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    Hello. I have been reading this forum for over a year now but this is my first post as I’ve come to a bit of an impasse in my recovery and so have a few questions you guys might be able to help with please.

    I’m in my early thirties and have been drinking heavily all my adult life. Things came to a head last year when I realised I had become a physically dependent alcoholic. I eventually locked myself away for several weeks, constantly reading the 12 Step National Meetings forum and stopped drinking completely. I’ll spare you the details – suffice it to say it is not something I want to go though again…

    Four months to the day later I was feeling well with no cravings or thoughts of drinking. I was shopping and suddenly thought ‘hey it’s Christmas, a pint can’t do any harm’. The relapse that followed was horrendous.

    Then followed a work placement where I was determined not to drink and two months of sobriety followed. I became increasingly anxious though knowing that as the project was coming to an end, I would be on my own again and likely to drink. My response to this fear was to drink. Go figure…

    So I started to put together some tools to help me work out what the heck was going wrong – a ‘personal audit’ of why I drink (turns out it is for almost every reason imaginable…), a daily recovery diary, a diet plan etc. and read up on AV recognition techniques. I even attended a few AA meetings, though it’s not really my thing.

    What I fundamentally don’t understand though is why I keep relapsing and taking that first drink, when I know it is completely irresponsible for me to do so. I simply must not drink or the inevitable drunkenness will follow.

    I do not seem to have any way of predicting when these setbacks will occur or how bad the results will be. Fear of this is really holding me back and itself making it more likely I’ll fail. I just don’t know myself well enough to work it out. I’m trying to be positive but in the meantime I’m trapped.

    So the big question is how do you guys identify when you are at risk of relapsing and avoid it before it happens? Could you suggest any methods I could try please?

    Thank you in advance…

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