NZ Herald Story 29th October 2018.

Young man (23) agreed to get help for his alcohol problem after becoming abusive to others. His drinking problem started off innocently enough – a social drink at parties, a glass of wine to make him feel fun and extroverted. But it soon spiralled quickly downwards. "It got to the point where I was drinking in toilets at train stations; it wasn't pretty," says 23-year-old Colin Simpson (not his real name). "When my partner told me about something terrible I'd done to her when I was drunk, I knew things had to change, it was a real wake-up call."
His story comes as Alcoholics Anonymous Awareness Week kicks off (it began yesterday and runs until Saturday) in which Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is encouraging young people who may be experiencing problems with drinking to seek help.

Read more: Secret drinking - in the toilet

At 32yrs old when I come to A.A. I was desperate, suffering from a disease that I didn’t really know about or understand. I didn’t think I could ever give away the alcohol; it was progressively my world for about 20 years, then the good times got fewer until there were absolutely none. I was heavily involved in sport during my teenage years & early 20s, which slowly & insidiously went as I drunk more. I became a spectator, critic & someone I despised in earlier years (a barfly).

Read more: One Day at a Time

My name is ... and I’m an alcoholic, 12 years has gone by and I’m basking in the joys that a clean and sober life has given me. I struggled for years when I was first sober, but I held on, now I don’t know myself! I am who I always wanted to be. I have what I’ve always wanted to have. I’m not lying in bed in the weekends hung-over. I have a peace and love for life that I couldn’t ever find in drinking, but I’ have found through sobriety.

Read more: I’m Alive Today

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.

Read more: The "Man"

In 1999 I entered the University of Canterbury, aged 19. By the end of the year I had told everyone I’d decided to leave. No one could know I hadn’t studied. That I couldn’t be disciplined. That I couldn’t face sitting exams I knew I would fail. That I was secretly going on massive drinking binges. I would try to drink as much as I could without blacking out. But once I started I had to keep going. I had to have more.  Over time the binges were getting closer together. At that time I could still hold myself back for a month or sometimes even two.

Read more: A New Life

Help for Individuals

Help for Individuals

Are you worried you may have a problem with alcohol?
Take our simple quiz.

Help for Concerned Family

Are you concerned for a friend or family member? Where can you find help or support?

Information for Professionals

Are you an employer, referrer, or other professional with questions?
Find out how
we can help you.

Information for the Media

AA appreciates Media cooperation in protecting the anonymity of our members. Read our media policy.


A.A. Annual Convention

A.A. Members Website

Back to top