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Alcoholism Is The Silent Killer

Updated on December 10, 2014
At the age of twelve I did not plan on being an alcoholic
At the age of twelve I did not plan on being an alcoholic | Source

I have made it a habit since I began writing to only write about things I know about and if there is one subject I know intimately it is alcoholism. I am an alcoholic. I have battled this disease since the early 80’s and will continue to battle it for the rest of my life. It has cost me two marriages, two businesses and a mountain of debt, but more than anything it cost me, in the past, my self-esteem. Happily I can report that I have now been sober for over five years and my self-esteem is re-established and I love life, but the steps I had to take to reach this point are steps I will continue to take for the rest of my life if I do not want history to repeat itself.

I do not plan on debating with you the fact that alcoholism is a disease. It is recognized as such by the American Medical Association; however, I do not need the conclusions of doctors worldwide to convince me that alcoholism is a disease; I only have to review my life to realize that fact.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease that happens in stages; the problem is that by the time you reach the dangerous stages you are so far addicted that turning back is a very difficult process. I began as a social drinker; I loved the effects of alcohol; I loved socializing with friends; I loved the self-confidence it gave me and I loved who I became when I drank. Early on I could drink socially, have a couple beers and go days without drinking and not give it a thought. But somewhere down the line that all changed and the day arrived when I could not stop at one or two beers and the thought of going days without a drink was inconceivable.

And still I denied that I had a problem; all I needed to do was adjust my drinking. Drink only beer and leave the hard stuff alone. Drink only on weekends. Drink only with other people and never alone. All attempts at regaining normalcy failed until I began to believe what my dear departed mother believed, that I must be weak of will if I couldn’t control my drinking.


The last drunk....2006
The last drunk....2006

The End Was Near

I finally reached the end of my rope (or so it seemed) in 1992 and I entered a treatment facility, and for ten years I remained sober and led a fairly normal life. The drinking had been conquered, my life was back on track, and all was well in my world. Or so it seemed! There is an old saying in Alcoholics Anonymous that if you take the liquor away from a drunk bank robber you are still left with a bank robber, and those words rang so very true with me. I began drinking again in 2002 and struggled on and off until 2006 when I damn near drank myself to death in a hotel room in Anchorage, Alaska. Back into treatment but this time something had changed: I came out of treatment realizing that if I didn’t change who I was I would never survive. In other words, I could take the liquor away from this bank robber but unless I eliminated my character defects I would always be a bank robber.

Today I can look you in the eye and tell you that I am doing very well indeed. It has been five years and so much has changed inside of me. I no longer shudder when I look in the mirror; I give my word and it stands for something. I help others and through helping them I help myself. I have forged a new career and I experience no fear or lack of self-confidence. I love others and I love myself.

Are my concerns about alcohol a thing of the past? That is truly a trick question! I will always have to monitor my spiritual condition if I am to remain sober, but I do not fear alcohol. I have a healthy respect for alcohol but I no longer fear it; nor do I fear life as I once did.


Happiness and peace at last
Happiness and peace at last | Source

It Is A Sneaky Bastard Indeed

Alcoholism spans the spectrum of society. It does not discriminate according to race. It does not give a damn whether you are a Catholic, Lutheran, Jew or Jehovah's Witness. Nor does it care if you are fifteen or eighty-five, or if you work for minimum wage or are a billionaire.

It is, in fact, a perfectly democratic disease and it is oh so patient. Lay off alcohol for decades and it will still be doing push-ups waiting for the day when it can kick your ass, and it will be stronger when that day comes. Laugh at it if you will but beware of the boogie man who lurks in the shadows because he will, eventually, be paid in full and the payment is your heart and soul.

Is there alcoholism in your family?

See results

Words of Advice

My only words of advice for still suffering alcoholics are these: breaking the chains of alcohol addiction requires willingness. It requires a willingness for stop drinking and it requires a willingness to take on hard work and it requires a willingness to change who you are; it is not easy but it is oh so rewarding.

Today I have the love of a most wonderful woman; I have close friends who respect me, support me and trust me. I am self-employed and loving every minute of my writing career. I have dreams and goals and the past, present and future do not frighten me. Perhaps the greatest reward, though, is that today I have my self-respect back and I love myself. To say I am blessed would be a gross understatement.

I should have died five years ago. Instead I am thriving and life is good. Take that you bastard!

2013 William Holland (aka billybuc)

"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."

An Update

It has been a year and a half since this article was originally written. Since that time my writing career has flourished, my marriage remains healthy and I am still a productive member of society.

I could lose it all tomorrow. One drink is too many and one hundred is never enough. That is my mantra as I go through life. As long as I remember those words....as long as I stay in the now and do not become mired in the past....then my life will remain a living miracle.

The true miracle is not that I am not drinking; no, the true miracle is that I have no desire to drink.

Life is good and it can be for you as well. Peace be with you!

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Journey! If I keep doing what I'm doing then I will always be happy! :)

    • Journey01 profile image

      Journey01 5 years ago

      A great change and I admire you because of your big determination. Congratulation and I hope that you are always happy.

      http://www.vietnamtourism.org.vn

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tyler, I will indeed stay happy, and best of luck to you with that family. It's not easy....whether one is an alcoholic or surrounded by loved ones who are. This disease destroys lives! Thank you so much for your kind words and great comment.

    • Tyler Bracken profile image

      Tyler Bracken 5 years ago from Berlin, Germany

      Amazing hub, as always! I really enjoyed it and I am glad that you are happy and positive. Mainly I guess as rational positivity is one of the best things this world has to offer.

      My family is plagued with alcoholism, sadly and though it is the silent or functional type I know it is not good. I myself realised that it is a disease or perhaps refused to go down the same road & I pretty much stopped drinking before it got its hooks in me. I know my parents, brother, and uncle will put it down to me having a "lovely stress free life" etc, but I know that's not the case.

      Stay happy! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rusti, I guess once a teacher always a teacher! My lessons just might help others and that makes them all worthwhile. Thank you once again for being the caring soul that you are.

    • Rusti Mccollum profile image

      Ruth McCollum 5 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

      You have fought the hardest part of the battle.Alcoholism IS a disease,though a lot of people are ignorant to that.I find in my family alone,those who say that are mostly alcoholics. I am so proud to have met you and hopped on your hub that first day! You have a lot to teach people, Billy.You already are teaching them. I'm glad you found your way out the other side.I do know it's a lifelong battle! My best to you my friend! Here if you need an ear!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Andy, you are so right and yes, I am clean, sober and extremely happy after five and a half years of sobriety. My life is full of experiences and love and it will stay that way as long as I walk this path.

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      bill

    • fiftyish profile image

      Andy Aitch 5 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

      Hi Billy. I think your headline has caught a lot of attention here, and just deserved too. Nice hub ;-)

      It never ceases to amaze me how far down an alcoholic has to go before he gives up his love affair with the very thing that's helping to destroy his life.

      It's no different to smoking either, in many ways. I was addicted to nicotine and went through 30 to 40 cigarettes a day. I used to say to people I could never give up smoking because I loved it so much, yet I was coughing all day every day and had absolutely no energy.

      Addiction is indeed a strange kind of love we addictive types embrace.

      Making a 2 column list is often a helpful exercise when trying to break the sick and twisted bond with booze. We can't cheat the mind when 'reasons for' and 'reasons against' are laid down in ink before our very eyes.

      I always like to look at recovery as fighting FOR something rather than fighting AGAINST it. For example, it's better to fight FOR sobriety than it is to fight AGAINST alcoholism, IMHO ;-)

      Hope you're still clean and sober buddy?

      Andy Aitch

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Gail!

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      Thanks, I agree that it is an ugly, terrible, and deadly disease. I have another brother, but he doesn't drink. He does drink Pepsi, though. I'm sorry that it affected your life, too. It sure affects alots of people's lives.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Gail and I'm very sorry for your loss. It is an ugly, terrible, deadly disease and I'm sorry you had to have it affect your life.

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      I had a father and brother, who were both alcoholics. The father I didn't know, but he drank the hard stuff. He died from alcoholism and gluteny. The brother only drank beer-he died at age 56 in 2005 of heart problems. Alcohol is really bad. Congradulations! Really great story and I'm glad I read it. My brother got really mean when he drank. Some people just get silly when their drunk, but not my brother. He was always mean. I voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dmop, I'm with you 100%. We are a resilient race, aren't we? Thank you once again for visiting my site.

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      This is a testament to the human will to survive at all cost. I had an uncle who was an alcoholic for over 40 years, he quite cold turkey after nearly drinking himself to death. He was always one of my favorite uncles even during his drunken years. I'm so glad I got to know him sober. Voted up and useful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tams, keep this up and you will be among my favorite hubbers and I'll have to write nice things about you. :) Thank you kind lady; you have beaten back your own ghosts and that always carries weight with me.

    • Tams R profile image

      Tams R 5 years ago from Missouri

      Another outstanding hub Billybuc! If I were to change anything about this hub it would be the poll. I noticed it doesn't have a place to check if the alcoholism is in the person reading the hub.

      The idea that one would read this and have to choose to check this box for themselves if that were the case, could be the moment of realization in my opinion. Whether they would check it or not would be on their mind. I'm curious if there is a reason you did not put that in there?

      Again, you had me from the start and I applaud your achievement. Many people beat cancer and that too is a disease. You have beaten this thing, let it stay beaten.

      I'm proud of your dedication to spread your reach and success to those not so fortunate.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for dropping by and for leaving your comment. HubPages suggests that you don't leave your personal websites when leaving comments. Best of luck to you in your writing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sky my friend, what can I say? Walking (and sometimes crawling) the path you and I have walked is certainly a learning experience. Oddly enough I wouldn't trade any of it for without having walked that path I would not be here today, so damn happy and loving life. Bless you my friend and may you find peace today. I'll be walking that path right alongside of you.

    • Sky9106 profile image

      Sky9106 5 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

      Let anyone ever try to tell me that I am late for anything again and I will use this as my only answer. Billy I am having a reality blast reading your work, it's incredible reading all the similarities we share , confirming the true reason I saw that which I love in your work, and such an easy follow "Truth" My story on alcohol in like yours for the books and I know you will , and I am sure as long as I live I will .

      Great work billy.

      I can go forever writing here , but is take that you bastards to the different alcohols? lol .

      Listen they can call it what ever they want it's who feels it knows it . I drank for thirty years and I bet all my friends who of course doubted me. They were going based on what they saw in the past , while I was sure of myself that I was going with me I stopped in 2005 and here we go.

      I love the suggestions you gave , and I love the Honesty it soars! If anything will help another it is going to be that same "Honesty"

      Anytime you need , I have done it all I here. I was also proud with the alcohol so I laughed and said , you win ! And walked away. There is nothing but truth and a belief in yourself with a strong spiritual sense and an unbreakable belief.

      God bless you my brethren you have done well, continued strength, because not only is it wise , you a substance that's wise enough to speak to you personally in t a tone of voice only you can hear! Once you listen and most of us do the only thing that can save you is you.

      Bless.

      Give God the praise , you made me laugh enough for this entire day day lol.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you once again Lyndre; there is much to be learned from observation. Hopefully you and I do not have to learn so many of these lessons again from practical experience. I much prefer the life I am living now.

    • lyndre profile image

      lyndre 5 years ago from Scotland

      From a fellow alcoholic a wonderful and inspiring read.

      It is always more powerful to read from someone who has walked the walk.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Express, I thank you very much. I am truly sorry about your father. I have had far too many friends suffer the same fate. I appreciate you sharing that with me and I hope my words will make a difference in some lives.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Awesome hub. My father died due to this disease. It is great that you have been able to come back from the brink and are able to take the reigns to show the bastard who's boss. You have a wealth of love, knowledge, and life experience to share. Excellent and useful share.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faceless, you are so right and I appreciate your taking the time to explain your thoughts on the matter. I have found that when I do meet resistance or belligerence it is simply because of ignorance about the nature of addiction. Thank you for your understanding and for taking the time to share you experience.

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Voted up and across (this seems to be a theme with your hubs, billybuc!)

      Alcoholism runs in families, I happen to know, and it's not just based on environment as some people say. I believe it's definitely a disease, and anyone who wants to argue about it I think just doesn't understand the nature of addictions.

      I'm a nicotine addict, now clean. But the urge never goes away, and never will, for the rest of my life. It seems to be built into my brain chemistry or something, probably much like your alcohol addiction. It's a constant battle every day against the urge.

      That said, each day without it it gets easier to override the urge to smoke, and I'd imagine it's the same with alcohol.

      I've met kids of alcoholics who blame the alcoholic and say they've made the choice to become addicts. For those of you doing that, please note it's not always, if ever, the case. It's an illness and can be overcome, but I don't think anyone consciously chooses to ruin their lives or others' lives by smoking or drinking. It's a horrible compulsion that, often, gains control.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Giselle, you are very welcome. My sincere hope is that it won't touch your family and you never have to deal with it. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 5 years ago

      Thanks for your honesty. This hub was an eye-opener for me as I had no idea how insidious alcoholism can be.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cliff, I really appreciate those words; it has been a battle but life is very good. Thank you for your comment.

    • Cliff Mendrez profile image

      Cliff Mendrez 5 years ago from Philippines

      You have such an inspiring story. It reminds me of my dad's battle with smoking. It took him years before he found the strength to finally quit. I hope your story serves as an inspiration to others who continue to struggle with alcoholism.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Express, I will never be the boss, but I do control how much suffering or happiness I want in my life. Today I choose happiness. I am very sorry about your father; it is sad to see that happen. I have seen it all too often. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      Great hub. My father died at the age of 63 from alcohol related causes. It was a horrible way for such a strong and independent person to go. I am very happy that you have been able to tell the sneaky bastard who's the boss of you!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      What a coincidence! My husband says that all the time! "You crack me up, honey." It might not be the same...I don't know. He's usually not smiling and sometimes it's hard to hear him as he's leaving to go for a ride.........but hey, it's close.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You crack me up! I'm going to run an errand and then come back and read all of your hubs. Thank you for the vote of confidence and your sense of humor.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      This touches my heart. You have every right to be proud and to love yourself. I applaud your victory, Billybuc. You've earned the healthy place at which you have arrived. I literally FEEL the happiness in your story.

      ha HA! Billybuc kicked your ass, you bastard!! No one likes you anyway!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dkm27...I greatly appreciate your comments. Thank you so much for that and for taking the time to read my hub.

    • dkm27 profile image

      dkm27 5 years ago from Chicago

      Wonderful Hub. You have made life a business. You have achieved success in your quest for a sober life. Your courage is inspiring. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Abundant....thank you very much for reading; an added bonus for me is that it might have helped you. Take care of yourself and keep moving forward...sometimes little baby steps...but always forward.

    • Abundant old soul profile image

      Abundant Old Soul 5 years ago from united states

      I read this and I really got the message! I struggle with binge eating and fear. I get that. What you sid in the hub.I am struggling now because I am going backwards in my recovery. Stay strong my friend. Easy does it. Peace be with you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leah, that means a great deal to me and I'm not just saying that...I write about things that are personal to me and if they help someone else then that is a bonus. Thank you so much for reading and commenting and may you find happiness throughout your life as well.

    • Leah Helensdottr profile image

      Leah Helensdottr 5 years ago from Colorado

      Congratulations, billybuc, on your ongoing victory over this terrible addiction. May God bless you and help you remain sober. Excellent hub, very well written. Voted it awesome and beautiful (ratings I rarely use).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much Flint54....not easy at all but oh so worth it...I appreciate you reading it and commenting...may you be blessed in this lifetime

    • Flint54 profile image

      Flint54 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your moving story, you give hope to people who are battling with their demons and alcoholism. Good on you, you finally broke the chains of slavery and found life again. Wishing you many more happy years.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love happy endings and it sounds like your story has one...best of luck to you and thank you for reading my hub and the lovely comments.

    • BeccaWood profile image

      BeccaWood 5 years ago from Southaven, MS

      Wow! Great story and great hub. As you can see, alcoholism is more common in every age group than you think. I wouldn't say I had an adiction rather a substitute. I used alcohol as lets say "happy juice". A lot of things didn't go the way I wanted them to in my life and I was always angry about it. I had to move from my home in Indiana less than two years before I graduated. I came to find out my parents would have let me stay if I had not been so wreckless in the first place. I got a DUI at the age of seventeen and the drinking got worse. I came close to losing everything. Then I had the craziest idea for happiness and it worked. I met someone here in mississippi that was also from indiana. He invited me to a Tom Petty concert in indiana. So the plan was to sell my truck, go to the concert with my friend, and drive back down to mississippi in my highschool sweetheart's truck. Sounds like a crazy love story doesn't it. I've never had a stronger relationship with my mother than I do now. I am now engaged to my highschool sweety and I don't drink. The only things lurking from my past now is a good hundred extra bucks for insurance every month and minor memory problems. Things worked out for you and they worked out for me. The cure is true happines. You have a wonderful life and I wish you the best.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mom...those words are greatly appreciated. I wish you a great day and as always, thank you for the support.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi billybuc. I'm so pleased to see your hub scoring so high and attracting so many comments! Clearly there is a need for such attraction not promotion!

      Wishing you a blessed Saturday and keep up the great hubbing. MM

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      wheps....I wish nothing but the best for you and thank you for reading my hub...stay safe, be happy and love yourself.

    • wheps profile image

      wheps 5 years ago

      Wonderful Hub! I've myself been drunk for the past 16 years - lost two ladies, an engineering degree, countless jobs, a tooth - everything! Now am picking up leftovers to creat a paper mache of life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cheryl....there were times when I was drinking that I thought I was on the moon, so thank you very much. I also wish you happiness!

    • Author Cheryl profile image

      Cheryl A Whitsett 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Fl

      Love it to the moon and back. Great hub and may you always have happiness in life.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria-Arg...thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I know very well how much I am loved...it is one of the gifts of sobriety.

    • Maria-Arg profile image

      Maria-Arg 5 years ago from New York City

      I loved reading your story Billy. I can't say I know what it's like to be an alcoholic, but I do know what it's like to have a loved one who is. I hope you know that there are people in your life who love you, and who only wish the best for you. Keep working hard, and never give up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      sabrani44...thank you so much for reading but more so for your comment...best of luck to you as well.

    • sabrani44 profile image

      sabrani44 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your story. Its inspiring to see everything that you have overcome. Good luck in the future!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ruthclark3....indeed we are and trudging isn't so bad when it takes us where we need to be...thank you for the comment and for reading my hub...best of luck to you and happiness forever.

    • ruthclark3 profile image

      Ruth Clark 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I am familiar with the four horseman. I hope I never forget lest I have to return. Alcoholics are not bad people, trying to get good - but sick people, trying to get well. We shall never be "cured" but we can live happy, joyous, and free lives as we trudge the road to happy destiny.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peanutritious....you are in inspiration to me and your words mean a great deal to me. I have been to many of those dark places; there was a time I had no hope, no prospects, no clue...and now, over five years later, it has all changed for the better....you also deserve what I have found and never forget it.

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Congratulations on your new life. I too lost everything because of my drinking. Two homes, my car and sadly my career. It takes a while for the fog to lift but it's gradually improving for me. I'm beginning to feel again and take pleasure in simple things that I previously took for granted. I never realised how precious life was until I almost lost mine. I'm lucky to be alive and have had more lives than a cat! It's taken me to some dark places. Prison being the worst. Good luck and continue to enjoy your life. You deserve it!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      GC....thank you for your kind words. The journey was worth it and that is a very happy ending to my story.

    • GCSandy profile image

      GCSandy 5 years ago from Page, AZ

      All I can say is wow! Thank you for taking the time to share the things you went through and how difficult the journey was. I'm so glad you have regained your self-confidence. Thank you for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      tammy, thank you...coming from a vet like you I am humbled. I hope my story has helped others.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Congratulations to you billybuc. In three weeks, you have the best hub on hub pages at this very moment! That is quite an accomplishment and you are a very prolific writer. Congratulations!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      carozy, you are welcome and thank you for taking the time to read it.

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for your honest and inspiring article.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, I'm honored you even considered using it..I look forward to reading your hub about your son.

    • SallyintheValley profile image

      SallyintheValley 5 years ago

      I lied...I guess I couldn't find your link when I was entering them,,,I wanted to use yours though.

    • SallyintheValley profile image

      SallyintheValley 5 years ago

      I am writing a hub of my son's alcoholic journey too and have used your hub as a link from the word alcoholism. Take a look if you want.

      http://sallyinthevalley.hubpages.com/hub/The-Trial...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wow, I hit 100 on this hub. I don't know what that means but I like the number more than say, 50. Thanks to all who read it and commented. Writing posts like this is cleansing and cathartic for sure, but the main goal is to share a personal story that just might help others. Hopefully I accomplished that in some small way.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Okay, since I am new to this I tried to reply to each of you by hitting the reply button at the bottom of your comments. Unfortunately it doesn't show my reply so I don't know if you received it or not. If not I am sorry and please know that your words and encouragement mean a great deal to me.!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Keith...thank you for your words and that is my hope as well. I am tired of the anonymity and the hiding of the truth; if my story can help someone else then let's do it! Thank you for reading my hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      lawdoctorlee...very kind words and I thank you. As you said, willingness is the key and unfortunately many alcoholics think that means a willingness to stop drinking when in fact it means a willingness to change your life and yourself. Thank you for your comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Artin2010...thank you sir! It's been one hell of a ride and it ain't over yet, but now I'm enjoying the ride rather than dreading it. Peace to you as well!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      hazelwood4...no, thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope. We find strength in the commonalities that we all have; in the end none of us are all that different from each other. God bless you on your journey.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      annart...that means a lot to me. It has never been easy and I will fight this for the rest of my life, but the rewards are incredible and it is a fight worth fighting.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      beachelf...your comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so very much for sharing a part of your story in reply. I can only hope and pray that you are correct and that my hub helps others. God bless you!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ytsenoh...thank you so much. What a wonderful gift to find out that there is something worth loving in myself. I greatly appreciate you reading my blog and commenting.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally...first off, I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I always remind myself when I drive by the homeless that I am one drink away from joining them on the street. I hope you choose to write that book; I have no doubt that your story needs to be told.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cbpoet...I am impressed that you learned that lesson at such an early age and stuck with it. Unfortunately I learn lessons much, much slower. Thank you for your comment and for reading my hub.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ChinaDoll...thank you and you are very welcome. What good are experiences like the one I have lived through if others can't learn from them?

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Claudia, I thank you so much for your kind words. I can only echo your words that it is so important to believe in ourselves; in my case it was also so important that I had loved ones who hung in there long enough to see me climb out the other side of the darkness.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Timetraveler2...thank you, and I am so sorry that you had to suffer through the daily effects of alcoholism. Unfortunately when we are actively drinking we simply have no other emotions to spare our loved ones; we are too busy feeding the addiction. I appreciate that you shared your experience with me and God bless!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mighty Mom....those are high words of praise and I thank you. I have struggled somewhat as a newbie on Hub Pages trying to find my niche; although I don't want alcoholism to be that niche I do think I write best when I write about personal events and influences...thank you so much for your comment.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My Minds Eye 53...thank you for your kind words and for responding to my hub. For years I hesitated to publicly tell my story; I realize now that it needs to be told so others can possibly learn from it.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nity....I hope it is an eye opener. In my case it took a lot more than a hub to stop me from drinking. I had to suffer to the point where I had no choice but to change my way of life. Always was a slow learner! :)

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim...thank you and keep up the good fight. Life is sooo worth living but we don't see it while we are in active addiction. My prayers are with you.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Molometer....thank you sir! In truth it wasn't the thought of death that finally made me stop but rather the realization that I could not conceive of living that way any longer...I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brett...thank you for your comment and support; it has been one hell of a journey and it is ongoing but the ride is much smoother now.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cagsil....thank you so very much! The response to this hub has been remarkable and has touched me deeply. The concept of drinking being a choice is a very important one for alcoholics to grasp and accept, but oh so necessary.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anamika...love you name...and thank you. Unfortunately the victims are not only those who have the disease but those who love them too. I will continue to open up about me so others can hopefully learn.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph....thank you...it's been a battle and I'll never win that battle but I will stay one step ahead as long as I never forget.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cmp...not sure we ever really conquer alcoholism but we can keep in in check; thank you for the encouragement and kind words.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathleen....thank you so much; it's a lonely journey unless we find others who are on the same path.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teacher....thank you so much for the comment; I love the reference to the Faberge egg...right on the mark. Believe me when I tell you that I never forget.

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      Keith Schroeder 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Oh yes, addiction does sneak up on us. If we saw it coming we would duck. Once we are a victim it takes a lifelong effort break the chain and keep it broken. An honest and refreshing hub on a tough topic. Congratulations on remaining sober. I hope your work here encourages other to get their life back.

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      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Great hub! Keep up the good work on hubpages and on your life. You hit the nail on the head when you said it takes "willingness." May God continue to bless you. Congratulations on your sobriety.

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      Artin2010 5 years ago from Northwestern Florida, Gulfcoast

      Very good insight here, welcome to hubpages Billy, I hope your experiences here bless you. It is a great place to let out what you feel in writing. I would only add, well done man. Five years is a good stretch, go for five more, 1 day at a time one craving at a time. To thine own self be always true! Only looking back in retrospect, bro. Grace, Mercy and Peace be with you always! Forgive self but never forget. Onward to the Light.

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      hazelwood4 5 years ago from Owensboro, Kentucky

      Billy, I too have faced the demons of addiction, but I too came to the end of my rope and found help. Your story is so wonderfully written. Thank you for sharing!

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      Ann Carr 5 years ago from SW England

      Well written hub. I have nothing but respect for someone who can do what you have done against all odds. I have known how alcohol can affect someone and it does no-one any good. Good luck to you and your lady. Keep writing! Voted up, useful, interesting and awesome. Brill!

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      beachelf 5 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you for your Hub. I wish I had known so much of this 20 years ago when I married a wonderful man from a historically alcoholic family. I had never been around alcoholism, and didn't recognize it early on. I didn't know what to do when it began to worsen and become a problem for us. I know now that ultimately, change had to be his decision, but I wish I had had this information to inform the way that I responded to the situation.

      Now, our oldest son is a young teen. I talk with him about his family history (including depression on my side,) because I want him to be aware, and not blindsided. Knowledge and due caution is your great preventive ally in this situation. Denial and ignorance, I have found, will trip you up.

      I wish more public health education was aimed at identifying alcoholism. If, perhaps, Middle school, High school, College students, and pregnant women were targeted for alcoholism awareness briefings, perhaps more people would contact Al Anon and Al Ateen (sp?) groups when they see worrisome signs.

      Thank you for shedding light on an issue that is so often hidden from the public eye out of shame until the problem is too big to hide any longer. You are a big man to share your vulnerability for the benefit of others. You will never know how many peoples' lives you have changed by sharing this story.

      Strength and Peace on your journey.

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      Cathy 5 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      A really uplifting testament of your life summarizing the up's and down's of your experience, and your silver lining of conquering the disease as you define it. I'm glad you love yourself now! Best of luck.