WITH Christmas approaching, the region's Alcoholics Anonymous group is urging anyone struggling to seek help.

The group helps people across all parts of Worcestershire and published a first-hand account of someone who benefitted from their help.

"J" as they are known, has been sober for four years and said they turned to AA after hating the way they lived.

Their story said: "As far back as I can recall, I remember being unhappy.

"I had a low sense of self-esteem and self-worth, I hated the way I looked and I hated how I felt inside my body.

"I also hated the horrible, negative and unloving thoughts I had about myself and others.

"The voice in my head was like a bully I could not escape from.

"But then I found alcohol. When I drank, the negative thoughts in my head quietened down and the uncomfortable feelings I had began to disappear."

Despite this, J said they felt even worse when the drink wore off.

Having fallen into addiction, J found relationships destroyed and their life in financial turmoil.

They added: "Alcohol seemed fun at first, but at some point, I lost the choice in drink.

"As soon as that alcohol entered my body it caused a physical craving which was too powerful for me to resist even if I wanted to."

It was at this point, J said, a friend recommended Alcoholics Anonymous.

They said: "One day, a friend suggested I try AA.

"I didn't know anything about them and I didn't really know if I was an alcoholic, but I was sick of living life the way I was living so decided to give it a go.

"I went to a meeting and heard stories from other people about how much it had cost them.

"I am forever indebted to the man who took the time to work the 12 steps on me. hanks to the programme I have mended broken relationships and found forgiveness for those I was once angry towards."

If you can't stop drinking or control the amount when you do drink, you might be an alcoholic.

If you need help, you can contact the AA UK helpline on 0800 9177650 or visit www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk.