(Johannesburg, South Africa)
My name is Goodman and I would like to share my story.
I started drinking at school with friends at the age of 18. At first, it was fun and had no effects on my attitude or my actions. As time went on I started drinking on weekends and thought there was no problem. I have been drinking almost every weekend since then with friends. I am now 40 years old and alcohol started having weird effects on me: fights with my wife, fights with the friends I drank with, they started seeing me as an enemy, black outs but with my eyes open, not remembering where I had been and what I had done, losing my clothes, jackets, jerseys and caps wherever I went and sometimes I would mess myself on the way home.
It was getting worse, aggressiveness to most people, talking anyway I liked and not respecting people. Alcohol really turned me into a lunatic and when I am sober I don’t believe the things they tell me I did when I was drunk. Awful things that I wouldn’t do when sober, embarrassing things. I felt like opening a hole in the ground and hiding there forever. I would do or say embarrassing things even to my good neighbors. Then I would have a problem going to work in the mornings and coming back home because I didn’t want them to see me. I would wait somewhere outside for night to fall, and then I would sneak into my house. I would tell my kids to tell anyone that came to see me that I was not at home and would hide in my bedroom until the visitor left. I was a karate champion at one stage in my life and when I drink alcohol, especially whiskey, I would feel a lot of strength in my body and wanted a fight ..I would also walk at night long distances drunk and most of the time didn’t even know how I got home…and South Africa is full of murderers walking around at night, honestly, I don’t know how I survived.
I started realizing that I have a problem but couldn’t quit drinking on weekends. I didn’t know what else I would do to replace the drinking. It continued but eventually, I found something else to do. I also figured that my friends were also part of my drinking problem and I decided not to see them on weekends. I wouldn’t see them for a month or 2, but eventually went to them again because of boredom. Then it would all happen again, all the troubles, all the fights, even my wife told me that I was an animal when I’m drunk. I have also noticed that the first sip of alcohol changes me inside. I cannot explain the change but I become someone else on the very first sip.
I have been seeking a way out. I prayed many times to God to help me and today a guy told me that he will take me to the Alcoholics Anonymous group meeting. I am excited and looking forward to going. I will let you know how it goes. May God help us all, I pray that this is it, this is my answer.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.