'I didn't choose to be an alcoholic' says a recovered alcoholic, who wants Gurgaon to take notice
''I didn't choose to be an alcoholic. I am an IIT pass-out and was a merit holder in Gurgaon. I hold a respectable government job now, but for 22 years I drank myself almost to death. I made two suicide attempts and I used to feel that there is no hope until I stumbled into Alcohol Anonymous (AA) and it changed my life. This April, it would be 6 years that I have been a teetotaler,'' says Dinesh, who was an alcoholic, but is now leading a new life.
What started as a bottle of beer went
on to become a bottle of almost anything he could lay his hands on
for the next 22 years. While his parents were at their wits end, his
wife left him and so did his friends. Talking about the darkest hours
of his life and how he came out of it Dinesh says, '' I was 16 years
of age when I had my first drink and it was only when I was 29 that
when my drinking problem started. I had a lot of problems, among,
which an affair going wrong was a main factor. I used to have
suicidal thought, as I am sure most alcoholic has, and attempted
suicide. I tried everything from rehabilitation, medicines and
doctors but nothing helped. Then at an MTNL perfect health mela, I
stumbled into AA and finally, it gave me a will to live. It was at
the age of 46 years that I was able to quit drinking.''
Gurgaon has a wine retail shop on
almost every nook and cranny of the city, but no one recognizes the
terrors of problem drinking. According to Dinesh, it is a disease and
the thought of just quitting is not enough. ''there are three ways
alcoholics need to recover- mentally, physically and spiritually. An
alcoholic physically reacts to alcohol as he/she cannot wait to have
his/ her next drink. Mentally, a problem drinker would always think
of drinking, even if he is not drinking at the moment- where to get
his next drink from, where to drink it, with whom to drink it
with,.etc. Spiritually aperson is affected when alcohol takes over
his entire life and he keeps every other aspect of his life on hold.
When career, family or even god doesn't matter but a glass of alcohol
does.'' As a society, we drink on social occasion, but when it comes
to addressing the problem, which comes with this social drinking, we
are incapable as a society.
When it comes to drinking and Gurgaon,
even girls enjoy their drinks but somehow at the back of our minds we
always feel that a girl can never be a drunk (hence, choti bahu was
so popular in Saheb Biwi and Ghulam) Talking about this, Dinesh said,
''alcohol doesn't look for caste, creed or gender. It is however,
true that women don't come out in open regarding their problem as we,
as a society, connote her as a loose woman.'' Anyone can start
drinking and face a problem and the correct way to quit is not to
stop at once but to wean off the substance eventually.
Alcoholic Anonymous helps people with
this precise process.What the near and dear ones cannot give is given
by this support group. With no one acting as the head, it is place of
complete trust where people come and get moral support and hope as
Dinesh did. Only after he joined this group, did he know that he had
a chance at life and that he could be happy without drinking. He says
that it is not about controlling the problem but quitting it over
time and that cannot be achieved at a moment's notice, like most of
the people think. Dinesh is careful not to drink any cough syrup,
take any mood altering medicines, which might act as a trigger. ''I
know if I take one sip, I would fall and would not be able to
Emphasizing on the importance of AA he
says that I want to put out a message for people, who think that
there is no way out- you have an option and we have a way.
AA has daily meetings and a newcomer is
advised to attend these meetings for a stretch of 90 days. They hold
all their meetings in a church, where they pay 1400 INR per month and
no one has to pay any amount to be a part of the meeting. They have
books for abstaining and other people's recovery stories play a big
part in everyone's life. ''I have many friends, who loves me but AA
is the support group, where I know people understand me. There is a
difference you know.'' Asserting another fact he says that AA is not
pro or against alcohol group, but they are merely trying to help
people in Gurgaon, who feels that they have a problem but do not know
what to do.
Anyone looking for help from AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) can call 9810369757
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