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'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 return.''

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

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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