The Very End of
Rachel's Story ~ The Very End of Jim McPhee
My name is Rachel and I’m a grateful recovering alcoholic.
Those were words that I never thought would come out of my mouth and yet I seem to say them on a regular basis these days. And I am eternally grateful. I got sober when I was 32, after yet another job went a little bit tits up. Once again, I found myself in a room with HR, trying to explain my behaviour and failing miserably. I drank to numb the pain of a failed marriage and so many dreams that had never materialised. It’s a horrible place to be, in a dark pit with no way of climbing out on your own and no sign of help anywhere. I don’t think that I even realised that my drinking was the problem, and I’m sure that there a lot of people out there that can identify with that. I felt like drinking was medicine, and it fixed all of the anxiety and depression, but only for a night. The only problem with doing this is that you wake up the following morning feeling ten times worse and then you find yourself having to do it all over again the following night to take away all of those bad feelings. It’s a vicious circle and a miserable place to be.
It was a really good doctor that asked about my drinking and forcefully pushed me in the direction of a local drugs and alcohol service. I went there reluctantly, but I did go and I sat in meetings and group therapy looking sullen and unhappy. But the funny thing is, once I started taking their advice my life started to get better. Life was less dark and people became easier to understand. It felt like a miracle but it was really very simple. The drink had been the monster. I did end up going to AA and I have continued to go, finding that the people there have become my new circle of friends. I know that AA is not for everyone, but I would definitely recommend getting a group of sober friends. It’s also nice to have a group of people who understand your struggles and can be called upon at any time. It’s important to remember that alcoholism is an illness and not something that should be an embarrassment. I like to think that I’m just wired a bit wrong and it’s nice to have people around me who have similar wiring issues!
After two years of sobriety I decided to fictionalise my recovery and recorded it all in a novel. I created a main character called Jim who had all of my defects of character and the same lack of self-awareness that I appeared to have. I fell in love with Jim because I understood everything that he went through in my novel and I ended up loving him so much that I decided to publish the book. I didn’t publish it to make a tonne of money, more to help people who are going through a similar thing. There was a time when I thought I was the only person in the world like me. It was lonely and I felt so isolated. It would be lovely to know that at least one person could read my words and realise that they are not alone. The book is called The Very End of Jim McPhee and it is available to purchase on Amazon.
The Very End of Jim McPhee by Rachel Hessom