Getting sober was the most beautiful decision Remco has ever made
Hello, my name is Remco and I'm an alcoholic. I'm 41 and a resident of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. Since the age of 17 I have been working as a bartender, I was a good employee and even better at my job.
All the years working behind the bar I thought I had it all! The perfect life... I had lots of money, a good job, women all around me, and of course, free access to my drug of choice; alcohol.
Never did I see a problem within myself of having a problem with alcohol, again, life was good! Of course, the hangovers where managed by taking another drink the next morning before going to work.
Looking back, I know now why I became a bartender, because I could feed my addiction.
At age 24, I met my current wife. She knew that I drank too much, and we had many arguments about that, but I still didn't see a problem. I had a ton of excuses! "It's part of the job," "you don't drink so every drink is too much for you," "its not as bad as you say it is," "if you want I can stop for a month," etc...
In some weird way our relationship held. Even with all our ups and downs my wife got pregnant and in 2002 my daughter was born. This should be the best and most beautiful time in my life, but......it wasn't. Instead of taking care of my wife and giving love to the baby, I got drunk, cheated, and worked double shifts, just to not have or take any responsibility.
The drinking became worse and worse. We split up for a few months and I was living the life of working, drinking, and partying. I spent almost all our money on mind altering substitutes and I became a wreck.
One morning I woke up and there was a girl next to me who I didn't know and had no clue how she got next to me. That was it, I took action! I called my wife and asked her if I could have a second chance. I told her I would calm down on the drinking and working. She agreed and gave me another shot to prove that I was a good husband and father.
All went well until 2013 when my father past away. I never ever stopped drinking, but in a way it was manageable, till that point. I couldn't handle that situation, not at all. I drank my feelings/emotions away, and slowly I turned into a lying, cheating, disrespectful angry man who drowned in his self-pity, and was full of insecurities.
My wife and I fought every night. I mentally hurt my wife and my daughter. My daughter told me later that she couldn't sleep because she heard us fighting downstairs and that it made her cry.
In 2015 I hit my rock bottom, hard. I left home, left my family, all I could think about was using and abusing alcohol to numb my feelings. I wanted to be isolated and be left alone.
One day I called in sick from work because I didn't have the strength to go anymore. I didn't have the strength to do anything anymore. I could only think of alcohol, when to use it, do I have enough, what time the shop opens, and what stories I can make up for people to feel sorry for me. It was enough, I thought everybody hated me. I wanted to end my life, I did attempt suicide but fortunately, I failed.
That was the time that I knew I needed real help! I fell down the ladder of life and I didn't see a way up anymore. I knew that I couldn't fix this on my own so I made a phone call with Castle Craig, a rehab clinic located in Scotland. Before I knew it, I was hospitalized. That was December 9th, 2015.
It was also the first time I came in contact with AA and the 12 step program. The first week there I realized that my life was unmanageable with use of alcohol or other drug related substances. I fully committed to the program and worked my way through the program for 3 months. I realized that half of my life I was under influence of alcohol and I had no recollection of most of the things that occurred in my life! While getting sober, many issues came up. Like trying to control every situation, anger issues, perfectionism and low-self esteem.
I have worked so hard to get to know who I really am, to truly look in the mirror and say, "hey, it's ok for you to be here." The decision for me to look for help was the most beautiful and best decision I ever made!! Today, I am now clean and sober for over 11 months! I returned to my family and I'm beginning to build their trust again. I stopped working as a bartender and I'm now studying to help people with addiction. I also have a plan ready to start my own coffee bar.
The most beautiful thing for me is to try and help people and assist them when needed. It's amazing that I can enjoy my family now, without thinking when or how to get a kick out of alcohol, life itself is a kick for me now. Yes, I'm an addict and 1 drink is too much and a 1000 drinks wouldn't be enough. For me, it's important to stay in the now and not take that first drink. I will stay positive and work my program.
You are not addiction. Addiction is a part of you and when you handle it, the light will shine! Life will laugh with you, and you know why, because you deserve it! You are so important!
Life is beautiful once you see it in real time.
Thank you for reading my story. I hope I inspired you to see what I saw almost a year ago.
With Love, Remco.