A little bit of my story

‘It’s 5:30am on a Wednesday morning as I wake. I have an indescribable feeling of sickness in my stomach. My hands and legs tremble as I struggle to raise myself to a seated position. You can’t see the bloodshot in my eyes as the whites are now a dark yellow.

The withdrawals are already well and truly kicking in and my heart keeps ‘dropping’ as it does before I have a withdrawal seizure.

The taste of bile in my mouth is overwhelming, but I only have one thought in my mind – a complete tunnel vision to get alcohol in my system as soon as possible. Next to my bed is a 35cl bottle of vodka I have made sure is there for me the evening before. The shakes get worse with every movement.

The first thing I do is make myself sick to create a 2-minute window where I can neck the vodka and hold it down so it can get into my system. There’s only bile in my stomach so it’s more like retching, but it’s the only way to give me that window.

After this, I try to steady my hands so I can grasp the bottle of vodka in one and a can of mixer in the other. I then start taking alternate mouthfuls until the vodka is empty.

Then I simply sit as still as possible to avoid bringing anything back up whilst I wait for the alcohol to ease the withdrawals and the sickness in my stomach. My arms begin to stop shaking, my heart begins to seem content, and the vodka burns away the sickness.

I’m now just about functional, well at least until lunch time when my next bottle will be consumed.

I then throw on some clothes to try and make myself look half presentable. Then off I go, to do whatever I can to make sure I have that bottle for a few hours time when the shakes return – and then one or two more for the rest of the day.

And of course, to make sure I have a bottle by my bed for around 5:30 the next morning.’

Hello all you lovely people who are taking the time to read this. My name’s Toby, I’m 28 years old and I’m a recovering alcoholic.

The above is a grim description of what my daily morning routine involved during the darkest months of my journey to sobriety.

I have spent my entire adult life battling my addiction to alcohol. A journey which has involved 7 months in rehab, breaking the hearts of my family over and over again, countless stints in hospital and eventually liver disease at 25 which almost killed me. (The split photo at the top of my blog is me now and me with liver disease outside hospital in 2015, hopefully you can guess which is which!)

Me outside Kings Hospital in 2015. My skin was yellow, body bloated and I couldn’t walk. I had liver disease and spent a month on a ward as the amazing doctors and nurses battled to save my life.

I am ridiculously proud and pleased to say I have now been sober for almost two and a half years. I could not be more content with my sober life!

Obviously, I still have my bad days, but I’m now well equipped and strong enough to deal with them without reaching for the bottle.

I have come from a place far deeper than rock bottom in less than three years to where I am today. Now, I feel the time is right for me to try and help others who are well and truly in amongst it, because I am living proof that there is a way back no matter how much of a chokehold you feel alcohol has on you.

Hopefully this blog can help someone out there, whether they are completely dependent or feel they may be starting to rely on alcohol to get through life.

About 8 years ago I couldn’t imagine an evening without a bottle of vodka and the thought of not getting hold of a bottle would bring on a panic attack.

That was the point when I desperately needed help. That was the point when I needed to tell someone I had a problem. That was the point where things could have been so different if I had accepted I had a problem.

If someone is reading this, and the above is you….please talk to someone about it and get help. It’s the beginning of what could be the end. I have been so lucky to come out of it alive.

I would not wish the life of an alcoholic on anyone, so please talk to someone and get help whether it be a friend, family member or alcohol addiction service such as AA.

Believe me, if this is you, I can almost guarantee it’s only going to get worse. It will destroy your life and the lives of everyone who loves you – unless you get some help. It’s not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination but you are strong enough to beat it.

Life can be a wonderful thing, don’t let alcohol rob you of it. Be strong, use the love of your friends and family to make you stronger and don’t be silent if you think you have a drink problem, TALK TO SOMEONE about it and get help.

Thank you so much for reading and good luck, Toby.

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36 thoughts on “A little bit of my story

  1. I’ve had two people in my family suffer with alcohol addiction it’s a lifelong journey like you say… life without alcohol is far richer and one worth the journey…keep strong!


    1. I’m sorry to hear that, I hope they are winning the battle. I’m here if they need someone to talk to. It affects the loved ones and family members of the person with the addiction just as much, so the same goes to yourself. And I completely agree, I’ve never been happier 🙂


  2. Such an inspiration Toby. You’ve brought yourself from rock bottom back up to health and helping people. I hope you’re proud of yourself too. When we met up and the stories you told me you’ve been through a hell of a lot and you dragged yourself through it and I couldn’t me any more proud of you. I know we haven’t been in touch for a long long time but I hope we shall stay in touch from now on. You’re a special man and you can help a lot of people and that is amazing that you’re doing that, it just shows what a genuine guy you really are

    Love you Toby xx


    1. Thanks kim, that really means a lot to me 🙂 You are the inspiration though, the way you are dealing with the stuff you have going on! Of course we will stay in touch! love you too x


  3. Wow Toby! What an amazing blog, thank you for the insight to your tough journey.
    Another therapy is right here, writing it down and letting it go.
    Takes so much strength what you have been through and it is seen through your words. Well done Toby ❤️


    1. Thankyou for taking the time to read it penny 🙂 And you are right, I didn’t realise how good it would feel to get it written down and share it! There’s so much more I have to say so watch this space 🙂 Thanks again.


  4. Toby I am so sorry to hear that you have had such a struggle – but want to say well done you ! It can’t have been easy having an issue with alcohol and being surrounded by it in your youth, as everyone is, but you’ve persevered and are doing so, so well and are definitely on the right path now. I’m sure even though you have put your family through the wringer, they are proud of what do you have achieved to date and will support you and be there for you. Keep up the good work Toby I’m so glad you are feeling the benefits of your efforts and the changes you’ve made. I’m sure there will be others who will have been, or are, in the same position that you were and your blog will resonate with them and hopefully give them the courage to try and make that change for themselves.


  5. Toby, you look a picture of health in your split screen photo. You’re glowing. The other is a shadow of who you really are. We were heart broken for you and your family when we heard how deep your struggle was…Now you’re sharing your journey to help others and prove there is a way forward no matter how big the mountain in front of you was . Well done!!! Can’t find the words to describe how pleased and relieved I am for you and your family. Lots of Love from us all ❤ xxx


    1. Thankyou so much sally! 🙂 I’m so glad I have that photo, I never want to forget how bad it was back then, if that makes sense! Its amazing how much your body can repair itself in a few yeas! Thanks again for reading and your comments. Sending my love to you and all the family 🙂 x


  6. Well done for how far you have come , addictions are not easy at all to overcome . I lost my lovely dad to pancreas cancer not long ago , life is so precious and so are you . You are a handsome young man I wish you all the happiness you so deserve love Kim x


    1. Hi Kim, thanks for reading my blog and your lovely comments 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. You are right, life is precious, I only really appreciate that now. I hope next year brings you tonnes more happiness than this one must have with the loss of your dad x


  7. Good on you Toby! I admire you very much for speaking out, and for finding the strength to engage in what must be a daily battle.


  8. Hate to hear that you struggled so much but so proud to know you have come out the other side, we both haven’t seen u in years but wish u all the love in the world.


  9. This is a remarkable and inspirational story, one that touches very close to my heart. I grew up experiencing my Dad as an alcoholic, the memories I have of this are raw. Unfortunately my Dad didn’t survive to tell his story but I’m so thankful that there are people like yourself that have found the strength to get come through it and share their story. You are amazing!


    1. Thank you so much Cheyenne 🙂 I’m sorry to hear about your dad passing and you growing up in that environment, it must have been unbelievably difficult! It’s something that needs to be talked about as it affects so many people. Not just the person with the drink problem, but all of there loved ones too. Thank you again for reading and your comment, it means a lot. More to come soon 🙂


  10. I knew something was not right. But didn’t realise the extent of your problem. You always were very confident young man. That confidence helped you to overcome your problems and rebuild your life which undoubtedly must have required unwavering support of your parents. You are lucky to have parents like yours. Respect them always. It must have been harder for them than even yourself.


  11. Well done for writing this blog and sharing your story Toby-you have definitely been through a lot and you should feel extremely proud of yourself 👍🏻
    Now is the time for you to be happy because you deserve it 😊 x


  12. Hey Tobes, so pleased to hear you have conquered this goal, as you banged in so many for us at TFC. Glad your getting through it. Stay strong. Regards Tony.


  13. Good work buddy, I kept up with your lows through Mum. Glad to hear you are out the addiction. Keep well x


  14. Hey! I recently nominated you for the liebster award! It won’t let me put the link in, but it’s the most recent post on my blog ( liebster award no.2) you don’t have to do it, but it would be awesome if you did!

    Newblogger20 xxx


  15. I found your blog through another blogger and wow, your journey from being an alcoholic to being sober is amazing! Keep it up and know that I will be praying that you will have the courage and strength to press on. ❤ Keziah


  16. Hi Toby I’ve just read your blogs and must confess to having a tear in my eye. Not in sadness but in relief and happiness for you because our family can remember your journey through the darkest times so Very well and to see you now fills us with Great hope for your future .there are going to be tough times ahead in your life but Toby hold your head high and battle through them and if you ever need a shoulder for support or to cry on you know where we are .


  17. Your cause is absolutely amazing and continue doing what your doing to help more people out there as your making such a change. I lost my stepdad to sucide due to alcohol and drugs, I vowed never to drink and at 32 I still don’t drink, I spend my time helping people from homeless to mental health issues.


    1. Hi Katie 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, addiction causes so many deaths and should be taken far more seriously than it is. Thank you for your kind words about what I’m trying to do, it means so much to hear! What your doing is amazing, I’m sure you are making a real difference to countless life’s. All the best for the future. Toby


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