She would wake up in random places surrounded by strangers
SHE would pass out in strange places surrounded by strange people, forget what she did the night before and was unable to start the day next without a drink.
He would have blackouts, forget that he had been places, climb to heights, steal cars and lash out and wouldn't remember a thing the next day.
Two Mackay people volunteered to talk to the Midweek about alcoholism and how people can get help.
Both wanted to remain anonymous for the article, they will be referred to as Ms K and Mr L.
Ms K has been sober for eight years and Mr L for 35 years - both attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Both have taken control of their drinking and want others to know there is help out there.
The blackouts, arguments, mental torture lasted for years until Ms K made an important phone call.
Looking back at her life when she did drink, the woman admits she did a lot of stupid things and put her life in danger numerous times.
"Logic disappeared - you're thinking changes when you drink," she said.
"There was always an excuse to drink."
Starting her morning with a swig of something, she was always craving that "magic elixir".
"You think you can stop but you can't," she said.
"I tried control drinking - it didn't work."
Purchasing a carton of beer on her pay day, the controlled drinking would include labelling the cans with the days of the week on which they could be drunk.
"I would wake up the next morning with the cans empty," she admitted.
Mr L said he had situations where he would leave the car at home, determined not to drink and drive.
One morning he asked his wife where the car was and was informed he'd come back from drinking and taken the car for a drive.
He had no recollection and had no idea where he had driven to - the black outs were scary and a huge worry.
Both Mr L and Ms K believe their minds are "wired" differently; once they start drinking there is no "off switch" to prompt them to stop.
But with the help of Alcoholics Anonymous they have learnt ways to control their addiction.
Ms K said the meetings were a way for people to talk about what they were going through, listen to others, get clear cut directions, meditation techniques, sponsors and prayers.
"It's not about religion, there are people from all types of religions who take part," Mr L said.
Sponsors are available 24/7 and have been in similar situations.
Ms K said having that connection with your sponsor was important.
AA meetings are held daily around Mackay and surrounding areas.
Where and When:
Monday - 7pm at the Child and Family Centre, 43 Shakespeare St, phone Brian 49574610.
Tuesday - 1pm at Uniting Church admin building, 25 Macalister St, phone Adam 0411244276, and 7.30pm at the Child and Family Centre, 43 Shakespeare St, 0435070195.
Wednesday - 1pm at Ozcare, 1 Endeavour St, phone 0435070195, and 8pm at the Uniting Church Hall, Range Rd, Sarina, phone Danny 49561289.
Thursday: 7pm at the Adult Faith Centre, cnr River and Macalister Sts, phone Tom 0427826677.
Friday - 7.30pm at the Child and Family Centre, 43 Shakespeare St, phone Alan 0418776878.
Saturday - 7.30pm Walkerston State School, Dutton St. Phone 043507195
Sunday - 9am at the Adult Faith Centre, cnr River and Macalister Sts, Allison 0467456081, and 7pm at the Child and Family Centre, 43 Shakespeare St, Brian 49574610.