Vicky’s Story

This post is something a little different. When a few people had contacted me to say thank you for writing Alcohol Explained I added the ‘Personal Stories’ page to the website sand started asking people who emailed me if I could add their stories there.

Vicky is someone who contacted me quite early on (for regular readers of my blog you will have seen her comments) and I have been in regular contact with her for some time. I asked her if she would like to send me her story to be included in the ‘Personal Stories’ page, but when she sent it to me I thought it was worth circulating.

Vicky has an Instagram account, @sobersimply, that is well worth checking out.

If anyone else is interested in sharing their story please feel free to get into contact. It doesn’t need to mention Alcohol Explained, the point is to inspire rather than advertise!

California 1983 … The first time I got black out drunk was two days after my 14th birthday. I was with a boy older than me who plied me with Olde English beer and peppermint schnapps. I came to in a terrible state… and covered in vomit, room spinning, I didn’t remember anything.

I am originally from Belfast… family parties in the 70’s… smoke filled room and whiskey, fishing, shooting and bombing stories way into the wee hours. With the troubles going on around us and drinking in the house there was always the threat of violence outside and in. Drama ruled OK

I carried this theme through my teens after we arrived in America. I always drank more than the boys. I would organise the drink for every party and they were plenty and usually dangerous. I was loud, aggressive. Fought boys. Climbed onto roofs, etc etc Drinking helped me keep up this persona. I progressed quickly to selling soft drugs to college softies at parties and then hard drugs to harder people and of course I got these from even harder people to begin with… got in well over my head. I became sick, depressed, addicted to crystal (now called crystal meth) all before I turned 16.

I was encouraged to meet my estranged father back in the UK and skipped off on my adventure there where I met a boy and settled down to raise our family… our firstborn came when I was 18.

We were a good fun couple and drank and were always the last to leave any parties and so it made sense to have more at home so we didn’t have to leave them at all.

When we parted ways I took the boys to London and my drinking career took a solitary turn. I had the look of a rabbit in the head lights constantly but I kept a decent full time job going and better jobs came along and the boys got bigger and my drinking terrified me. I couldn’t stop for a day . Every few months I would do just that to prove to myself that I wasn’t an alcoholic but I just shook my way through to the next day when I could drink again and be proud of myself that I hadn’t needed it the day before… I was in my early thirties.

Time flies and I graduated to passing out on buses, in parks, on trains, any bench on my way home from the office…I’d always find my way home eventually so I didn’t look that bad! my boys would pull a cover over me and pop my spilled glass in the sink practically every night. They never shamed me but they must have been as lonely as I was.

I Sabotaged each and every relationship I embarked on. Created drama so I could storm off and drink and blame the other person sufficiently with my pride intact. I was reckless and cruel and so very very frightened. All of the time. In true form I covered all fear by being loud and aggressive. I would by then attend AA meetings in a panic, often drunk. I was desperate to stop, to cut down. All of the usual… change what I drank, where, who with, when…

I read Alan Carr’s Easyway to quit smoking and found his alcohol version. I didn’t realise that books like this existed. Craig Beck, Wine O’clock, Soberistas, I totally devoured them and felt so good each time I quit for a week or so. I had this taste of what life could be like. Then I’d try and moderate again and my heart would sink and I’d drink the drink… but once you’ve tasted freedom it doesn’t leave you.

Last year I was fortunate enough to become ill with just an ear infection… god only knows how I have stayed physically well. At this point I was living abroad with my partner who I tried to behave well with and hide my ‘problem’ from but still managed to be very hard to live with I’m sure.

I found William Porter’s book by googling ‘alcohol’. When I saw the title ‘Alcohol Explained’ I felt this rush of excitement and a huge feeling of security… a feeling I don’t believe I’ve ever had. It was that strong. Someone was going to explain it to me! I figured that if I knew what the hell was going on I might be able to figure out how to stop it from happening. Hopefully this Mr Porter could shine some light on all of this.

I read it in two days and then again… and again and quit drinking and read ‘this naked mind’ and William’s book again… I soaked myself in his facts and it all clicked … my body would behave like this because of that. Always seeking homeostasis. William gave me answers to questions I hadn’t realised I was asking.

I tried a couple of times over the following few months to moderate but quickly realised the dangerous road I was trekking back down… that I’d need to carry on sober and make a new little bumpy road to sanity in my tender brain. I’ve been sober now for 7 solid months and every day is a total revelation and a blessing. My life is full now and not with drama but with peace and fun and getting to know who I actually am. Thank you William Porter. You saved my life.

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29 Responses

  1. Such a powerful story written with such courage.
    You’re walking the walk and talking the talk.
    Well done YOU! ?❤️❤️

  2. Vicky that is a truly inspiring story and may you carry on your life of freedom. Don’t let the demons darken your courage. All those experiences have made you who you are and you will always be someone who will help others and never ever judge. Things happen for a reason, of that I am certain, and your story will help others to follow a similar path. God bless you. Jane X

    1. Thank you, Jane. I really hope to move forward indeed by releasing this and not letting anything hold me back. It took months to move this from my heart to paper and then … relax.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story… I understand what you mean about freedom and having a full life without drama… my life still has drama because my family is very dramatic but at least I’m not the one creating drama and reacting in a dramatic way to other people’s behaviour anymore! It’s liberating! ??

    1. Thanks Amy. Yes I hear you and it’s the triggers we have to bolster ourselves up against! Our new little roads will get easier to find and our new reactions and options without alcohol really are liberating and empowering!

  4. Well done, Vicky! Thank you for sharing. I just checked my app and I am 620 days AF and loving life. The “I miss drinking” twinges get less frequent and ever weaker with time. I, too, was educated & inspired by William Porter and Annie Grace. Another recovery book that I absolutely loved was The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley. Also, consider joining the closed FB group Grateful Sobriety. Wonderful for support & inspiration on a daily basis. You go, Girl!

  5. This is amazing. Well done, Vicky! The book is an absolute revelation and has probably helped so many more people than William will ever know. Keep going, Vicky! You’re an inspiration.

  6. Thankyou for sharing your story . I read Annie Graces book first and did quite a bit of stopping the drink then starting again . Then I came across Williams book and that was the game changer for me.
    Well done on your sober journey
    And thankyou William for saving my life too

  7. Fantastic story! Being sober is its’s own reward, I have found after a similar length of time abstaining. Long may it continue. X

  8. One word caught my attention: homeostasis. It’s something I crave. I only have on days I don’t drink. I want it everyday. You’re very inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. It really helps reinforce why we chose the sober path that is a gift that can be taken for granted if not reminded from time to time how precious it is. I’ve also told William Porter he saved my life. (I am now 53) There really is no other book out there like his. They may come close but none of them really ‘GOT ME’ the way his did. Thanks again my sober sister. Well done! ?

  10. Wonderful story! I reread Porters book weekly. Often chapters each day, just before sleep. I think this repetition get into the subconscious. I’m still not 100% there, as I will still Have 2 beers or 2 wines for that ‘light buzz’ . Truly never more than 2 now, but this is really moderation, and I’d like to get this one last piece out of my life. I’ll read another few chapters today! Eventually I’ll get this last piece done. Thank you for the wonderful story and thank you Mr Porter for the Explanation. It’s getting deeper into my head

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