Testimony of Sabine, (former) alcoholic weaned for 20 years. She tells us about her experience and how she managed to cope with her addiction.
You say: I am an alcoholic patient who no longer drinks. That's how you define yourself?
Yes. It's been 20 years since I have had a glass of wine. Nothing. Not a drop of alcohol. But, I know that the disease is still there. I am an alcoholic who does not drink anymore. That's all. I know I'm in danger. I know it every day. Although I do not miss alcohol ... far from it! But for 20 years, I have been extremely vigilant.
How did you become addicted to alcohol?
I think there are plenty of personal reasons for falling into this disease. Surely reasons related to childhood. The lack of affection in childhood ... The lack of self-confidence ... It's been years that I am a psychoanalysis to decrypt all that. It's so complicated. What I can say is that I am a woman of the 80s. Very active, very free. My professional life stunned me for a very long time.
I was press secretary for a big company. I was doing 15 hours, 20 hours! I worked all the time with cocktails, receptions ... It was my job. So, I had a drink here, a drink there. Not big red! But whether champagne or big red, the effect is the same in the long run. With the stress, related to this job, with the show, too, that goes with it, I was trapped. It's stressful, you know. I had things to prove, professionally. A small glass, a small cup, it disinhibits. There you go.
Did you see the disease coming?
No ! It took me some time. In fact, I realized that I was addicted, little by little. I found myself at home in the evening, all alone, tired, so I was refreshing myself a little drink to sleep better. Then I was surprised to have a drink in the morning to stimulate myself. In short, when I realized that I was really sick, it was too late. And after that, it's the vicious circle. I was never drunk, you know ... never. I was the only one who knew I was sick. Until it gets worse.
The way out
Nobody helped you?
Yes, my children. I had a companion and I had two children. It was my children who helped me. Who spoke to me My eldest son, especially. One day he stuck me in the kitchen and he had very hard words. He told me it was enough ... That he was tired of seeing me destroy myself like that. That I had to stop, otherwise, he would be barred ... We were separated with his father.
So how did you do it?
I did not want to talk to a doctor too much. I was quite known in a certain environment. I was probably ashamed. So I went one night, like a thief, to Alcoholics Anonymous. I wanted to hide in the back of the room and just listen to others. I was upset. All these lives ... All these miseries ... I had the impression to find myself in my real family. And I spoke, I told, and they listened to me, without judgment, without condescension. I felt a real empathy. I can say that they saved my life.At Alcoholics Anonymous .... I felt like I was in my real family. And I talked, I told, and they listened to me, without judgment.
It has been long?
Oh ! If you knew ... Weaning cures, then relapses. It took a long time! But I arrived there. Really with the help of the group and the love of my children. But I nearly died. And now it's been 20 years! Total abstinence. And life is much more beautiful now. People with alcohol should know it. It must be said that it's worth it to stop. And above all we can get by. One day after another. The fight is won one day.You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? See you in our FORUMS Addictions: alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, etc. or A doctor answers you .
Sources and notes
- Objectives, indications and methods of withdrawal of the alcohol-dependent patient. Website of the HAS.
- Alcohol misuse outside of dependence, Recommendations of the French Society of Alcohology, Alcoology and Addictology 2003.