At fifteen years old, I was a very unique young adult. Although I had lots of potential, I was quite messed up from having a very bad childhood.

Unfortunately, I had suffered many years of neglect and abuse from the one person who was supposed to look after me. One day, she gave me the greatest of sucker punches by telling me that all that I thought I knew was just a lie she had cruelly created. 

On that day, my mental health started a steep decline and I began drinking heavily. I was already drinking for pleasure but at that point of my life, it became my way of silencing all my demons.
I thought I was enjoying it but the more I drank, the more alcohol I needed to silence my head. This resulted in me turning to other substances too, but alcohol was always the first step.
I was literally drinking the years away. I would wake up every morning looking for a drink or something stronger to make my day go by. I finally got to the point that I would be shaking if I couldn’t get anything to help me keep my demons at bay. 
At my worst, I missed out on a whole year of my life that I can’t recall in the slightest. I have read journals of my life and honestly don’t know how I didn’t kill myself as my suicidal thoughts were as high as the drink and drugs I was taking. 
I had always lived by the saying ‘here for a good time, not a long time’ and went into my main college exams high on drugs. I have no recollection at all but by some miracle, I passed with three straight A’s! It still baffles me to this day.
It took me six long years to realise the damage I was doing to myself and on New Year’s Eve 2013, I realised that my life was slipping out of my hands.
On New Year’s Day, following one of the worst nights I’d ever had drinking, I looked at my loved ones faces and swore I’d never touch it again.
The first three months were the hardest. I had the shakes every day, was vomiting and was unable to eat.
I took it slowly, one day at a time and put all my energy into the gym. I had some great people around me and so slowly it got easier, although I understood this was a battle I’d probably have to face for the rest of my life. 
Since becoming sober, I’ve been diagnosed with manic depression. This gave me a lot of answers as to why my behaviour had been as bad as it was.
I have now achieved five years of sobriety and I’m in a very good place both physically and mentally.
I use my experience of overcoming life’s challenges, drug abuse and mental illness to help others in similar situations via my social media and other avenues.
I am in a job that I have always wanted, helping people to get out of debt. My gym journey will be reaching an all time high soon. 
I’m proud of the person I am and how I’m using my personal experiences to help others with similar issues.
It really is the greatest achievement a man can have ❤️
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Written by Alistair, edited by Sober Fish
To follow Alistair, please go to Instagram – @alisa2johnstone 
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