Opinion, Truckies’ health and wellbeing

A truckie’s view: Starting the journey to sobriety

Australians by nature are fond of a drink, with many life events ending in a toast, or a hard day finishing up with a cold drink at the bar. 

However, some Australians do have a problem with the amount of drinks when they do start, when ten is not enough, and one drink is too many. 

This story is directed to those people, the ones wondering if they might possibly have an issue with the drink, if the problems in their life might be alcohol-related, this one is for you. 

Rex grew up in large town in Australia, one within the reach of a capital city, but still small enough away to feel comfortable and welcoming. 

By his own account: “I didn’t have a bad upbringing. Played up at school a little, left at 15, got a job straight away, just like many of us. At 18, I found alcohol, just like many of us as well.”

As time went on though, Rex found himself drinking more and more to get through the day. Coming home from work, drinking from the early afternoon until midnight, waking up the next morning, thinking of the time he could come home from work and start drinking again. 

When his 28th birthday came around, the drinking really took off, and Rex spent years drinking for effect, no longer for the taste of the alcohol. 

Unable to turn up for work, Rex ceased to be able to function, and his life just became about the next thirst quencher. 

It all came crashing down on his 34th birthday with a drinking session ending in a hospital visit. Released on the promise of getting assistance with his drinking, Rex found a drug and alcohol counselor, who helped him find somewhere to dry out. 

Whilst drying out, Rex found the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship, a 12-step program to help those who have trouble achieving sobriety on their own. That was over 18 years ago now, and Rex is still not drinking to this day. And his life has changed for the better because of it. 

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may help themselves and others to achieve sobriety. A spiritual program that has helped many before, and all that
is required is a desire to stop drinking. 

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings can be found all over Australia and the world, with Zoom allowing people from different countries all over the world, at any time during the day to be amongst like minded people, to reach out for help if required. 

And how was Rex’s life changed? Rex told us: “At the end of my drinking I had lost family, jobs, I had lost my life. In sobriety I have been able to achieve so much more than I thought I was capable of. Trucking across the Nullarbor, engaging life on my terms, living my own life and enjoying every day.”

Rex does understand that reaching out for help can be hard, and that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may be hard to attend for truckies, with their schedules all over the place. 

For truckies, he has this advice: “It’s not like you can dump the trailers at the bp and take the prime mover to a meeting, although I did do that once. Since the pandemic, the amount of Zoom meetings and phone meetings has increased. This means that you can be anywhere, at any time, with the aid of a smart phone you can take part in a ‘check up from the neck up’, and be able to relate to others with the same issues as you.”

If this sounds like you, that you may want help, then check out the Alcoholics Anonymous website at  aa.org.au to find your most convenient meeting to start on the journey to sobriety. 

Asking for help might be difficult, but not asking for help might end up being more difficult. 

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