"Fast forward two years later and I'm happy to report that I'm finally beginning to see light at the end of the long, lonely, lowly tunnel of alcoholism."

"From the end springs new beginnings." - Pliny the Elder

I find beginnings incredibly difficult. Endings even more so. However, as I type I find myself teetering at what feels like the ending of one stage of my life and beginning of a new one (an awful cliché but clichés are clichés for a reason I suppose, and here I am).

Two years ago, through the grace and good will of a close friend, I attended a medical doctor and asked him if maybe I had a problem with alcohol. After relating to him my alcohol intake for the previous week he expressed amazement that I was still breathing. I was advised to begin a Librium detox immediately and to come clean to my family as the detox would be dangerous and was best not undertaken without supervision. The next day I attended my first AA meeting. It was my 27th birthday.

Fast forward two years later and I'm happy to report that I'm finally beginning to see light at the end of the long, lonely, lowly tunnel of alcoholism. It hasn't been an easy two years by any stretch of the imagination, there have been many ups and downs. For me, personally, recovery has been a long road, interspersed with towns we could call Doubt, Denial and Defiance. I've stopped in all three and worn out my welcome in each one systematically.

With the ending of my drinking career comes the end of several other destructive behaviours and attitudes. In my drinking I did much damage, both to myself and to others. I feel immeasurable guilt at the hurt and harm I've caused to people and indeed I've drank on that same guilt, often reasoning that I was simply an evil person and deserved nothing more than to die in a vodka soaked haze. I could always recall the opening quote to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Thompson quoting Samuel Johnson, "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.", and I felt that I had truly made a beast of myself. I've learned that this sort of self pity benefits no one. If I have wronged, and I do personally believe that I have wronged, the best I can do is attempt to make amends to those I have wronged and to endeavour never to repeat those same loathed sins again. Sitting home alone and slowly, very slowly, poisoning myself is of no gain to anyone, if anything it simply serves as an excuse to spare me the genuine effort of repentance and restitution.

So here I stand, at the cusp of a new beginning, an era of my life where I no longer see the world through hate slitted eyes, where I constantly keep my hands in my pockets to hide the shake, where I don't start my morning with my head in a toilet bowl, where I don't consider suicide to be the only viable option, where I no longer loathe nor sneer at strangers who smile in the street, where I don't believe the cardinal rule of relations with the opposite sex is fuck or be fucked, where I can believe that there are good, honest, loving people in the world, that I needn't fight or suspect every good thing in my life, that things will ultimately be ok, a life where I can trust and be trusted again.

I lashed out a world I felt had hurt me and I made myself a very sick person.

I'm done fighting, I lost.

I Hope for the first time in a long time. I don't have to hate or fight anymore.

I hope my life improves, I hope nothing but good for others, I hope to mend bridges I have broken, I hope to be forgiven, I hope to forgive myself, I hope to of use to people, I hope to do some measure of good in my life.

I hope.

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