My name is Jerome and I’m an alcoholic. It’s a lot easier for me to say that in writing that it was in my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The thing is, I’m still coming to terms with the whole being an alcoholic thing, but I do have to come to terms with it because it’s what caused the break up of my relationship.
I met Tracy back in my college days and we hit it off immediately. We were into the same bands, so when I asked her to go to a gig with me, she said yes and the rest is kind of history.
We had some ups and downs along the way. She saw some other guys, I saw some other girls, but by the time we both graduated, we were a very steady item. Our relationship was always easy. We’ve always been so comfortable together. At least we were until I started drinking.
The stupid thing is there wasn’t even any catalyst for me turning to alcohol. I’ve always drunk – we both have – just regular amounts like normal people who enjoy going to gigs and concerts. But somewhere along the line I took it too far. I started drinking too much and I don’t even know how it happened.
But I do know what the consequences were. I started sleeping in late, coming home from work late because I was going to bars. Tracy was seeing less and less of me and the little she did see of me I was drunk or hung over. She didn’t like what she saw and who can blame her?
One weekend she woke me up early and had it out with me. This has to stop, she told me. The drinking has to stop. You’re not the person I fell in love with.
But the thing about being drunk all the time is that it is highly addictive. You need the alcohol. It’s not as easy as all that to just stop. And I guess I figured we’d been together so long she wasn’t really going to do anything about it if I carried on drinking. I took her for granted and that was my biggest mistake. So you won’t be surprised to hear that one day I came home in the early hours of the morning blind drunk and she was gone. The worst of all is that I didn’t even notice until late into the next day.
When I woke up hung over, I couldn’t find her anywhere. It was another hour or two before I found the note she left explaining that she couldn’t take this anymore, that I had to sort myself out before she would come back.
I did try to sort myself out. I did try to stop drinking. But it isn’t that easy. What is easy is looking for answers in the next pint – in the next drink. Hiding the pain by running away avoiding the problem. It’s amazing really that Tracy gave me so many chances, and she did give me chances. She came to visit me and she urged me to change.
But as the months went by she saw me less and less until she just stopped coming to see me completely.
It took another six months before finally had to do something. I’d lost my job by then. I’d lost Tracy. I’d lost most of my friends. If I’m honest, money was a big part of deciding to change too. With no job I couldn’t keep spending the way I had been on alcohol. I didn’t even tell you how I got kicked out of the flat because I’d stopped paying rent. I was sleeping on a friend’s floor and they were threatening to kick me out because I stank and drank and didn’t contribute in any way.
Something had to give, and that’s when I finally joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and stood up and said the infamous line.
It took me a long time to quit, but the thought of getting my life back kept me going and quit I did, with a lot of hard work and will power, and even more help from the great people at the AA.
But by the time I was dry, Tracy had moved on.
When I went to find her again, to show her how different things were, it was too late. She said she was happy for me, but that she was seeing someone new.
Joshua, I have to tell you that was the hardest thing of all. The most difficult moment in my whole sorry story. I’d put her through hell, and I’d gone through hell to get myself dry – the thought of getting my life back with Tracy was what pulled me through it. And now it looked like all that was for nothing. The temptation to give in and go back to drink was almost overwhelming.
But something, a voice in the back of my head, said no, don’t do it. As long as you’re dry, there is a chance. Go back to the bottle, and you might as well just die because she’ll never, ever take you back.
And so somehow, miraculously, by listening to that little voice, I stayed off the drink. And even more miraculously, I found your website.
When I told you my story, you agreed to do the spell on Tracy. You warned me it wouldn’t necessarily be a quick process, that you can’t rush love. That was fine. It had taken me months and months of hard work to get myself off the drink. I could take some time to win back my old life.
I have to say I was really happy with how you kept in contact with me through everything. You told me what was happening and kept in touch after the spell. Your most important advice was to not go banging on Tracy’s door, no matter how much I was desperate to do exactly that. You said the spell would make her fall in love with me all over again, but that it had to be her choice to do something about it, and to come and find me when she was ready.
It was still a surprise when that day came. By then I had got myself another job, rented a small place, and was working on rebuilding my life, reconnecting with my friends and so on. It was through one of those friends that she got my new address, and literally came and knocked on my door. Man, I was so happy to see her!
Course, it wasn’t as simple as that. It’s not like in the movies, she didn’t fall into my arms or anything. She told me she’d been thinking about me a lot recently and wanted to see me and see how I was doing. There was something in her eyes though – something I recognised from all those years ago, when we first met. I could tell she was into me still.
Well Joshua, it took a few more weeks, but we saw each other quite a lot. She told me she’d ended it with the other guy, which made my heart sing when I heard it. She came to visit more and more often. It was like the breakup in reverse! And then one day we were kissing, right in the middle of the kitchen. That was like in the movies. Felt like it at least! It was incredible. It felt like I’d won the lottery of life. After everything I’d put her through, she was back in my arms and I knew we were going to be okay.
It’s been a couple of months now, and we’re properly back together. Living together again and everything. I’m so proud to say that I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol. There’s none in the home. We still love music and are looking forward to going out to gigs together again, and I know that’s going to be really tough because there’s going to be drink everywhere and as any recovering alcoholic will tell you, you’re never really recovered, but always recovering. Every day’s a challenge. But I also know that if I’m tempted to ‘just have the one’, I only have to look at Tracy and remember how bad things got, and I’ll be okay.
Thanks again, Joshua, and I hope that by sharing my story I can spread a bit of hope to someone else who feels they’ve hit rock bottom.