Sober and happy: my life without alcohol or anxiety

Clifford's story with sobriety and the help of AA. Photo Credit: AA costa del sol

GOING from a life filled with alcohol and drugs, feeling like he had no future and no hope. Clifford (25) talks about how his life now has meaning and purpose, and his family says the difference is like night and day ‐

“My name is Clifford and when I came into Alcoholics Anonymous, Ithought my life was over. I used cocaine regularly and was in debt to the tune of hundreds of euros, owed to bars, clubs, friends and my dealer. I suffered from extreme anxiety, made worse by the drugs, so I drank alcohol constantly to cover it up.

I never looked after my personal hygiene, and people told me I was greasy or that I smelled (which was true) but rather than do anything about it I would go off on benders for days at a time to try and make myself feel better. Often waking up after three or four days in a random stranger’s house or getting picked up by the police. I lost relationships, homes, jobs, and family due to my alcoholism.

My closest friend died from alcoholism, and I used drugs and alcohol for a week straight to try and deal with the feelings and emotions around it. My family could no longer deal with me, I was 25 years old, and I had no future and no hope. My boss told me about Alcoholics Anonymous and suggested they might be able to help.

From the second I set foot in AA my life changed for the better. Admittedly when I went along to my first AA meeting my initial impression was ‐ these people are nice, really nice, what do they want from me? It was the most welcomed I have ever felt. I was so distrusting, but that is what AA is like. At the end of the meeting three people gave me their phone numbers and told me to call them any time of the day or night, and they meant it!

There were people from all walks of life, male, female, and non‐binary. I was amazed that all these people were alcoholics yet looked so NORMAL! My first time talking about my experience and my life was surreal! The people listened and genuinely cared, I had never experienced this before, and it felt like a weight was lifted almost immediately.

In just six months my life has transformed completely. I found a crazy bunch of people who constantly make me laugh and who will love and support me through anything. I have real friends now. My family says the difference in me is like night and day. My life has meaning and purpose, I don’t need to fill it with alcohol and drugs, and I don’t need to feel awful every day. I now wake with a heart full of gratitude, happy to be sober.

Whatever idea you may have of AA in your head, get rid of it because it is not what you expect at all. It is life changing and it makes me happy to be alive every single day!”

There are meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, with friendly people who will understand, held daily
throughout the Costa del Sol. Meetings are free to attend, and anyone who thinks they may have a problem with alcohol is welcome.

Call the English-speaking AA helpline for support: +34 600 379 110 

visit the website for help and information:

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