Incomplete and Lonely


A newcomer remembers the first and last drunk before coming to A.A.  

I always felt incomplete and lonely. I had that hole deep inside of me and I could never really fully connect with anyone until I discovered alcohol.

I started drinking when I was 18. I went to Paris where I walked around for a day, buying alcohol, eating, and then staying in the hostel drinking. I remember the first time I got drunk in Paris; it was the first time I really felt whole. The next day I got a small bottle of rum, which I didn’t really like, but finished it anyway. I tried to get up the stairs but stumbled and fell. Somehow I didn’t hurt myself, but that was the first time I felt ashamed of my drinking. While I was laying in that stairwell, I thought of a whisky sauce reduction I had tried. Maybe I would like that better. That evening, still not drunk at that point, I went to the store and got a bottle. When I was finally drunk, that’s when the idea of going on a pub crawl the next day hit me. I booked the ticket and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up and had breakfast. Then, as soon as I got back to the hostel, I proceeded to drink whisky and cokes for the rest of the day in preparation for the pub crawl. I missed the initial gathering so I met up with them at the second pub. On my way there, I stopped at a mini mart to get a big can of beer. I had a shot and pint with them at the bar and did the same again at the third stop.

After that, we went to a club and I thought to myself: mabye I should slow down and just have a beer.

So I did just that, and the woman running the crawl came up to me to tell me to stop drinking. I could barely understand her I was so drunk. But somehow she got through to me, so I put down the beer and ordered a glass of water. I eventually got escorted out of the club and stumbled back toward the hostel. At some point, I remember falling down in the street and feeling embarrassed by my actions. The next morning, I woke up to find I had lost my wallet yet I was still able to make it to the airport with a train ticket a friendly lady had given me.

The following year I returned to Paris. Remembering how I had gotten drunk because of the spirits, I decided to stick to just beer this time. But then my first night out I had a vodka orange. I drank beer for the next few days, but soon I was back on the cocktails. Surely I had learned how to drink properly by now.

I returned home to Iceland and a couple of months went by before I bought a bottle of whisky and finished it off, convincing myself my friend had helped me out.

This kept repeating itself. Finally, by the time I turned 20 and was old enough to buy liquor in my home country, I pretty much just stayed in my room and drank.

One evening I drank a whole bottle of rum and blacked out. That was the first time I was truly scared by my drinking. I would often have brown outs, but they were never that shocking. I thought it was fine. On the rare occassions I drank with my friend, I would harrass him and say inappropriate things to him.

I reached the point of drinking half a liter of whisky mixed with soda every day and showing up drunk for work.

One day, my grandma burst into because of my drinking. I hugged her but felt nothing except for a tiny bit of guilt. I had numbed myself to everything. I hated myself and wanted to die because of my drinking, but I couldn’t imagine a future without alcohol. My grandpa, who is in A.A., offered to take me to a meeting. I accepted because usually when he was “asking”, he was really telling me. Plus, I was curious because my grandpa is really happy, and I didn’t have any hope left. After the meeting, we got home, and I told him that I don’t need to be in A.A., that I’m going to sober up on my own. He said O.K. but made me promise that if I drank again, I’d go to A.A.

I lasted about three months. After my final six day spree, I went to my second A.A. meeting just as I had promised. I couldn’t really listen because of how I felt. My sobriety date is 30 August 2019. I didn’t do anything for my first few meetings, yet was surprised that I didn’t feel any better. I went to work sober, felt terrible, and wanted nothing more than to drink. I somehow got through my shift, went home, and listened to an A.A. speaker tape.

The speaker was talking about alcoholic loneliness and never being able to live life sober. His was the first story I related to. He ended by thanking A.A. for his life and saying he could never repay A.A. for what it had done for him. I burst into tears and felt a sudden state of calm, a feeling that everything was going to be okay. I decided to get a sponsor and start working the steps. I feel HAPPY which amazes me to this day. I am grateful for each and every day. Thank you for my new life.

Peter B.