At 15, Christina had her first alcoholic drink.
She bought a bottle of Don Juan, a highly concentrated spirit, and downed it with her friends in a high-school dormitory.
But Christina felt nothing after the swig and cursed herself for having used her pocket money to buy the bottle.
Little did she know that the seed to her problem with alcohol had been grounded, so to speak.
Later in her life, Christina only felt confident under the influence of drink. Every weekend, she went on drinking sprees with her friends. The drinking binges always knocked her out, leaving her sad and hopeless, and wishing for a better life.
At the same time, she started smoking cigarettes and cannabis. She also started listening to hippie music which in turn psyched her up to take up illegal drugs.
For Christina, drinking meant one thing: having blackouts.
"I just drank until all the lights knocked out. Only then did I call it call it quits -- I mean I passed out," said Christina, "I just felt an urge to do it. And, I followed it till it was dark."
When Christina was aged 28, she began sensing that she had a problem.
Her life was in shambles.
She had been in an out of relationships. She dropped in and out of Christian churches in search of a spiritual solution to her alcohol problem. But her desire to commit to a Higher Power did not quench her thirst for alcohol.
She tried to read self help books, joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and ventured into esoteric spiritual practices in a bid to retain a semblance of control in her life.
Although this somewhat softened the painful feelings that she had accumulated it did not resolve the underlying problem.
Christina's spirit desired change and growth but her physical self remain stuck in the quest for an alcoholic boost.
She made promises to quit drinking and broke them as quickly as she made them.
As a result, her sense of self-esteem and confidence declined sharply, she said.
Though she was a slave to liquor, she knew she had to do something drastic to resolve her inclination to addictive substances.
With that new thought, Christina's journey to recovery began, one day at a time.
"I began seeing a new light within me, and with that new light came hope," said Christina.
"All my life, I had been hiding my light under a bushel. Drinking kept me in a dark place but when I began recovering I exploited the positive power within me which I had neglected for a very long time," she added.
It was like having a new birth of self, it felt great, she said, nodding her head.
Alcoholism is one of the most common forms of addiction. It develops when the drinker's body becomes so used to absorbing large amounts of alcohol.
Mostly, alcoholism develops slowly over years of steadily increasing consumption. If not addressed, it can grow to become a fatal problem.
For many people, especially young professionals, the problem of alcoholism can be hidden under the cloak of a good education and employment. Or, it can simply be tolerated within a peer group that the affected person may not see the value of seeking professional help.
In many societies, drinking is largely seen as a pastime with little to no concern paid to the risk of addiction.
But, as in Christina's case, though the path to recovery may be filled with bumps, it is one worth taking when in the throes of alcohol addiction.
The following steps are essential in helping yourself to quit alcohol.
Prevention is key
The first thing to do is to understand what you're up against. You have to make a resolution to begin to pull away from your addiction. In other words, you have to make sobriety the biggest priority in your life. Prevention is the best method of dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction.
Addiction is a trap you fall into when you begin to compromise what is important to you in life and settle for strategies that provide short-term relief from the pain of giving up your most precious dreams.
Accept where you are and who you are now
Alcoholism comes with a cost of damaged health, relationships, and poor finances among other problems. But to move forward, you first have to accept where you are at this point in life. Be honest with yourself about your situation without being self-judgmental. The fact of the matter is that there is a habit that you have maintained for long, it is not serving you. Rather, it's costing you more than you want to pay. And, plainly, it's time for change, right? So stick to that.
Face the challenge
To develop a new repertoire of behaviors after being stuck in the alcoholic loop is not as easy as it sounds. Certainly, it is an uphill task. Most people who try to "quit" make the decision without a clear understanding of the challenge that lies ahead of them.
But the fact is recovering from alcohol offers you a wonderful opportunity to radically transform your relationship with yourself, and your attitude towards who you are. It is about giving up repetitive and momentary pleasures that leave intoxicated and in a deep depression.
Feel the power
You must start to develop a deep sense and respect for yourself. Find some new goals that will energize your life. In fact, your path to freedom requires fully facing your challenges like a warrior. As you score success, one day at a time, of course, the power within you begins to grow allowing you to become alive again to the possibilities of life.