DAVID Norman used to believe drinking alcohol was a part of character - part of his personality.
"If I wasn't drinking I didn't feel like I was me," he said.
The Urangan man said he felt this way despite sometimes suffering memory loss after a night of drinking and being embarrassed by the way he behaved when he was drunk.
"I couldn't imagine a life without alcohol," he said.
Now he is hoping the book he wrote about his experiences, titled Alcohemy, which includes the strategies that enabled him to stop drinking, will help others to do the same.
His problem drinking had serious consequences, including two instances of infidelity in his marriage and also fathering a child with a married woman when he was young and single.
About five years ago, David made the courageous decision to stop drinking.
It didn't happen overnight. First he worked through a private mental process to help him come to terms with why he had become dependant on alcohol.
Then he planned strategies that would allow him to stop drinking without facing pressure from those around him to pick up the habit again.
Also important to David's recovery was the poem Invictus (below), which provided inspiration as he took back control over his life.
David said he did a lot of research and plenty of soul-searching before making the decision that changed his life.
Five years sober, David says his life has never been better and his wife Donna was proud of the way he had made drinking alcohol a thing of the past.
David said attending anything as public as Alcoholics Anonymous was not an option for him at the time and he knew many other people felt the same way.
He said his book was a private, discreet way for people to finally give up drinking.
For more information, visit www.alcohemy.com.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
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