

  7. Richard Scantlebury 3 years ago

    Thank you

  8. janabel 3 years ago

    This made me smile. Really nice that you have found happiness and things are good. Thanks for sharing Richard 🙂

  9. Gettingthere 3 years ago

    That’s great advice, Richard. Thank you for sharing your story. 🙂

  10. Flourishing 3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing Richard. It is always helpful to read others’ stories.

  11. JM 3 years ago

    Thanks Richard! Good to know that in time I’ll also be more at ease. What a great, inspiring story. : )

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