The National Health Service, the UK’s publically funded healthcare system, estimates that around 9% of men in the UK and 4% of UK women show signs of alcohol dependence (source). These kinds of statistics - coupled with the rise in youth drinking and binge drinking amongst all age ranges - explains why there is for a great emphasis on promoting alcohol awareness in the UK at the moment. In fact, it’s a topic that has been given increasing prominence globally. That’s why it is always helpful to hear and read about people’s personal recovery stories to help raise awareness and motivate others.
Half measures avail us nothing: Two years sober
For many, addiction awareness comes all too late, which can leave people to be faced with the spiral of alcohol addiction and the uphill struggle of rehabilitation that follows. This was the case with Barry, who was a patient at the Priory Hospital in Glasgow. Barry is now a recovering alcoholic and like many in his situation, he is looking to help and educate people about addiction in order to spread the importance of fully committing to abstinence.
In his video interview with the Priory Group, Barry talks honestly about his addiction problems and the challenges he has faced. Barry particularly found strength in the fact that the therapists around him had been fellow alcoholics and addicts and for him, this was the foundation of a two way, empathy based conversation that he had previously struggled to achieve with others. It’s clear that this may have been the last chance of recovery for Barry and its inspiring how he dived in with both feet with this particular recovery program. The video of Barry’s recovery story can be found here
Addiction could happen to anyone
Gia Marie Barbera is a writer, producer and presenter and someone who knows about the addiction and recovery world all too well. Gia has written a very interesting article on how alcoholism and addiction become like a job for some addicts, a job “with a lunatic of a boss screaming at them from inside of their own mind, without a single moment off.” Her article and writing style really portray the psychological struggle that addiction forces on people, and she also discusses how recovery for some people is a spiritual and metaphysical journey too. Gia’s realism and her honest perspective are very moving as she explains that “stigma, shame and disgust will not solve the problem of addiction and alcoholism, neither will choosing to ignore it.”
True Story: I’m an alcoholic
This lifestyle blog went down a different route with this article and chose to interview Rachel about her addiction to alcohol. Rachel was used to drinking being a normal part of celebrations, and she carried this thought process to college with her. Unfortunately when she took to drinking regularly in the evenings and lunchtimes following her graduation, which is when she noticed her drinking was no longer a want but was fast becoming a need.
This is a very personal interview from blog host Sarah Von Bargen and she elicits some very open and honest responses from her interviewee. Rachel explains that she is now 10 months sober and discusses her methods of coping with the addiction: “I wake up feeling refreshed and alert (not hungover) and even this small gift makes sobriety worth it”. The article also provides some helpful advice on recovery and overcoming the stigmatism that alcoholism has in society.