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Experiences with Alcohol

Preferred Name: Angelo

Gender: Male

Age: 35


Angelo is single and lives in a share house. He works casually in the construction industry. He describes his ethnic background as ‘Macedonian’: he was born in Australia, and his parents were born in Macedonia.

Brief Outline:

Angelo began drinking in his early teens at family functions and his consumption increased a few years later when he started going to parties with friends. He then started drinking in the evenings after work and more heavily on the weekends when out with friends. When he was in his early thirties his girlfriend suggested he seek counselling to help him cut down but Angelo didn’t take up this suggestion at the time. When his relationship ended in his mid-thirties he began to reflect on his drinking and now thinks that he did ‘have an issue’. He’s since reduced his alcohol consumption and plans to seek professional support to stop drinking in the future.

Angelo's Story:

Angelo works casually in the construction industry and leads an active lifestyle, going to the gym regularly, practising martial arts and riding motorcycles. In addition to his sporting interests, he pursues what he calls ‘self-education’ in the form of reading and watching documentaries about philosophy, religion and ancient cultures.

Angelo began drinking in his early teens at family functions and his consumption increased a few years later when he started going to parties with friends. Over the next few years he drank ‘any chance [he] got’, most often in the evenings after work and more heavily on Friday and Saturday nights. He says drinking gave him a sense of ‘empowerment’ and confidence but at times it could ‘turn [him] into someone that [he] wasn’t’. Occasionally he would get into fights after he’d been drinking.

In his late twenties he started a new relationship and began living with his girlfriend. He says his girlfriend ‘tolerated’ his drinking initially but over the next few years it became a source of tension between them, prompting her to suggest he seek counselling to address it. Angelo also remembers other friends and family members suggesting it might be a ‘good idea’ if he stopped drinking. But he says he ‘had it under control’ and, after discussing it with a friend, decided not to go to counselling.

Several years later in his early thirties, Angelo started experiencing what he thought was ‘telepathy’ after he’d been drinking. He says that at the time these experiences made him feel as though he could ‘read people’s thoughts’, but they also ‘embarrassed’ him and after a night out, he would feel ‘depressed and drained’.

Around a year before the interview Angelo and his girlfriend broke up. After the break-up he began reflecting on his drinking and now thinks that he did ‘have an issue’. As a result he cut down. A few weeks before the interview Angelo moved interstate and since then has stopped going to pubs and nightclubs. When he was younger he practised martial arts and has recently taken it up again, which he says makes him ‘feel good’ physically and mentally. He finds his local martial arts club to be a supportive environment that connects him to a community of ‘like-minded people’ and allows him to socialise without drinking.

Angelo is now planning to stop drinking altogether, and is considering getting some ‘extra help [to] identify what to do moving forward’ and how to deal with his ‘urges’ to drink. He’s considering returning to his home state to spend more time with his extended family. In the future Angelo plans to study finance and find employment in that sector. He also hopes to buy a house and begin a new relationship.


When he drank heavily, Angelo (M, 35, works in the construction industry, alcohol) sometimes experienced what he describes as ‘telepathy’ and afterwards he felt depressed and embarrassed.


Part 1
The big thing for me was after I’d drink, I would have, I don’t know, I think it’s being classed as terrors or horrors or something like that. It’s where I would kind of like feel as though […] I could read people’s thoughts, and things like that. It sounds like something that other people on other drugs would experience.


Like, you know, I’d think I was experiencing telepathy and things like that. And afterwards for like three days or so, I would experience like a really down feeling, like almost depressive. Like, I was embarrassed […] It was like all my energy was drained and […] everything good that was in my life had disappeared or something. And so for the next week or three days or whatever, I’d be dragging my feet around all depressed.

Part 2
Usually [after drinking] there was some form of regret involved. So whether it was I had an argument with someone or I’d spent all my money that was meant to be saved, which was usually the case. Or, because like I’d have […] these experiences of what was explained to me as having terrors, which were you know, some kind of psychological, psycho-spiritual kind of experience. And not knowing the next day whether, like, it really happened, or whether I was making these things up in my head or whatever. So I’d feel embarrassed, ashamed.

According to Angelo (M, 35, works in the construction industry, alcohol), his drinking caused issues with his partner and they eventually broke up.


I’ve just recently been separated from my girlfriend […] We were together for five years and she wasn’t a drinker at all. She was from, like, a very strict […] background so drinking was definitely not allowed in her family. And she tolerated my drinking. She didn’t mind it but then she started to notice that I was drinking in excess a bit too often. And because she didn’t like that, then I would rebel against it, so we split up about a year ago. And since then, you know, because I loved her and she was everything to me, I realised that I’ve had enough time to reflect on everything, and realise that I did have an issue [Since then…] I wouldn’t say I’ve stopped drinking but I’ve definitely cut down a hell of a lot [from] what I used to.

Angelo (M, 35, works in the construction industry, alcohol) cut down on his drinking by taking part in sport and mostly avoiding pubs and nightclubs.


Part 1
[I drink…] maybe once every three weeks or so. It’s not very often at all […] I realised that I’m getting a bit older, and pretty much behind every stupid decision I’ve ever made in my adult life or pre-adult life has been based on alcohol. So any time I’ve been in trouble with the law or anything, or just done stupid things like crashed my car or something like that, alcohol was behind it. And I realised that I didn’t want to be like one of those old guys that hang around the pub asking for a dollar so they can buy their next beer [and get their] next beer hit. So I just had to make a change because […] I don’t want to be a loser.


I revisited martial arts, which is something I love […] I’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. So I’m training three days a week, doing classes. And on the off time, I’m doing a bit of skipping and just stuff at home. So, yeah, I’ve kind of replaced something that is making me feel good long-term, [rather] than just making me feel good in the short-term.

Part 2
I don’t go to pubs or clubs any more. I just have no interest in going out. So now if it was to happen, it would be a purely random thing.

Part 3
I went to the pub the other day actually. It was to watch the UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship]. They had a competition just recently and they had the female champion of the world. She was defending her title and I thought, oh God, the only place they are going to play this is at the pub. So I went by myself and […] I just got two waters, iced waters from over the bar. So I know that I can still kind of go to events and things […] that I like without drinking.