Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A NEW LIFE

*** submitted by Anonymous


When I was a little girl I always felt different than everyone else.  I would often day dream about what it would be like to be the "popular" girl, or prettier, or more talented.  I remember sitting in a stairwell at a family party, listening to my relatives chattering and laughing over clinking glasses, and feeling like I just didn't get it.  I didn't fit.

When I took my first drink of alcohol at age 14, it clicked.  I got it!  Now I could understand what all the fun was about.  I loved talking with everyone and anyone who would listen, I could be funny, I was pretty and I simply knew every guy wanted to date me, and I felt like I could accomplish anything.  Until the next morning when I would be hit with the worst hangovers and accomplish nothing being bed ridden all day.

By age 20 I had figured out the solution to my hangover problem, I would take a drink the following morning after a late night.  It took the edge off, my hands were no longer shaking, and my "personality" came back.  I felt better when I was buzzed, and learning to maintain it became the goal.

It was around this time that I became unexpectedly pregnant with a man I'd been dating about a week, and was forced quit drinking.  Honestly, it was not very difficult to stop as my obsession with alcohol was replaced by the obsession of a new baby.  A hurried wedding took place, I purchased my first home, and before I knew it another baby was on the way.  I had two boys 12 months apart, and had spent almost two years being pregnant.  Drink time came once again...

My days blurred together as I felt trapped in a house with two babies to take care of, and the stress mounted.  I turned to alcohol as my nanny, my helper to keep me sane as I changed countless diapers, fed, bathed, clothed these children, and did endless laundry.  I was certainly justified in my drinking - if you had my life you would drink too!  But soon I just couldn't sit in the house with two toddlers all day.  We had to get out and go run errands, go to playdates, have fun at the park, and learn to swim.  It was then that I turned the one drink who would lead to the end for me - Vodka.

I believed that Vodka didn't smell - now I know so many in recovery are under the same delusion.  I would poor Vodka mixed with juice, soda, water, whatever I could mix it with into a water bottle, and off we would go.  My boys and me.  I would drive all over the town, attend parent meetings, exercise, go shopping, make dinners, all in a drunken haze that I became very clever at hiding.  Not.

People around me started to suspect I had a problem long before I did.  My mother in particular questioned my choices and behavior.  I believed my husband was the problem, he was the alcoholic one.  So I packed up the boys and left.  Left my house, my belongings, everything.  We moved in with my mother and within six months I was a divorced, alcoholic disaster, and tired of making up new alibis and reasons as to why.

My journey in recovery began one night when I took my two year old son to the grocery store after a night of drinking and making cookies.  I had run out of green food coloring, and I just HAD to have that!  No matter that I was drunk, I was headed to the store with my toddler in tow.  I vaguely remember the cashier eyeing me as I struggled to enter my pin number and swayed back and forth.  She then leaned in and said, "are you drunk?"...  I was humiliated, frozen in fear that I had been found out.  I turned away in a hurry and never replied, just got the hell out of there with my bag as fast as I could, carrying my son who was innocently playing with his new lollipop.

On the drive home it poured rain and I could barely operate my windshield wipers.  I realized I was putting my son's life and mine in danger.  I realized, for the first time, I was powerless over alcohol.

After a few more days of drinking to dull myself from the humiliation at the store, I had finally had enough.  I crawled on my hands and knees into my mother's bedroom one night, knowing she mysteriously had a copy of "The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous".  I didn't know what was in it, but I knew I had to read it and opened right up to the stories in the back of the book.  I began reading and realizing I could identify with every single story - I knew I was one of them.

The next day I went to my first AA meeting and my life was forever changed.  That was four years ago, and today I have 11 months of sobriety.  I never thought one day would be possible, let alone almost a year.  I relapsed plenty of times, always with good excuse - I was offered a drink and couldn't say no, I was depressed, I was trapped with drinkers at a party, the list goes on.  But the truth is nobody can make me drink today, if I drink its because I want to - period.  And the miracle today isn't that I don't drink, the miracle is that I DON'T want to!

I have learned a way to live sober today, and it includes working the 12 Steps of AA, having a sponsor, and giving back to others.  I have replaced alcohol with fellowship with women in recovery, and that is what has worked for me.  I pray every morning, and I thank God all day, not just at night.  I write a daily gratitude list to remind myself to be thankful for something even when life seems dull, and I send it to my sponsor.  I attend meetings and share what it was like for me to drink, I pray I never forget.

I am so grateful for my sobriety today, and the recovery journey has healed inner wounds I never even knew existed.  My growth as a person and ability to help others is a treasure, and I give all the glory to God for intervening in my life.  God speaks to me through other people, and that is why I share my story and continue to hear other's stories.  Perhaps someone will read mine and know its God speaking to them, this message.  Life is not perfect today, but it’s nothing I have to drink over, and if my head hits the pillow each night without taking a drink its better than my greatest day I ever spent drunk.

10 comments:

  1. This is really beautiful. Congratulations on your 11 months; I had 180 days and then blew it for two months. Now, I'm back on track and on Day 15. Praying is a must for me; I simply can't do this without asking for God's help. Happy Sober New Year!

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  2. Major Kudos for your eleven months. You are so on the right path now I can hear it in your words. Proud of you !~!

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  3. I had an experience in the grocery store that was remarkably similar to yours. That was my big wake up call, too. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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  4. Wow! I am so happy that you shared your story. I have started over many times but always tell myself that I can handle it and it's only a couple of drinks. Each time, I am fine with my drinking, until I am not. Something always happens that makes me ashamed, scared, and wanting to be done with that old "friend" that I have always turned to. I read the Prologue in the book "Drink, The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol", by Ann Johnston (You can read it on Amazon by clicking "Look Inside" for the book) - It totally changed the way I view alcohol. I haven't been drinking for a couple of months now and know I have a long way to go before I'm where you are. What I will say is that I feel great! I haven't slept as well in years. Not only that, I think I look better too.
    Thank you for your inspiration.

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  5. I'm ashamed to go back to my AA meetings as I am drinking again. Is this normal?

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  6. Yes that feeling is totally normal - but we have all been there! Don't let shame keep you from coming back to meetings, being honest with others about your struggle will help them to help you in this time of need. Let go of your pride and shame and give recovery another try, life is so much better and you deserve to feel the joy of sobriety! I am the author of this story - I remain sober today with 14 months. I relapsed for 3 years on and off, and I always felt that shame that you feel, going back to another meeting and getting yet another 24 hour chip, but TRUST me that its worth it go back, humble and honest, and try again! You will get it, just keep coming back :)

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  7. Congrats on your 11 months! I couldn't read your story and not reply, as I could relate on many different levels. Our stories are somewhat different in that I got sober (from alcohol) prior to having children. However, I have 3 children. The first two are 12 months apart, the second two are 2 years apart. I have 3 children under the age of 4 that I stay at home with. That, alone, is enough stress to drive ANYONE crazy! I have from time to time resorted to prescription meds (xanax, pain pills) thinking this was acceptable because I wasn't drinking. Well, I've come to find that my addictive nature covers a wide range of substances. But, anyway, just wanted to reply and say that I could relate...and congrats on your sobriety!

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  8. I love this story. Its really hit a cord. I relapsed on my birthday last thurs and went head first down the stairs. I have just cryed as i am so powerless over alchol . It can keep it . Its won. I want my life . Thankyou x

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  9. Wow, so much resonates. the line 'And the miracle today isn't that I don't drink, the miracle is that I DON'T want to!', I want that so much. I have gone stretches without alcohol, and I have never had the the desire to drink removed, or even close. Your story gives me hope.

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  10. Thank you all for your amazing and encouraging comments - I am the author of this story and I now have 20 months sober!!! I continue to live sober one day at a time - sometimes one moment at a time. But its working because I work it. I have a wonderful community of women friends, I do a daily gratitude list of 10 things I'm grateful for and send it to my sponsor via email, and most of all I stay spiritually connected and continue to grow in my faith with God. Truly that is the most important thing for me every single day - how fit am I spiritually? I cannot say enough in words how grateful I am to be living the sober life. I no longer have to look over my shoulder, recall the events of the night before, what I said, cringe over what I did, or feel guilt and shame when I look at my innocent children over what kind of mother I am. I am becoming the woman God wants me to be! And being of service to others is key. We are here to serve and help others, in our community and also in other ways. Whatever it is you are passionate about - find a way to serve in that area! And you will be blessed and others will be blessed by you. Thank you all so much, posting my story here was a pivotal moment for me in my recovery. It was saying it all out loud, it was being accountable. And I am forever grateful.

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