I am Anand, a middle class guy with a good job. I was smoking and drinking from past few years with friends. As time progressed I did not realise when drinks and cigarettes would start controlling me. I never accepted that I was addicted or had a drinking problem. I needed more drinks to get the same high I used to get earlier with a few drinks. It seems my tolerance had increased.
I met a girl Shonali through mutual friends, she was as much interested in drinking as I was, I thought we were made for each other, we fell in love and got married.
The Difficult Phase
After marriage, Shonali and I moved to a new place, we had some issues about who is going to take up the responsibility of managing the home as we both were working and our free time was spent in drinking/smoking. We had a lot of arguments and it affected my married life.
In my professional life my work started getting affected as my hangover continued into office hours and work productivity was reduced. Due to this, I ended up changing jobs and my finances were affected.
My wife was pregnant but could not stop drinking even now. I was worried about the effect on my child’s health. My son was miraculously born healthy and fine. My wife, Shonali did not seem to be as caring or responsible as new mother would be and I was struggling with a change of jobs.
I was fired from my present job due to poor performance. I tried applying for more jobs but was not selected anywhere. I had become unemployed. My wife was already struggling to manage the baby alone and my present unemployed status resulted in her leaving to her parents place.
I also moved back to my parents place as I could not afford to live independently. Six months passed by and I got a shocking news that my wife was murdered. I was shattered. Due to my drinking problem my parents asked me to leave the house as I was a nuisance to them.
I know they could not bear with me anymore. I got my son into an orphanage as his mother was no more and I was not able to look after him. I ended up on the streets, sleeping at the bus stand and begging for money. Whatever money I got, I spent it on drinking and smoking, never eating anything.
I was unshaven, dirty but it did not matter to me, all that mattered was smoking and drinking. I lived like this for almost a year when my health started deteriorating. A kind passerby admitted me to a government hospital. My parents got to know and came to care for me. Doctors told me I had reached such a stage where taking anymore alcohol will result in my death. I did not want to die. Slowly with the treatment and my mother’s care I recovered. I decided not to touch alcohol again.
The New Beginning
I decided to stay away from alcohol one day at a time, with this aim I have now completed five years of being smoking/alcohol free! I had also joined a gym to regain my health, I now work as a gym instructor.
My son is 17 years now. He understands the circumstances that led to him being brought up in an orphanage. I share a good relationship with my son, we meet once a fortnight.Though my struggle was long and hard I have overcome my addiction. If I can do it, anyone can!