"I came home. Stayed clean and sober for less than a year, met a guy, moved in with him and things got messy. Well....I was still messy on the inside . All I did was take the drug away. I never dealt with the REAL SHIT. So it was ALL going to come out eventually. It always does right? "
"27 years old, married to my husband for almost 2 years. 18 month old twins at home and a 4 year old stepdaughter. I was leaving behind my entire family for the next 28 days to “get better”. I had some idea that things were going to be different, but I did not realize how different and what it would really look like. I just knew I was tired of being sick and tired.
I didn’t really start drinking until I was 21. I’d had a couple of drinks before that age, but I was always a rule follower growing up, so it felt like I was really living on the edge those few times. I didn’t want to get in trouble. My first drug of choice was marijuana. I began getting high with my boyfriend and his (later became our) friends at the age of 19. He was in a band and we met through one of his best friends. You know, the friend I was dating previous to him. At first it was occasional use. I kept wrestling with it in my mind, I knew it was wrong and you know the “rule follower” in me kept feeling so much guilt about it. Then there was the side of me that enjoyed it. It brought me these new friends and I could just let go a little more. I would get angry at my boyfriend who seemed to love it more than me and place demands that he stop on him. Then in the next breath I’d be right there joining him. It quickly took over my life and eventually I did not know how to function without it. That eventually led to the occasional mushrooms and ecstasy use and a rave or two. Nothing felt quite like the high of weed though and I didn’t like feeling as much out of control as mushrooms made me feel. Looking back now I see how easily I could have become a regular user of ecstasy though.
Eventually I outgrew my boyfriend and getting high. Our relationship while not officially over, the love was gone for the last 2 years of it. I wrote him a “john dear” letter letting him know we could no longer be together. I had already moved on and started to date someone else off and on. That quickly fizzled out and I was matched up with my now husband from an online dating site. We went on our first date, got completely hammered and have been inseparable ever since.
At first drinking was a social thing. It was fun and I knew how to throw them back pretty well. I was proud of the fact that I could keep up with the guys. I was comfortable around the guys more so than the girls. I didn’t like the drama, I’d had enough of that from my home life and creating my own. Drinking was a weekend thing, we’d hit the local bar hard and the next day would be like hell. I thought it was you did when you were 22,23,24….isn’t partying every weekend and some week nights what you do at that age? I felt like I belonged, like I was a part of something and I didn’t have to care about anything. I finally felt like I could be me and I was a lot more brave to talk to people. I also wanted everyone to know my story, about how I grew up and why they should feel sorry for me. My dad had left when I was 14 for another family and my Mom used that as much as she could to keep me angry at him. I didn’t really see him for about 10 years. Instead there were years of fighting and drama. I suppose the drugs and alcohol were my way of coping.
My husband and I’s relationship moved fast. We got together, I moved in about 2 months later and he proposed 3 months later. We were set to get married and then the wedding was called off. My drinking had become a problem. They told me if I could just not drink for 30 days we would look at having the wedding back on. I was so angry and furious. I felt lost. There was even a point that I put an alarm in my phone telling me not to drink so I could have a baby. Thinking that if I had a baby then maybe I would stop drinking. I didn’t. I kept on drinking. You really never knew what you were going to get when I drank. And I never knew really which drink it was that would put me over the edge. It could have been that first drink or the 12th. I blacked out just about every time I put a bottle to my lips. I was arrested for a 2nd time and stopped drinking for a short period of time. Just enough to help me through the legal process. I walked away virtually unscathed. I lost my license for a short while, paid a small fine and that was about it. I had only one prior arrest after punching my mom’s loser boyfriend in her defense.
The drinking only escalated. It went from weekends to daily. I ended up pregnant with my twins in May 2008. I went to the store bought a bottle of good ol’ monarch vodka and a pregnancy test. If I wasn’t pregnant I was going to drink that bottle. I was pregnant. I was in shock. I remained mostly sober throughout my pregnancy. I justified drinking with the “doctors say ok red wine” is ok and then it was a bottle of red wine every now and then. Thankfully, my babies were born very healthy and still are today.
It wasn’t until about April 2010 that I ended up at a women’s AA meeting. My husband and I were wrestling over the bottle I hid down the front of my pants when my mother in law intervened. She got us apart and told me she was going to take me to get a burger. So I got into her car and that is when she drove me to a Women’s meeting at the Loft. I almost did not get out, a friend of hers she knew was inside and she came out to talk to me. I don’t recall much of anything about that meeting or the several others I went to following. Something intervened, I like to think it was my higher power and something stuck at that first meeting because I kept going back.
In the first of May 2010 I agreed to go with my sponsor to Lakeside Milam Recovery center to get assessed. I drank beforehand and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I thought I wanted to make sure they knew I was an alcoholic or maybe because I am an alcoholic. It was clear to them I needed help and they suggested inpatient treatment. I was on board. I didn’t know what i was doing, but it sounded like a good idea to me.
My first year of my sobriety is vague. Actually my first few years are. My memory has gone to hell and I believe to be one of the residual effects of my disease. I had a sponsor when I went into treatment. There I learned what the disease of alcoholism really was. I learned that there wasn’t something wrong with ME. I heard about the spiritual malady and the allergy our bodies had. I, for the first time in a long time felt a sense of relief and had some HOPE.
When I came home, I immediately went to meetings, 3-4 per week and met with my sponsor weekly. I found a home group and got a service position making coffee and chaired meetings. My sponsor and I went through the steps those first few months. I remember after sharing my fifth step with her, I did not feel the huge sense of relief that I thought was supposed to come. I went to a parking lot near a lake and just sat in my car reflecting on what had just happened. I made my first amends immediately to a cousin of mine who had been sober for about 10 years. I continued to go to meetings regularly. I was on fire for the program of alcoholics anonymous. I had found a new freedom and a new happiness just like the big book talks about. I wasn’t afraid of this life sober. I was excited for it and grateful I no longer had to live in the deep dark black hole.
My sober date is May 8, 2010. I still attend meetings and I speak to my sponsor on a fairly regular basis. I have a home group and a service position. I’ve had sponsees and walked with them to the best of my ability. Unfortunately most of them didn’t stick around and some left and thankfully have come back.
I’ve had periods of time in this program where I begin to rest on my laurels. It usually shows up fairly quickly and boldly and I know that is when I need to talk to someone and go to a meeting. During my 4th-7th years of recovery, my meetings dwindled down to eventually where I wasn’t attending any. The insanity of my disease quickly returned and I found myself completely numb to the fact that I had a rope around my neck. I am so grateful for God and the fellowship with AA. Had some women not seen in me what I could not see in myself, I can’t say quite where I would be today. I since started back at meetings regularly, got a new sponsor, walked back through the steps and life has once again turned around.
Today, I have a life that is truly Happy, Joyous and Free. I sought what I thought was happiness and freedom through people, drugs and alcohol. Today I understand that the only place I can find those things is in myself with a higher power. And I don’t do that unless I work this program of Alcoholics Anonymous to the BEST of my ability. Progress is perfection. I do this thing one day at a time, one foot in front of the other and with others in recovery. I know today that there isn’t something wrong with me. I am perfectly whole and human by the grace and love of my higher power.
I have received a lot of gifts through recovery and I have a life I never even dreamed of. I have a beautiful family of 6, home, car to drive, a loving husband, people I can actually call friends and a life worth living today. The best part is, I’m sober, today. I went to bed last night in my own bed and I woke up this morning remembering what I did. The dreaded feeling that a blackout brings is no longer my worry.
This way of life is available to anyone who truly wants it."