(Real, not anonymous stories of former alcoholics)
Today more and more young people are drowning in alcohol, therefore their health, quality of life get damaged and later on the last hope disappears… After losing everything, a person often reaches the very end of his life, when it seems that there is no point in living. At that moment, some kind of higher power makes him so strong and willing to heal and start to live without alcohol. Two people agreed to talk openly about their experiences and achievements.
„Cursed drops of a devil“, – that is how Kestutis Jakstaitis (30) describes alcohol.
Kestutis Jakstaitis – man, who agreed to share his experience about life with alcohol and without. Kestutis has never liked strong alcoholic drinks, he only drank beer. Stronger drinks were making him sick as well as thought about a hangover, which is longer and stronger after these drinks. But if we talk about alcohol, every single drink is poisonous: vodka or from a first sight “lighter” cider or a beer. It is the opposite; these drinks can be more dangerous and quicker to make a person an alcoholic.
Kestutis started to drink when he was 14. A bottle on a table on every Friday and Saturday (he used to drink around 4-8 bottles of beer per day) and sometimes on Sunday was a casual thing. Parent, of course, wanted their kid to live a healthy life, get rid of alcohol but the man did not like when someone tells him what to do, that is why he did not take any actions. Meanwhile, he used to tell his wife that he will get rid of alcohol by himself but only when the time is right.
Drinks – are one of the main reasons, why conflicts between relatives appear. He realized that in that time he could get into a conflict without a reason because he could get angry in a second. Falling apart relationships with his relatives did not stop Kestutis. He continued to drink like that for 10 years and at that time he thought that this is moderate drinking. Today he understands that to drink moderately is impossible – you either are a maximalist, who does not drink at all, or you drink.
Today, a man, who shares his story, with a horror remembers the darkest days of his life. The young man was drowning but his life was saved – people took him to the shore. He heavily damaged his car, which he bought after a long and hard work in Germany, his driving license was taken away as well. He could get rid of any expansive good that he had to work hard for, in a day.
“I do not know why I drank; I hate alcohol from early years. All bad things associate with alcohol”, – Kestutis said. Today he can accurately describe alcohol – cursed drops of the devil. These drops were used by his father that is why childhood memories are not very heart-warming. “I remember that unpleasant smell and cold in house”, – said soberly for a year living man.
There is a saying that only after reaching the very end, a person can lean against and start to live again, without poison. Kestutis story is a bit different – he was encouraged to start a sober life by the birth of his daughter and a conscious desire to change. Parenthood instinct was really strong – the man realized that he wants to be a good example. He did not want his kid to see a careless father, who speaks total nonsenses.
“I do not want my kids to spend their childhood like me – beer and girls, it is better with sport and… girls”, – man joked. Today he lives happily with 5 years old daughter and 16 years old teenager, for whom Kestutis is a good step farther. For 11 years are like friends. He has just celebrated a thirtieth birthday, is an active member of social media, shares videos about alcohol harm and has also become a member of Maximalist club, which has a lot of members like Kestutis.
The first time he got rid of alcohol when his daughter was only eight months old. There were bad days, when he was drinking again, nobody is safe, but the main words, which kept him motivated, were – never give up. After coding therapy with psychotherapist M.G. Maksimalietis, Kestutis has been living a sober life for one year and is happy with his success.
“I am happy now, the family is happy, my mother and father in Heaven. I got a second chance, I started to love life, appreciate water, nature, air”, – he shared.
Point of view towards nature has changed – man does not understand people, who pollute, destroy it and leave trashes.
Today Kestutis is sober for 24 hours, if some kind of problem appears, it is solved immediately and not in the evening with a bottle of beer in his hand.
“I do not have a palace and new a Mercedes yet, but I am HAPPY! I am Maximalist, who is not a slave of narcozombic system. I see a lot of colours of my life, not just black and white; my brain is not psychotropically poisoned and does not make any mistakes, thus there are no unfavourable circumstances. Whatever I do, I succeed, and things that I have not accomplished yet, I know I will. Being sober, I realized that our brains can make any dream and goal come true but only when it is not influenced by any psychotropic substances”, – happily explained Kestutis.
My next interviewee is Grazina, who is finally living a sober life, where she is not an alcoholic. Today she is an aware teetotaler – Maximalist.
“If somebody has asked me, what is my greatest achievement, I would definitely say – the bottom. Because of it I have found real, colourful life and started to live”, – firmly said Grazina (31).
Grazina, who is currently raising a beautiful and healthy 10 months old baby girl, has agreed to share her story and experience.
The woman said that her journey as an alcoholic has started innocently. A weekend with beer was a norm but she did not like stronger drinks. Nevertheless, if there were no beer, she was drinking anything. During work days, she was sober and hard-working. The situation worsens when Grazina moved to her ex-boyfriend grandmother’s house in a village. The woman told that the surroundings were totally different than she used to. She was a city kid but had to learn new skills. “I was planting, weeding, chopping firewood and doing other works which are usual in villages”, – she told. In the village, it was an unwritten rule that every work has to be done with beer. That is how Grazina started to drink more often, finding new occasions to do so. Her ex-boyfriend was drinking as well, therefore there was no fighting because of that.
Did I ask when? When did you hit that bottom, when you realized that it is time to change? Here Grazina remembered that there were a lot of moments but she did not have enough courage to get rid of poisons. “…oh and lost jobs, where bosses were kind enough not to fire me, they asked me to quit jobs”, – she remembered. Long years she worked as a cashier, thus she was respected. She was praised because of her honesty, duty and punctuality but not for a long time. Later, mostly on Mondays, the woman more often was coming to her job feeling a bit tipsy.
A number of problems were getting bigger, a number of friends – smaller. Relationship with my mom worsened, she was visiting me more rarely. It was not because she did not want, but her daughter was making smarter and smarter plans in order to stop mom from coming. In the afternoon she was already drunk, mom would not like that. And it would be not possible to make a proper chat…
Relationship with the boyfriend also got colder – anger was arising over small things. “We started to sleep separately and I was waiting for 9 am, so I could go to a shop and buy beer even though I were still tipsy”, – with disgust in her face, told Grazina. Workers at the shop knew her because she was a regular client, therefore, she sometimes was taking beer without paying, saying that she will pay later. It is worth mentioning that she has always paid her debts.
Relationships worsen not only with mom, boyfriend but also with friends, who did not enjoy her company anymore. Grazina was always tipsy or completely drunk. In the second scenario, she was sleeping, in the first – complaining that life is very difficult. The woman got stuck in a never-ending circle – her life was full of failures, she was drinking and alcohol was creating more unpleasant situations. She decided to postpone her wedding (and later cancel) with her ex-boyfriend because his father was complaining a lot. He used to say that his daughter in law is “fat alcoholic, who will be giving birth to defected children”. The woman could not make peace with an idea that everybody saw her problem but could not see her ex-boyfriend weakness. “To my disappointment (now I am happy that it happened), we broke up”, – she said.
The woman admitted that not even once she was thinking about suicide, today she believes that God saved her from tragedy. In her opinion, the very bottom she reached when she had to leave the village. “I had lost everything – every good emotion, the anger, sorrow, depression and helplessness were ruling me. There was no femininity left in me”, – she remembered.
Grazina came back to Kaunas, where her mother lived, she completed the Minnesota program in an addiction centre. This program helped her to find God, who gave her enough strength to get back in the game. The woman told that the realization that alcoholism – is an illness helped her. Not lack of will, not type of character but a psychological illness which can be cured. This illness does not choose people according to their age or social status but it can be defeated.
You would say that it is impossible to start a new life so quickly? It is possible! Grazina got married, gave birth to a daughter, got into a school. Fate was trying to give her various tests but she did not give up. She survived the loss of her sister without a single drop of alcohol, she believed that God was in need of an angle. She accepted that she has cancer. She survived two surgeries and 6 weeks of treatment. Today, in her absolutely sober body, cancer is sleeping and Grazina can enjoy every single moment of her life. The woman has met new friends, who are also teetotalers and her life became more colourful because sober people think more positive. Grazina told that only when she became sober, anger, envy and anxiety disappeared. The woman is certain that now she is in charge of her emotions and lives in true reality and not in a fake one. She promotes a sober lifestyle that is why Maximalists’ ideas are familiar to her. To live in a moment without any intoxicant and addictions – and she has that!
Grazina started to enjoy a sober lifestyle even more when she came upon Maximalist club founded by M.G Maksimalietis. There she got rid of alcoholic shame and her mood got better. Now she is proud that she is sober and can be a part of society. Today the woman is certain that even if she could drink moderately, she will not do that. Grazna lost the count of sober days because days without alcohol became a standard in Maximalists club. Soberness became a part of her life, Grazina cannot imagine her everyday life without it.
Both Maximalists actively participate in Maximalists club events, which are organized by “The Global Maximalistic Psychotherapy Society” – spreaders of a total soberness idea. Thanks to this organization, now they know that you can stay respected, strong teetotalers – Maximalist and believe in yourself only if you bravely and publically spread the idea of soberness and do not keep everything to yourself because the system has labelled you as an alcoholic.