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Finding Peace of Mind As An Alcoholic

Updated on October 11, 2013

I Do Understand

Yes, this writer has been there, done that, and yes, written a book about it. I understand all too well the disease of alcoholism. I lost two marriages, a business, and two jobs because of my inability to put the plug in the jug, so when I write about this subject you can bet I’ve been around that particular block a few times.

I have been to the dark place. As the pioneers used to say as they walked the Oregon Trail, I have seen the elephant and he trampled by ass. I am as strong-willed as you will ever see, as focused a man as you could ever hope to meet, and I met a foe I could not control and certainly could not defeat.

I should be dead! It certainly isn’t for lack of trying because I gave it my best shot. In 2006 the doctors couldn’t believe I was still breathing with the extremely low blood pressure I had after being admitted to the hospital.

So yes, I do understand!

I understand about the heartache caused to loved ones. I understand about the self-loathing and the complete sense of hopelessness. I understand about the confusion and fear, hatred and disgust, and I understand about the sincere wish that I could just die and be done with it.

And yet I am here today an incredibly happy man, fulfilled beyond my wildest hopes and in love with life.

How is that possible?

It is possible because somewhere inside of me there was a slight flicker of light; call it a light of hope if you will, but it was real and I held onto it with every fiber of my weakening being. Every single time the darkness threatened to completely overcome me, that small light shone and I grabbed it as a drowning man grabs a life-preserver.

It is possible because finally, after three decades of fighting a fight I was destined to lose, I was willing to go to any lengths to find a solution.

Are you ready to do the same, or would you like to suffer some more?

Four days before the end of my drinking career in 2006.
Four days before the end of my drinking career in 2006. | Source

There is a solution! A moment with Bill!

There Are Options

“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one... characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.” Henry David Thoreau

Are you ready to tramp the last mile? Are you ready to fight to the finish? Are you ready to do whatever is necessary to live a life alcohol-free? If not, you might as well head to the liquor store right now and have another round of misery, because being free of this demon requires complete and total willingness.

Yes, that is harsh, but it is only harsh from the viewpoint of someone not addicted. Those of us who have fought this fight know that it is a life and death matter, and quite frankly I’m tired of watching friends die from this disease. I would rather be blunt in this article than watch another death and wish I had said more.

There are options! You do not have to live this way another minute. There is help if you should desire it.

Yes, I have known people who have quit on their own without the aid of treatment. They are rare but it is possible. I, personally, am a product of Alcoholics Anonymous, but I also know people who have found relief through hypnosis and other treatment techniques, so there are obviously options.

However, no matter which way you choose, one thing cannot be debated: without a willingness to change, and a willingness to go to any lengths, you will fail, if not next week then a year from now, or two, but you will fail!

A good life can await you
A good life can await you | Source

Go to Any Lengths

Oh, the stories I could tell. I have been around the halls of AA for over twenty years now, and I have heard every excuse in the book. “Well, you would drink too if you had my problems.” “I was trying to stop and then some friends came over and drank while we watched the game, and well, I just started again.” “My wife made me so damn mad that I just went to the tavern without really thinking and got drunk again.”

What do these all have in common? They are all weak attempts to make excuses, when in fact there was no willingness to stop drinking. Nobody forces you to drink! This is not some case of a Medieval torture where someone is pouring alcohol down your throat. You are not being kidnapped and force-fed alcohol until someone pays the ransom. You have made a conscious decision to once again drink, despite knowing that the results will once again be disastrous.

And why have you once again chosen that route of insanity? Quite simply because drinking is what alcoholics do, especially when life becomes hard, or people treat us poorly, or a myriad of other reasons. We drink! This behavior is so hard-wired into our brain that there is hardly any thought process involved…..trouble = drinking to erase trouble!

I have very little patience with excuses because to my ears an excuse is a statement that a person wasn’t really serious about quitting.

Going to any lengths means exactly that; it does not mean being serious until the going gets tough.

Again, I want to make it clear that this has nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with willingness. Two different animals completely.

I did not plan on being an alcoholic when I was twelve
I did not plan on being an alcoholic when I was twelve | Source

Is someone in your family an alcoholic?

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So What Do You Have to Do?

There is an AA book called “The Twelve by Twelve,” and at the end of the first chapter there is a line that I will paraphrase now, and this line perfectly reflects how I was when I decided to stop drinking six years ago. It speaks of alcoholics reaching a bottom, being beaten down so low that they enter AA….with a willingness to listen as only the dying can have.

When I reached that point, where I was willing to listen as only the dying will listen, then I was ready to say goodbye to alcohol. I had reached the point where I had given up all desire to try and control my life. I had reached the point where I surrendered and admitted defeat.

I had spent almost thirty years trying to manipulate alcohol so that I could live in harmony with it; in the process I lost everything because alcohol cannot be manipulated if you are an alcoholic. An alcoholic does not strike a bargain with alcohol; this is not some mutually beneficial arrangement where both sides can live in harmony. If you are an alcoholic you simply surrender and give up your right to drink.

WILLINGNESS

There is relief! There is happiness! There is life without alcohol! However, you have to want it badly enough to change your life. You drank yourself into this hole; now dig yourself out. There is help out there if you want it. There is a solution if you want it. There is a whole new life out there if you want it.

But you have to be willing!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      billybuc Your candor is important. For those who are grappling with how to get out of the bottle they are in, they need to know that someone who has been to hell and back is addressing them.

      I so understand what you are saying....I had a short affair with alcohol and found that it quickly tried to become my lifetime lover. So stumbling around in the darkness, I found a way out. This was many years ago and I honestly do not recall how I got that monkey off my back.

      But sadly some years later I became addicted to prescription drugs and it was almost the death of me. That affair went on more about 16 years and when my life was totally out of control I finally found a way back home. I wrote about it in the hub on migraines which I think I may have shut down but may rework some day and repost.

      I am so glad to know you found your way back home too. Look at the gifts you are sharing with us!!!!

      So this was a somewhat wordy way to say...those of us who has walked the road to hell...thank you for sharing with us so candidly your walk. Your Friend, ps

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I have known a few alcoholics in the course of my life. Two of them were people I would consider pretty close to me (one was my ex that I have written about on here) and the other was my cousin (who did indeed drink himself to death). You are very much right about being willing to to go to any lengths to regain your life if you are indeed an alcoholic. My ex is I believe is now married with kids, but not really sure if he ever did completely conquer his demons (because we no longer speak) and my cousin choose the road where there simply was no coming back. He died all by himself and had been living with my aunt who was visiting her other son during the holiday season. He was found by her when she came back from the short trip and had been gone for a few days. Needless to say the sight was not a pretty one. In the end, he died the way he lived, but still so sad and do hope that for others out there they road will lead to recovery and not to this grim end. Thank you for always being so candid and sharing your life and journey with us. Have of course voted, shared and tweeted too!!

    • purpleenergy profile image

      krisshan kant sundriyal 4 years ago from Ghaziabad

      Linda Goodman writes about in Star Signs, the metaphysical ways to get rid of alcoholism.Get hold of a purple energy plates and a picture of the alcoholic is required. It works

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, thank you my dear, for sharing your story. There is no shame in addiction; there is, however, great harm in hiding the truth. So many can be helped if addicts and alcoholics would share their story. I have received countless emails from others asking for help, and it was because they had read my articles.....that is heartwarming and gives me hope.

      I appreciate you my friend....thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I am sorry for your loss, and for the fact that you had to live with an alcoholic. The damage that we do to lives is unbelievable, very much like a human tornado, destroying everything in our path.

      Thank you for sharing your story; it is so important that people be honest and candid about this....a person is only as sick as their secrets.

      You are a joy my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Purpleenergy, a lot of things work, but not until a person is willing. Thanks for your comment.

    • poojasd7 profile image

      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      Every person goes through some negative pattern in life, be it tangible entity or intangible one. You have always been such a torch of hope that any person who goes through such deadlock kind of situations in life, or has gone through it, will definitely consider you as a role model. You are an epitome of optimism.

      Hats off to you,Bill! As usual, enjoyed this writing of yours!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Well Billy, I guess the world is prone to succumb to drinking if we tell them that by drinking all the pain will go away. Companies and beer industry want to keep the business going. Media is there to help. Labor day is not really labor day without a quenching can of beer. I congratulate Bev. for saving your life and make you shine. Thanks for the insightful hub and glad to have you in HP. Thank you Sir.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Bill, thanks for your frank sharing...we all have choices to make in life, and I'm glad you've made the right one. Talking about it frankly is not easy and I really applaud you. You're a great example of being able to face your demons. Thanks so much!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, it's probably surprising there aren't more alcoholics, as prominent as alcohol is in society. However, I have nothing against alcohol, nor do I look down on those who drink. I just know that I can't, just as a person with a peanut allergy cannot have peanuts.

      Thank you as always my friend; have a great Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, thank you my young friend! Wishing you peace and happiness, today and forever!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, I found you can't outrun demons; the only way to survive is to face them head on....and not alone! Thank you my dear!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Life to me is all about commitment-family, friends, sticking on a diet, fulfilling tasks and being sober. So to me when you made the commitment you conquered at least 75% of the battle. I knwo they say you have to reach rockbottom. Do people always know when that is? Thanks for sharing the painful truth...not easy to bear your heart and soul.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I'm not sure I've ever had someone ask that question.....a true bottom is when you decide you have suffered enough and finally do something about it.....for me, that was six years ago. And bearing my heart and soul will never be as painful as drinking.

      Thank you!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill....oh yes, WAY UP and all but "funny." Not a single speck of funny, here. In fact, this may be the most powerful of all your hubs on this disease (although ALL are great)......This has a certain flair of POW!...GET REAL, to it!

      Interesting, the photo was taken 4 days prior to your life-makeover.....do I detect the blurry eyes and silly grin of "one too many libations?" This just appears to be a very different facial expression than any of your others.....I could be seeing things, too.

      Get this hub to Dr. Drew, any way you can. We could possibly see your mug on his show one day!! Don't argue with me, just do it.

    • professionalhub profile image

      professionalhub 4 years ago from Pakistan

      Sir,you are absolutely right,there is a will,there is a way.It is very difficult to leave old habits;more older they become ,more difficult to get rid of them.I am happy to know that you were very determined to leave the drinking habit,and you did it .Basically our future is in our hands.If we change our thoughts ,we can change our life.Great Hub

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, that's why I chose that photo....I was indeed drunk for that picture....and it's a great reminder of how out of control my life can be when alcohol is in the mix. Thank you my friend....I hate to ask this, but who is Dr. Drew?

      Have a great Sunday buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Professionalhub, thank you and yes, our future is in our hands, but it requires a complete change of thinking patterns and a willingness to change. I appreciate you dropping by.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Another gem Billy and your honsty is so touching and heart tugging.

      I say 'Up up and away' to you my wonderful friend and keep them coming and I will carry on reading!!

      Eddy

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago from United States

      Billy...You woke up to the understanding that the alcohol was in control, not you. You had the ability to "want" to take back control of your life...and you succeeded! Taking control means recognition and acknowledgment of the pain you caused yourself but also others close to you. The most painful thing for me was my father, who finally once I was an adult, quit drinking. However, he passed away never having once apologized or even admitting recognition of the hurt, pain and devestation he caused me as a child. It takes a brave person to admit to things one would rather just forget about. Kudos to you Bill, and may the rest of your life offer you happiness and peace!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy; honesty is the only way for me to live now my friend; I can't hide from the past and expect freedom in the future.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katheryn, thank you my friend; it's been a long journey but one I needed to take in order to find happiness and peace. I am sorry about your father; an all-too often tale I'm afraid. It is not easy for many alcoholics and addicts to face the damage of their past, but it is necessary in order to find happiness. I appreciate your kindness more than you could know.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great work, Billy! My father was an alcoholic. I tried drinking when I was old enough, but never developed a real interest in it. I didn't like the taste.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Luckily, this is one of the paths I have not traveled. One night, many years ago in the Navy, I got completely wasted. Got back to the ship and immediately got sick. As I was there on my knees, I suddenly wondered, "Why am I going out and spending my money so that I can come back here and do this?" That was the end of it. My last time intoxicated was at my bachelor party 32 years ago. I haven't missed it once. This is a great hub for those with a problem. Hopefully, you can provide a road sign that they'll follow to a better life! Excellent job, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Avian, I can remember the early days when I didn't like the taste of it too.....but boy oh boy, did I ever get over that little hang-up. LOL Thank you for the visit and comment my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, how nice it would have been if I had been so wise many years ago. Thank you my friend; hopefully others can learn from my journey.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      I am saving your quote on here Billy

      "I can't hide from the past and expect freedom in the future."

      Thanks my dear friend.

      Eddy.

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago from United States

      Bill..I have to add, you're so right. It must be done in order to find happiness. My father died without ever having one single day of happiness or even inner peace. I hope that your message reaches someone out there who will find the strength and courage to take back their lives; be it alcohol, drugs or any other addiction. Peace.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, how you have enriched my life! Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katheryn, I have had wonderful feedback on my earlier hubs about alcoholism! People reaching out for help, support....it has been very rewarding and I am grateful. Thank you my dear friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      It all comes down to having to be willing to eliminate the poison. Yes, you may admit you're an alcholic, and for many that's all they need. I hear that's the first step. But calling yourself and alcoholic doesn't make it go away.

      Have you looked at this picture versus the others you post of yourself? Do you see how bloated your face was? How droopy your eyes were? Too many alcoholics hide behind the admission and think that's all it takes. Call a spade a spade, carry on, and as long as everyone else knows you know you have a problem, it's ok to have the problem.

      You have tremendous strength, Bill. I don't think there's anything harder in the world than an addict admitting he's an addict, then ERADICATING the addiction!

      I think this is the most meaningful/hit home hub you've posted regarding alcoholism.

      To those reading: the word alcoholic can be interchanged with the word addict. Admit the similarity and take heed!

    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 4 years ago

      Great points! Thanks for sharing your experience with others. I'm sure many who read this will relate to what you have written. Good job!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, that's exactly why I posted this picture. The signs of alcoholism are all over that face, and it is a beautiful reminder for me of what lies ahead if I don't keep walking the path I have chosen.

      I'm not the only one with strength my friend; you have my admiration as well.

      Thank you my dear; life is good for this alcoholic and will remain so as long as I remember what it took to reach this point on the journey.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kathleen! I hope that you are right about that.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      BILL....Is it obvious I zoned in on your photo and felt I knew what I saw was probably "tipsiness" ...because I looked at that sort of smug smile until I had no choice but to show it the door?.....Your "eyes" gave it away actually.

      "WHO is Dr. Drew'" you ask me? Seriously? I would think the man, a hero of yours. Dr. Drew Pinski. Young, grey-haired, glasses....Dr./Guru, you can read about,( including books authored by him) and also catch on the tube (HLN weeknights...check your local listings)....He also had (maybe still does) the show "Celebrity Re-Hab," which I didn't especially care for. But I do admire Dr. Drew. He is a specialist in addictions and basically devotes his expertise and entire practice to working with addicts. I know you would find him very good, bill and think you would enjoy his show.....His new Show is not always on addicts and addictions. He has a variety of topics. Give him a peek....whatever else you do, send in this hub!!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, the reason these hubs are so important to me is not because I overcame my drug addiction (which I did!), but because I drink. I think in your heart you've suspected that. I'm looking for another push. I'm not quite there myself. In laying my soul out to you, I've just laid my soul out to those who I'd rather not. But that's all part of it, right?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well Sha, I have suspected, but I chose not to mention anything....that was for you to do. And yes, laying our souls out there is a huge step. I love you as a person, Sha, and understand it all....and any old time you need a nudge or major push you know where to find one.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      You are such an inspiration. With courage and strength you have faced demons ten fold. This is such a personal and exceptional piece of writing, to take that first step all those years ago was truly a life changing decision. Thank you Bill for crossing that line. You ROCK!

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      This is a helpful hub for those who really are willing to go to any lengths. There is a solution!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, thank you my friend. It was either take that first step or die....and that didn't seem like fun to me. :) I greatly appreciate your support and friendship; people like you give me strength.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deborah-Diane, there is, indeed, a solution! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, those are the eyes of a dead man walking; I was two days from heading to the emergency room and the first steps towards freedom.

      I will check out Dr. Drew online; don't have a television....and I will send this hub! I always listen to people I respect.

      bill

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      So glad you will check into Dr. Drew.......I can understand not being familiar with him, if you you don't have a TV......but you'll gather more than enough online....! I hope you are impressed after my praises of him. He's a very sincere and focused man.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, I so appreciate your transparency and the things that you shared here. I know that someone who reads your Hub will decide that they have run out of excuses and do whatever it takes.

      I'm so happy for you!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      It seems that being human entails weakness. This is not an excuse, but an attempt to find a reason why some succumb to alcohol, or drugs, or cutting or obsessions with food, or sexual addiction. What starts as a curiosity, something we think we can control, ends up all consumingly destructive. It is the nature of any addiction. I've heard excuses that run the gamut from relaxing to coping to a reward. I know someone who feels if he's been "good", worked hard, done what was asked, why should he deny himself? Why some are predisposed to and must struggle with a particular addiction is too complicated for me to figure out. What I do know is that no matter how much one loves an addict, no matter how many reasons for quitting, no matter how devastating it is to the addicted's life, only the addict can decide and remain committed to stop. There is no magic pill. There is always withdrawal and pain in quitting. Your article, Bill, having been there, is positive, strong and a shining example that it can be done.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, your recommendation is good enough for me; it will be refreshing to see a sincere and focused media personality. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Debbie! I hope what you say is true, that this will help someone see the truth.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, thank you my dear! I have heard every excuse known to man, and used many of them myself....but in the end, all they are.....are excuses! If you don't want it bad enough then just shut up and keep using. I have no patience with excuse makers, not when I've seen what willingness entails and what it can accomplish.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hi Bill, after having met you yesterday (not to mention being a long-time fan of you and your writing), I can tell that this hub is 100% from the heart. There is a great deal of addiction and pain in my family (similar to and in some cases identical, to that of an alcoholic). Perhaps one day I will open up in hubs, too. Whether you are the addict, or a close loved one suffering, it is very painful.

      I am aware of the "excuses" and rationalization of both an addictive disease and one that is entrenched in denial.

      I truly believe that your writing has and will influence many people in a positive way! All the best, Steph

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      You are right, the willingness factor should be there in a person to quit smoking or else nothing will help quit smoking. Quitting smoking is the best thing to do, smoking is like killing yourself slowly on a day to day basis. Sad that some people do not think about this before they smoke. Great hub.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      The first 2 victims of my current illness: alcohol and smoking. Both now make me vomit within 15 seconds. Now if I were a doctor, I'd wonder why.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      As I type this I'm in the middle of an instant message chat with my cousin. What are we talking about? Oh just all the alcoholism and drug abuse in our family and all the destruction it's caused. I'm going to print our your article and mail it to them. Yup... maybe you can be an inspiration to them. Voted up and shared, including the old fashioned way. Thank you Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, that's the hope! Writing about this helps me, but more importantly I hope that it helps someone else out there who desperately needs it.

      Thank you my friend, for the kind words and the friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, it is sad, but there is a solution. It is so important to never give up hope.

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, that is interesting....I'd love to know why myself.

      Thank you friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sasha! My writings on this subject have helped some people already and I am so grateful for that. Thank you for the share and I hope it helps your relatives.

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      Karen 4 years ago from The Garden of Eugene (Oregon)

      Wanting to change is the hardest step with any addiction. I wish I could know how to help someone else who is suffering. It seems like a lot of failed attempts come from "wanting" to change for someone else though. I think it's when you want it for yourself that all of the treatments or prayers or whatever begin to work.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Writing, your words are true....wishing for someone else is a nice pastime but accomplishes nothing. Addicts must want it bad enough to take action.

      Thank you!

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Alcoholism affects the entire family. My father was one before I was born and I have heard the stories of what my mother and siblings had to endure because of his addiction. Thank God he did finally see the harm he was causing himself and others. Your sharing is touching and soothing to hear.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      Bill, it is truly amazing to see how strong you are to share this with everyone and to help others build the will to fight addictions. I am with Dianna on this: my grandfather used to be an alcoholic and so did my grandmother and now I don't know much of my extended family because of their actions and addictions in the past. We are still picking up the pieces of our family history; however, there is a positive in all this: all of us know now not to get so involved with addictions. Your words truly speak to me, Bill. Thank you for sharing this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, the true miracle for me is that I no longer have to fight life or my addiction....I can just live. :) Thank you once again!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith, nobody can hurt me as much as I hurt myself. Strong? Just comfortable with who I am and not caring if people don't approve of the person I once was. There is great freedom in that my friend. :) Thank you Keith!

    • viewfinders profile image

      viewfinders 4 years ago from God's own country(kerala)

      great thing billy and appreciating for sharing your story with all of us.its an encouraging hub to many of the drinkers who are trying to stop this habit of addiction....

      voted up and sharing.

      waiting for more hubs......

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      You can do everything as long as you have this determination and willingness, as you have generously explained quitting alcoholism. What a great hub sir Bill. It will encourage at least one person out there to work harder and give more determination to stop. thanks for the shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Viewfinders, thank you! If you know of someone who is an alcoholic, I have at least ten hubs on this subject. I hope they help!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Spy, it is always so nice to have you visit. Thank you and I hope you are correct, that someone finds strength through this hub.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, don't you think that the key to staying sober lies in the community of others who have been there, done that? I think this is why AA and other groups are so successful. We weren't meant to live alone or be completely self-sufficient which is why so many alcoholics find it impossible to get sober and stay sober without the help of friends.

      I'm interested to know how much of your sobriety came from having others to surround you and encourage you. Would you care to share?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Debbie, there is no doubt that one needs a community. Did you think I was saying otherwise in this hub? Not at all...I wouldn't be sober if not for AA. This hub simply says that you won't find sobriety if you aren't' willing to do the work. Pretty obvious really; other people can't do the twelve steps for you; you must be willing to do them.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

      A well researched hub.....I gave up my drinking career many moons ago myself. I did all my drinking before I was legally able to drink....and after many problems with the law.....but as soon as I turned old enough to buy it myself(having a kid was a factor as well) I stopped drinking.....I would like to blame my friends for my issue but over time I have come to realize that I was the person to blame for those crazy and stupid years. Voted up and very useful.....congrats on over 6 years of sober living.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bruce; I would love to blame someone else too but alas, I was the one tipping the bottle to my lips. LOL I appreciate your share; important message there.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Reading your hubs on alcoholism make me very happy for you, but make me very sad on another level. As someone raised by two dysfunctional alcoholics, I always wished they would be willing to go to any lengths to stop, but sadly they never have. What you have done is the greatest thing you could do for your friends and family. When someone isn't willing to stop, it really makes you feel like you are not worth the discomfort of quitting. Beautiful and powerful!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Great and beautiful hub! Your story is awesome and an inspiration to many. I have seen how alcoholism destroys hope in people. But I agree, if everyone had the excuse of needing a drink because of their problems, we all would have reason to be alcoholics. However, life is far too beautiful to find yourself depending on a bottle for relief :).

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I understand that feeling very well; I have heard many others say that about a loved one who won't stop drinking. Thank you for sharing that; I grow as a human when I hear how alcohol has affected others. I appreciate your honesty.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alecia, life is indeed, beautiful, and I am loving every minute of this second chance. Thank you so much for your kind words.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

      "I met a foe I could not control and certainly could not defeat."

      ". . . somewhere inside of me there was a slight flicker of light "

      What an impressive success story! I imagine it will help many alcoholics and their victims to escape that control freak.

      I was an enabler of an alcoholic and did not know it until I attended meetings with a support group. At the time, I had no idea that there was help for second-hand victims. Gaining some understanding of the alcoholic, really helped to restore some of my sanity. Because my alcoholic refused help, I had to eventually put permanent distance between us. He was jailed for three months because of his 6th DUI, and I discovered the shock of my life when he returned. I could not believe that he was the man that I married and not the incoherent drunk. I was very nervous as if we were on our first date after many years of separation. I actually experienced the man I knew years before. Unfortunately, he stayed with me for only two weeks. That wonderful guy left me, and the drunk returned. I waited for him and tried to help him for ten more years and threw in the towel to save myself from the destruction of severe depression. He remains an alcoholic. Nevertheless, I hold on to hope that one day he, too, will experience even "a slight flicker of light," and when he does, I will be happy for him.

      Thanks for sharing your battle and victory. It is like good medicine.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Levertis, it is a story I am very familiar with,and I thank you for sharing it. In truth there is always hope.....and miracles happen with this recovery thing when you least expect them. It is sad to see the way we change when we drink, and it is glorious to see the change when we finally give up.

      Thank you my friend; I truly do appreciate your sharing.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      God bless you, billybuc - the disease of addiction to alcohol is one terrible disease, and it is a disease, which many do not understand that fact. My son just received his five-year sobriety coin! He is only 24, and as I have stated here in HP he became sober before his two daughters were born. He must attend those meetings, and he has chaired many meetings and has been invited to speak all over the place, and I know he has a powerful testimony as to his addiction. My dad was an alcoholic, so our family has that gene, and I guess it was passed down to my son. I am so thankful it took the first time and he is so young and dedicated to help others with this disease. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and story here. Awesome. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, thank you so much, and congratulations to your son; he was much wiser than I was in that he got sober much younger. It all happens for a reason and I have no regrets; now I speak out so others might learn.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy.... what an amazing read and the road to recovery very much follows mine. Not easy by any means but there is freedom. It has been going on 37 years now. Nature and creation and many a long day and night of suffering brought me to a place of peace. Not an easy battle but possible for anyone willing to take it on...

      Thanks for sharing your story...

      Hugs and all from Canada

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, it took what it took for this boy! If I hadn't gone through the suffering I would never be in this place today, a place of peace and love. It's all been worth it.

      Thank you my Canadian friend!

      peace and love today, and always,

      bill

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