Recovering alcoholic from Kettering says writing helped turn around his life

A recovering alcoholic who almost lost his home is to publish a book of poetry after he turned to writing to help with his recovery.

Monday, 29th January 2018, 5:00 am
Alistair Muir

Alistair Muir, of Highfield Road, Kettering, lived for 30 years as a functioning alcoholic and drug taker.

At his lowest point he was drinking more than 300 units of alcohol a week and facing life on the streets.

He began the long and difficult process of turning his life around following a breakdown in 2011, when he was diagnosed with bipolar depression and emotionally unstable personality disorder. 
It was then that Mr Muir decided to stop drinking and taking drugs and as part of his rehabilitation, he started writing.

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The 57-year-old, who obtained a degree in history after leaving school, has now had a book of poetry, entitled Epitaph to Alistair, printed through united p.c publisher and he hopes to convince booksellers such as Waterstones to start selling copies in local stores.

It is also available to buy on Amazon.

He said: “I love the old forms of writing such as sonnets and quatrains – simple but tuneful rhythmic poetry.

“I started to apply modern subjects and relationships to old-fashioned rhyming schemes.

“I found that it was such a good therapeutic medium. Writing, like talking, is very good therapy.

“My new book is an eclectic selection with an easy mixture of poems to delve into. I’m very happy with it.”

Mr Muir, who completed a foundation course in counselling at Tresham College, now runs an alcohol and drug support group in Corby.

It is a world away from his former life when he was dependant on alcohol.

He said: “I had built up a tolerance to alcohol but it was becoming increasingly difficult to function and one day I just went bang.

“You always think you can control the alcohol but it controls you.

“Addiction is a very selfish thing because you push people away.

“Having said that, you have to be selfish in recovery because you have to look after number one.

“Friends who say, ‘just come for one drink, it won’t hurt’, are not friends. You have to rebuild your social network.

“Being told that your brain isn’t functioning correctly and that you have mental health problems is a shock but dealing with alcoholism was half the battle.

“It’s difficult to give up but it’s even harder to stay off the drink.

“I still look in the mirror every day and say, ‘I’m not going to have a drink’.

“You still have to take very day as it comes.”