High-flying recruitment manager Gautam Raval was once a self-confessed ‘’functional alcoholic’’.
At the height of his addiction it was not uncommon for the now 42-year-old to consume, on average, up to 12 miniature bottle of Smirnoff neat vodka to get through his working day.
After more than 10 years of hard drinking, the alcohol started to damage his internal organs and the now married father-of-two found himself diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and making frequent hospital visits. Doctors gave him the stark warning that if he did not seek help for his addiction he would die.
It was a wake up call and one that led Gautam to seek help through Alcoholics Anonymous and also through prescribed medication. When it became apparent both were not suitable avenues to help Gautam, it was his wife Sheetal who suggested hypnotherapy. Gautam found himself sitting before Aaron Surtees of City Hypnosis, a decision he credits with saving his life.
Here, Gautam who has been sober for eight years reveals why Aaron’s method and treatment plan helped him to overcome his addiction and banish alcohol from his life.
Said Gautam: ‘I had always enjoyed a drink and it became part of my after-work wind down or socialising routine from 2000 when I moved to the United States for work.’
‘However when I returned in 2005 and found myself with a job in recruitment that’s when the drinking escalated. Vodka became my weapon of choice’
‘The rewards for hitting targets are huge in recruitment and on pay day we would be taken out, all expenses paid for, to swanky restaurants and bars where we celebrated. This is when the daytime drinking started and it eventually turned into drinking at lunchtime every day of the working week. I found drinking helped to take away whatever was bothering me. Eventually it became normal for me to start drinking in the morning.’
‘I would start my day with two or three miniature bottles of vodka before I went into the office, I would have another two bottles at lunchtime, another two or three bottles after work and anywhere between two to four bottles once I got home.’
‘I was eating throughout the day as well as consuming this amount of alcohol. Throughout it all I was continuing to work and was successful at my job.’
‘I was never abusive or aggressive as a result of my drinking but I knew I wasn’t being a good husband to my wife who I married in 2010.’
‘As the years went on, I found myself becoming increasingly angry and frustrated with myself as I hid the extent of my drinking from those closest to me – I would lock myself away from my family and wife at the weekends.’
‘felt trapped like a hamster in a cage just going round and round on a wheel caught in a vicious cycle and this continued for years until it all came to a head in 2013.’
‘At this point the neat vodka was starting to cause severe damage to my internal organs and I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and was in hospital multiple times.’
‘I knew I needed help and I remember breaking down in tears at work and admitting I had a problem. This was the turning point and when I went home I told my wife the truth about my drinking and took that first important step of admitting I needed to get help.’
Aaron’s method & why it worked
‘By the time I arrived at Aaron’s practice I was at rock bottom.’
‘During the first session Aaron introduced himself and spoke to me in a soft and gentle tone which helped to put me at ease from the start.’
‘The session continued in this manner with Aaron just talking to me and relaxing my mind and body and asking me to go on a journey in my mind. I know now that this is when Aaron plants positive messages in the subconscious mind.’
‘At the end of the session I can remember feeling tired and I fell asleep in the car (my wife was driving) on my way home. I remember not wanting a drink for the first time in years after that first session and that I didn’t want to taste alcohol in my mouth.’
‘I had around six to seven sessions with Aaron and during the trance state he would put me in, he would tell me that I didn’t like the smell or taste of alcohol – something that I know worked because after one particular session, I found myself on the tube sitting next to someone who had been drinking and I had to move’.
‘Aaron was also helping to improve my wellbeing and mental health as I always felt upbeat after my sessions with him’.
‘After the sessions finished, I went on to have kids and buy a house. Eights years of sobriety have passed and I have never been more happier or content’.
‘Aaron’s method was a gradual process rather than a quick fix and took commitment on my part and a desire for it to be successful but I can honestly say it 100% worked for me.’