I had my first drink at about 7 years old. My older brothers were into swiping the odd one from someone’s stash at one of my fathers many party’s, so of course I had to follow suit and get amongst it too. I can recall sculling it back as if it was fizzy drink, but I didn’t start drinking regularly till about 14.

I really enjoyed going to parties with mates on the weekends, running amuck and just carrying on like a normal teenager, well so I thought. I would only ever drink one way and that was to scull it back hard, the sooner I got drunk the better, the day that I could drink a dozen beers couldn’t come fast enough. That was our measure of how much of a man you were, by how much you could drink. So there I was, a man at 16, hahaha what a joke.

I left school and got a job at the freezing works along side my old man. That bought about a new level of drinking. I remember the first Christmas do that I attended, I was there early and into it like a fish to water, sculling them back. Wasn’t long after that I was out the back spinning out, throwing up, goodnight nurse for me. Boy did I get hassled about that for months.

I was in a relationship with a girl who had a couple of years on me, she was a drinker so we would drink up every weekend and things were sweet, for awhile. I never learnt how to deal with emotional stress, so I would drink it away, but it kept coming back. I didn’t know it at the time but I was in dangerous territory, we would argue and I’d run my mouth off, she’d attack me. It was like that for a year or so, until one day enough was enough and I hit her back, repeating a cycle of drink, fight, and make-up, every weekend for about 3 years. I was taking a cocktail of alcohol and drugs over that time and was very sick (though I would never admit that) I attacked her this one morning hit her to the ground then grabbed a knife and pushed it against her throat telling her “ I’m gunna kill you”. That resulted in my spending time in prison. When I got out I continued to drink heavily, abusing my family, friends, and anyone else who was there at the time of my Jekel and Hyde moment.

Blackouts became a very common thing for me but, I always said "must have been a good night if I can’t remember". I had a bit of a scare when I fell asleep while driving home from a party, the car was a write-off, but I was sweet as mate, not a scratch on me.

I sought alcohol counselling to try and get my act together but I was just kidding myself. Some months later I wrecked another car  but, this time did  some damage to myself and ended up in hospital over night.

I then got honest with the a&d counsellor and said I need help, so he booked me into rehab in Wellington. But that didn’t last. I was soon back to the old me, met a girl and thought my prayers have been answered. Then on my dad’s 50th I went nuts again, digging up a 3 year old resentment I had against my brother. After hours of drinking I drove into town to find the girl I was seeing, but when she saw how drunk I was she wanted no bar of me that night. So I packed a sad and started doing skids outside her house. She called the cops. When they showed up I knew I was in deep trouble, having 3 previous drink driving charges, so when they approached my car I took off.  I turned my lights off and went for it….. Got away for the night but they found me at home the next day………… that was the last time I drank.