для читателей старше 18 лет
My name is Lisa, and I’m an alcoholic.
I dedicate this book to those who did not believe in me.
To those who betrayed me. Those who turned away from me when they were most needed. Those who made use of my kindness and naivety.
To those who underestimated me. Those who hurt me. To those who humiliated me. To those who cheated on me.
Now I want to thank you!
Thanks to you, I have become stronger. Thanks to you, I have learned to solve my problems myself, and not complain and seek help. Thanks to you, I have become wiser. Thanks to you, I have learned to value every single day.
Thanks to you, I wrote this book.
When I first realized I had a problem with alcohol, I chaotically started looking for information that could help me cope with this issue on my own. Unfortunately, besides the sites for helping the teetotalers and the forums of anonymous alcoholics with their 12 steps, I did not find anything else. On one of these forums, Allen Carr’s book, The Easy Way to Stop Drinking, was mentioned, based on the reviews published on the site, it helped a lot. I decided to find and read it.
I do not like to read online, I like to hold a book in my hands and take it with me when traveling. So I made a list of the books I needed before my next trip to Belarus, because in the country where I currently live there is no literature in Russian. Imagine my surprise that out of the 10 stores I visited, none of them had this book or any information on this topic, and from the entire list the saleswoman could offer me a maximum of one book; and she did so expressing to me that the problem of alcoholism in the countries of the former USSR is something transcendental and not relevant.
Before leaving, in the last store I found all the necessary books — the young saleswoman was very nice and helped me, which smoothed out the previous negative experience.
Finally, I was holding the famous book in my hands. I started reading it that very evening. I would not say that I read it in one breath, I finished reading it after 2 months My impression of it was that it was written weakly, dully, with many repeated phrases and with no concrete examples. Written for America. Golf courses, gatherings at the bar, meetings with friends, it’s all somehow figurative and superficial. To be honest, I was not motivated, so my problem remained unresolved. That is why I realized that I had to solve my problem on my own in order to be able to share my own experiences, livings, feelings and success.
And this is my story…
I was born in a family that can hardly be called prosperous.
My mother always worked, in the military unit of our small town, and in her free time she was torn between the garden and her children (I have a younger brother). My father was an alcoholic, always lying on the couch with a hangover from yet another drinking party, which is why the air in the apartment always felt like «as if someone and died in here.» A mixture of fumes, a dirty body and dirty clothes is part of my childhood memories. By profession, my father was an engineer, but he did not stay at any job for long, only until his first salary, and then he began to drink indefinitely ....Therefore, no one was interested in who he was by profession, how old he was, or whether he had a family. And that’s how we lived, my mother was unsatisfied with her life and took it out on us, constantly yelling, mostly at me as I was the eldest, she never allowed me to do anything, humiliated me at the first opportunity, continuously threatened to send us to a boarding school, in a word, not a life, but a fairy tale.
After graduating from the 9th grade, when life became simply unbearable, I decided to go to study in another city, 100 km from my parents’ home. I was then 16 years old, my mother began with the divorce proceedings with my father and I did not want to see all its consequences.
I went to study to be a cook, following the example of my classmates, but not because of a great love of cooking, but because I wanted to leave my parents’ home as soon as possible, to escape the scandals, humiliation and eternal reproaches.
In connection with low self-esteem, the thought of a higher educational institution never visited me, I did not know what I wanted, since childhood all my desires were suppressed and I never made any plans for the future. I was almost never praised, but scolded and humiliated by my parents. I learned all the swear words at home, from my mother. «Leave me alone, I’m tired, go study, again you haven’t washed the floors properly, everyone has normal children, and you…» It’s hard to believe in yourself when you were considered insignificant since your childhood.
I remember I used to love to draw, I had gouache paints, which I valued and handled very carefully. Once I painted a picture, my first picture, and I was very proud of myself. It was a small boat, quietly sailing in a vast ocean. The sky was blue without a single cloud, and the ocean changed its color from turquoise to cornflower blue. The horizon line almost merged with the ocean. It was a picture full of peace and tranquility, exactly what I always lacked.
Having shown the picture of my mother, I really looked forward to praise and approval, but this did not happen, she did not react in any way; This, of course, really upset me.
One day I was looking for my masterpiece hung on the wall and could not find it. I asked my mother if she had seen my drawing, she answered: «I threw it away, there is no point in storing junk!»
Now I am 34 years old, I still remember my drawing and my mother’s deed.
This pain haunts me through life, not only because of this gesture, it is only a small part of my experiences.
Now I understand that even in my early childhood, I was about 6 or 7 years old, I painted myself alone, in the endless blue ocean, floating in the waves looking for love and attention.
And here I am, a notorious child who does not know what she wants in life and seeking approval in everything, moving on to a new stage in life — living outside the parental home.
I studied at a vocational school for 4 years, it was a pretty fun time, I made friends, but relationships with the opposite sex have not begun, because it was a taboo in my family. Once the guys from the yard joked and gave me condom boxes, which I brought home and showed to my parents. I did not know what it was, I was too young. My father called me a whore, and they both beat me, not understanding — who is right, who is to blame, so relationships are the last thing I thought about, I was afraid of them like fire,, like everything else.
Even before leaving for school, I went to discos or local clubs with my friends, with such interesting names as «Monica», «Exclusive». You see, not everyone was allowed to go to such places at the age of 15, so the irreplaceable rules were: heels are higer, the skirt is shorter, the makeup is brighter. It always worked :) It was during that period that I tried alcohol for the first time, it was a cloudy light-colored liquid, which was called Finnish gin with a content of 5% alcohol
Sold in bottles of 1.5 liters or cans of 0.33. Further: half a liter of vodka at someone’s party or in a park in front of a disco. Sometimes by itself, others with lemonade; our bag was long and capacious, in which it was always possible to put «fuel» to warm up the party and no one suspected anything. Such meet-ups were on weekends, then I realized that with alcohol my self-esteem rises, I feel more confident, forget about my complexes, and believe me, they were many. I believed that I was quite something, as it was manifested in attention from the opposite sex.
At that time, alcohol was a way to increase self-esteem, to liberate myself (on the dance floor), gain courage for communication and just have fun at the disco. Because in everyday life I lacked the self-confidence and courage to communicate.
After graduating from vocational school, I moved to the capital and started working in the service sector: bars, restaurants, cafes. I liked being a waitress, every day I met new people and it was interesting for me to communicate with them. I began to like life more. When I, more or less, «joined» the team, we often went out after work to the bar, or rather the disco, which was located on the second floor of the restaurant.
There I got drunk after a hard working day and often remembered little… so I worked for a year, leaving all the money I earned in the bar. Then I changed jobs and went to work in a bar-restaurant with a police theme. It was cool — I worked in a police uniform, with handcuffs and a plastic gun; there I stayed for 3 years, maybe less. I still did not have a serious relationship with men, although I went on some dates. In my free days I was sitting at home with a bottle of wine and cheese for some whining melodrama or comedy — a classic of the genre, so to speak :)
Periodically I went to the gym and to the movies.
And so I lived, worked in a restaurant, «hung out» on the weekend, sometimes went to visit my mother. My father passed away when I was 16 years old, but we never discussed this topic.
I felt a little guilty for his death, because I could not help him, did not understand what his problem was, why he drank and beat us. I was with my mother at the funeral, my brother did not go with us, I don’t remember for what reason.
After several years of living in the capital, I met a guy and we started a relationship. He came from Spain, where he was to return in a month. We met every day and had a great time, having lunch in restaurants, walking along the promenade and telling each other life stories. Then he left, and after a couple of months he took me with him.
I immediately fell in love with Spain, I moved there in November and during this period I was still swimming in the sea. For the locals, the water was cold and they looked with caution in my direction, but for the tourists or for those who had just moved, like me, the water was just right.
Next, family life began as a couple, that I never had. He cooked, cleaned, I helped. In the evenings, I liked to drink a glass of wine with the dinner, and I did not mind having one during the lunch too. Further, it became a“tradition». One glass of wine per day or 50 grams of cognac with coffee and all. We walked around the city, went out into the city, the exact opposite life of the one that I had in my homeland: freedom, parties, booze.
It was not easy without speaking the language, without friends and acquaintances, plus he was an athlete. Dragged me every day to run into the mountains! God, at these moments, I wanted to die, because of the low oxygen level in the mountains, I was dizzy and gasping for breath, I was exhausted, I wanted to drop everything and go back… After a while I got used to it and ran myself, though not in the mountains but along the beach.