Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Breaking the Chain of Addiction - Lara at One Year Sober

January 13, 2013, I was one year sober.

I wish I could say everyday was a battle, and my willpower got me through it. But it wasn't a battle, and it had nothing to do with willpower.

It was a choice. I stopped blaming everybody and every circumstance that hurt me, and I took responsibility for my life. I wanted a change. I no longer wanted to numb my pain or feelings. Because of these choices, I gave up the booze....with God as my strength.

I, like many alcoholics, didn't have a childhood. I was abandoned by my parents. As were my brothers and sisters. My mother chose to put the men in her life first, instead of her children. Because of this I had no father, and was forced to live with an abusive step-father. My mother didn't have it in her to be a loving, devoted mother. Because of the choices she made, it brought horrible consequences. I started drinking at age 14, along with drugs and sex.

The drinking got worse the older I got. God brought me, to my now husband of 18 years, when I was 19. He is a faithful, loving husband and father of our 3 beautiful children. They are a real blessings, and having them in my life has showed me what true love really is.

However, I still chose to drink, numbing the painful feelings of abandonment and abuse, that I had pushed so deep inside of me from my past. I started hating alcohol, instead of loving it as my dear friend and comforter. I hated waking up shameful of what I did or said, or trying to remember the things I did or said. Not to mention the horrible hangovers, weight gain, bloating, etc. Only to start it all over again the next afternoon.

I tried to quit drinking many times. I even reached out to my birth family for help one Christmas eve. I admitted to my mother, step-father, brother and sisters that I had a drinking problem and I wanted to quit for good. They just looked at me with shame and embarrassment. They continued to drink around me, however, and offered no support. Mother would even bring over pretty empty wine bottles, and bags of wine corks that she was finished with, for "decoration projects" for my kids.

My battle continued for years with my addiction to booze, as well as the abusive drama of my birth family, until something inside me finally clicked. I realized I wanted more from life than this, and I felt the Holy Spirit was urging me to wake up.

I've never been a religious person, and honestly this has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with a love relationship with God. With His strength, I removed myself from the toxic people in my life.

Sadly, that just happened to be my birth family. It's like my eyes opened for the first time in my life. I finally saw them for who they really were. They don't know how to love. They never had it given to them, to learn how to love.

They all still struggle with sex addiction, food addiction, alcohol, and drugs. They still choose to numb their pains, and abandonment from the past, with their drug of choice. As with all addicts, they are blaming everybody else for their circumstances, their choices, and they take zero responsibility.

I was never raised to be responsible for anything. Nobody in the family was or is. Blame, diversion, manipulation, and self-pity, are all they have to give. It's very sad. I made a choice to stop the cycle of addiction and abuse. I no longer want to pretend everything is ok, instead I face the truth.

I no longer want to walk around numb, I want to acknowledge and embrace my feelings. I no longer want to make excuses or blame, I am responsible for my choices, my actions, and my life. I am finally free to be me!

Sure, I still long for the mom and dad I never had. It would be nice to have sisters who supported me, loved me, and were able to communicate our true feelings and experiences together. But it is what it is. I now accept reality, and refuse to deny the truth any longer.

My mind is clear now, and yes sometimes it hurts to know the truth. But I am healing, I am growing stronger, and I am becoming a person I admire. For the fist time in my life I am proud of who I am. I have overcome a lot and I am setting a good example for my children. I want them to grow up knowing how to give and accept love.

God wants us to honor our mother and father. I am honoring my parents by stopping the cycle of abuse and addiction. They should be proud of that. But instead, they are full of bitterness, hate, and blame.

The next generation will not have to endure the things my siblings and I had to. I know God is proud of me for standing up for the truth, and against the evil. That is all that matters to me. I give my Heavenly Father, all the glory for what He has done in my life. I was blind, but now I see. Life is full of choices. Take responsibility for your life, pray to God for strength. For, through Him all things are possible.

The truth really does set you free!

8 comments:

  1. Powerful words and a powerful woman to say them. Congratulations on your year; i couldn't be prouder of you.

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  2. Happy for you ... share a similar story, celebrated 4 years last week. God has done for me what I could not do for myself and AA loved me til I could love myself and gave me the tools to live life on life's terms! I am grateful!

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  3. You inspire me. Thank you :)

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  4. Oh my goodness.. empty wine bottles for craft projects??!! P-lease. Amazing isn't it. When I announced I was giving up drinking my mother sent me a birthday card with a cartoon picture of a wine bottle on the front with jaunty lettering saying 'For your birthday - don't go for a bottle!' and then inside a cartoon picture of a cask of wine with jaunty lettering saying 'Cardboard is so much more fun!!!'.. I mean for goodness sakes I had just announced I had a problem with alcohol and was giving it up for good. It's really hard for some people around us, that's for sure. But you're so right... it's all about us taking responsibility for ourselves before all others first and foremost. Isn't there some saying about cleaning up your own side of the street... anyway - congrats on the one year!!! xxx

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  5. My absolute favorite part of this is how you take responsibility for yourself, your feelings, your anger, your past, your present and your future. I really believe this is a key to long term sobriety. I too had to wake up and realize my past wast just that..,.,, my past, and start a new future, one day at a time. Detaching from toxic family is never easy, but it is necessary. The judgement that we receive from those who are still sick in their own pathology can really hurt, but staying sober by God's grace comes first and always leads to freedom. Congratulations on one year. Go girl!

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  6. I enjoyed your post. Thanks for your honest writing. You have made a wonderful decision to be a sober woman! Congratulations on the one year sober--something to be very proud of! :)

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  7. This is really inspiring me , I think you have such guts and stamina to stick up to your own family like that , I hope one day they come round to YOUR way of thinking.

    Myself~ I need 'NO more headaches' no more tiredness , I have a whole family (in-laws) that drink such a phenomenal amount , including husband . They all say when I'm there 'oh go on' NO? Are you sure? Just one ? They're quite old and drink way above the guidelines so don't understand my situation (medical reasons).

    Aaaaargh , and my other half laughs when I buckle under as if 'he knew I would' .

    I don't know how I'd fare if I left my husband , refusing another holiday with 'them' will be easy but , with my husband the way he is .

    Anyway ~ this is about YOU ~ Big congrats on one whole year DRY!!!

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