Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Grieving and Growing

*** Submitted by Robin who blogs at Diet Coke on the Rocks

I've been told that typically when someone asks you to lead an AA meeting, you just so happen to be going through a tough time in your life and leading is the LAST thing you want to do, but you do it anyway because you were asked, and you want to be of service.

I was asked 2 weeks ago, to lead my home group meeting last Wednesday.

I didn't have any trouble going on in my life, but I have to admit....I DID NOT want to lead, from my fear of speaking in public. But just like the others before me, I agreed to do it, both to address my fears, put the task in God's hands, and to be of service to alcoholics hearing my story. Maybe it would help someone. I could only hope.

What I didn't expect to happen was spend a week revisiting my "what it was like" aspect. I got a big ol' dose of my remember when?'s. And that in itself was a scary, mournful journey. A journey I went through for grief, growth and perseverance.

Now that I'm sober, and I've got a year under my belt, it's real easy to sugarcoat what it was like. But the truth of the matter is that it had to get to a place bad enough for me to say that's enough! And those harsh memories are what have been slipping away. And anyone who has some time under their belt will agree, that's dangerous territory. That's the perfect recipe for relapsing. For failure. For going back.

When I drank, I sleptwalked. I was a sleepwalker? Whatever, you get it. My husband and I thought it was something that always occurred with me from younger days, and typically found it pretty funny. I had episodes where I got up out of bed and crawled under the dining room table, claiming it was cozier under there. One time, definitely not funny HA HA but rather, OMG can you believe it?, I lifted up our bedroom tv (19 inch tube tv), dropped it on the floor in front of the dresser, and walked out of the room. Rick, startled out of his sleep and now in panic mode, followed me out of the room and asked me what I was doing? Actually, I think it was more like, What the hell do you you think you are doing? My response? I was redecorating the room. makes complete sense, right? The next morning I didn't even know it had happened. Until I saw 50 pieces of plastic sitting on the floor.

So, looking back, one can see how sleepwalking can just be a quirky thing a person goes through. But it wasn't. It wasn't, when it started involving my kids. One time I randomly grabbed Avalon from her crib in my sleep, walked into my bedroom, and attempted to put her in bed with us. Except, on our way there, sleeping of course, my pajama pant belt loop got caught on the door handle and I tripped. Holding Avalon. Somehow (thank you God), when I fell, I cradled her just so, that neither she was injured nor did I crush her. I woke up upon hitting the floor and was stunned at what had just happened.

Several types of these occasions happened, and I started putting 2 and 2 together, and sleepwalking episodes always occurred on nights I had a lot of alcohol or usually specifically, tequila. Margaritas. So, I had been sleepwalking since I can remember, but also drinking since I can remember.

The guilt part of it sets in when I look back and remember that it took much more than 1 sleepwalking incident to scare the shit out of me and quit drinking. I endangered my kids! It seemed so innocent at the time...i wasn't drinking and driving. I was sleeping. In my own home. I guess it took me some time to figure it all out, but the fact that I put my children in any danger, still weighs so heavy on my heart.

Plus, I could've dropped the TV on one of them! Or my cat!

I stopped drinking. I changed the behavior. I am now present for my kids in every way that I should be. But I frequently thank God for watching over me and my children during that time period, I thank him for forgiving me, and I ask him to continually work on my heart to get me to a place of acceptance.

I guess being asked to lead that meeting was meant to be for a reason. My healing. One step at a time.

I am getting there.


  1. I love hearing more about your story... thank you for sharing. It's incredible what happens when we stop drinking, the realizations and the putting two and two together and all sorts of good.
    You are incredible :)

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, am sorting through thoughts/memories of things that I did when I was drinking ... all kinds of health/emotional issues I never once attributed to my drinking, I just thought that was the way I was, you know? Now I see that so many of my troubles lead right back to the drinking.

    I'm a little over four months sober, and just starting to clear up. Your post gives me hope.

    Thank you.

  3. Goodness, those What ifs? sometimes try to eat me alive. I, too, thank the Lord often for His protection on my life and try to follow Him closely in order to recognize the job He still has for me on this earth.

    I am grateful you never hurt your children while sleepwalking and I am grateful I never hurt my children while driving, or playing, or whatever.

    And I am more grateful we are both sober.

    Happy New Year!

  4. Those what ifs are awful. But they're also what made me decide I needed a change. I'm so scared they might have become reality.