Giving up my Self-Determination to the Power of Alcohol

In my childhood alcohol had always been an issue because my father was a drinker. Therefore it was probably a natural consequence that I had my first drunken stupor at the age of 13. During my apprenticeship and while I was in the army, regular alcohol excesses were part of questionable leisure activities. After that time I started consuming alcohol every day in continuously rising amounts.

 I cannot remember any days without alcohol. And that is how I managed to drink myself into a “proper” addiction within 15 years.

 My family, my wife and our two children, suffered quietly with me most of the time. People at my workplace kept silent, the neighbors looked away and I was able to be so “wonderfully” dishonest with myself.

 The breakup of my family, being kicked out of my apartment, unemployment, the withdrawal of my driver’s license, financial debacle, physical and mental neglect … were necessary for me to be finally prepared to be willing to change my life. At that point it was certainly clear to me in some hidden place of my soul that I could not live any more without that stuff and that I had given up my self-determination to the power of alcohol. But the first clear announcement concerning my alcoholism and the pointing out of a solution was given to me by the advice center ICHTHYS. This sign-posting still joins me to ICHTHYS with gratitude.

 Today I have only just arrived at half-time of my dry life compared to the extent of time, during which I so consistently steered myself into addiction. Since then a lot of my life’s interests have changed fundamentally.

 Apart from such things which cannot be assumed like having an employment, an apartment and a driver’s license as well as living debt-free, I married a second time and I have been able to revive and cultivate many relationships with my neighbors.

 I am also very aware of the fact that what I achieved is not my success alone. The heavenly father who allowed his son to die for me, too, and who in his great mercy holds his protective arms over me, puts people at my side who helpfully accompany my path through life.

Frank H.

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