Thursday, October 15th, 2009

It was My Choice

drinking-red-wine

What started as a blissful feeling, ended in a misery

Name: Rachita Sahay
Age:24
Marital Status: Married
Illness: Alcoholic
Post recovery: Hates alcohol

It was my convocation day. I was in the seventh heaven. I still remember tears rolling down my parent’s cheeks. After all I had brought so much pride to the family by bagging a gold medal in English Honors. “That definitely calls for a toast”, screamed my bosom friend. And we planned a bash at one of the most happening pubs in Delhi.

There it all started. Some how I had always wanted to drink. But belonging to an orthodox family I never had the audacity to even touch it. Now I had an excuse. Setting aside my compunction I went ahead and indulged. It was my first drink. I still remember that evening when I savoured each and every moment. Gradually it became a mandatory part of our get-togethers, or sorry to say, one of the norms of party etiquettes. You can blame me for this. I needed company and at times I was left alone. So I started drinking, though stealthily, at home. Well I was smart enough not letting my family even get the wind of this nasty habit of mine. Initially it was a trouble for me to put on a good face even when I was ‘flying high’, but over a few months I guess I developed a tolerance for alcoholism and started feeling that it helps me perform better and that encouraged me to drink more.

Three years of this great fun passed and the day arrived when I disclosed my love to my parents and the wedding day was fixed. My beau has always been a fantastic company in this intoxicating habit.

But after marriage my significant other changed. He started loathing my drinking. And we would often get into heated arguments where in I was reminded again and again that I am a ‘bahu’ of his family and bringing shame to them by drinking in public. The great bonding that I had with my family began to fall away. My blood pressure shot up. I could never sleep without drinking. I was too deep into this mire, I realized.

Matters got even worse when I became pregnant. That was the first time I realized I am in a total rut. I wanted to quit drinking, but alcohol continuously ran after me, I tried hard but could not extricate myself out of it. It was all paying off. One night I bled profusely. I became hysterical. I had lost my child.

Desperate to change my ways, I pleaded with my husband for his support. Thankfully he proved my decision of marrying him, to be a wise one. I knew quitting drinking had to be a sudden decision. I said no to my self. But that was not the end to my miseries and I started suffering from withdrawal symptoms. I strongly felt the need to seek a counselor’s help.
Thereafter, I went in for a complete detoxification program and was put under a seven days non-drug detox program. Just warm water and fruit and vegetable juices only. Though difficult, I followed the proper nutrition and vitamin therapy (especially thiamin) stringently. Thankfully I never had to take recourse to drug detox program. Post this program, I was put into a rehabilitation center for a month. Fortunately I started recovering. Through their Motivation Enhancement therapy I regained the lost self-confidence and optimism. I realized the irreversible loss that I had suffered. Though I won the battle I still regret having made one wrong choice.

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Non- drug detoxification is the first and the safest step to get off alcohol. It is the cleansing process that ultimately removes all traces of alcohol from the body systems.

The next step, therapeutic and emotional counseling, begins after the person has completed the alcohol detox process. Some people try to skip to the second step first, but it is not wise, as any remnant of alcohol in the body might continue to stimulate cravings for it.

Another way of detoxifyingthe body of alcohol is through medication. It. is a short course of medication to prevent withdrawal symptoms once the alcoholic stops drinking. These medication includes chlordiazepoxide, a benzodiazepine medicine, is most commonly used drug for detoxifying alcohol. It is also helpful in relieving anxiety, nervousness and tension observed in patients of anxiety disorders.

An alcohol detox program takes around three to seven days in most cases, and then starts the rehabilitation process. It’s not an easy battle, but with the help of an alcohol detox program, a person has a fair chance of not only a healthy and speedy recovery, but also a less stressful one.

Inputs by: Dr. Arti Anand, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

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