A controlled recovery doesn’t work – The diary of an addict

After struggling with substance abuse for the best part of 15 years, I tried various ways of trying to stop my drinking. Many failed attempts to begin with but I appeared to have made a significant break-through in 2012.

Sobriety was a scary feeling. All these questions kept clouding my mind – How would I cope with stress and worry? Would people find me boring? Would I be able to go out with friends and work colleagues?

All the things I had been use to doing, involved drink and I wasn’t sure I was mentally strong enough to deal with every day life without it.

Fast forward three years and I managed to stay sober without a single relapse. Sounds pretty amazing right?

Things soon turned sour, when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, I was under immense pressure to support and look after her, whilst trying to maintain my sobriety. I soon crumbled and gave in to the temptation.

From then my drinking continued to spiral and became a concern for myself and all involved in my life.

It was from 2017, that I started experiencing constant black-outs.

No recollection of how I got home, who I was with etc.

Come 2018,I was barred from pubs because I couldn’t control my anger, the more I drank, the more angrier I felt.

So I again took it upon myself to handle the issue head-on and embarked on yet another attempt at the sober life.

I lasted five months

Fast forward to 2020,I decided to try a controlled recovery.

Former addicts said it wouldn’t last and it doesn’t work. But I wanted to change the narrative. I was determined to show people that it can be successful, as long as you maintain that control and are mindful of how much you are consuming.

9 months on a controlled recovery and admittedly, I’m not ashamed to say it doesn’t work. Because it really doesn’t work. Its a false pretence that you are sub-consciously telling yourself that you are in control because you stuck to your weekly in-take. But then it can be very different the following week. You become so convinced that you are managing it, that you are unaware that you’ve gone over your limit and without realising, you are drinking more and more.

Every individual has to try what works for them. I have no regrets of giving a controlled recovery a try but it really doesn’t work for me.

You may feel like you are normal because you can enjoy a drink whilst feeling in-control but for an addict, it is dangerous and nine time’s out of ten, you end up where you were before.

It has now made me realise that I was becoming a little bit reliant on it again. The difference this time, my mindset is a little stronger and that enabled me to acknowledge it before it got out of hand.

Words: Sonia Randev
Twitter: @SlickSportAgent

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