I’m trying to post these suckers every week but I don’t get as many as I’d like. If you have a story you’d like to share please email me and let me know. I will be happy to help give you direction if you want. Also, as always, if anything you read here rings true for you, just know that you are in good company. There is hope and there is help. Feel free to join us at the Booze Free Brigade if you want to make a change.
“My love affair with alcohol began at age 13. I came from a loving and stable home, but I quickly fell in with the drinking crowd once I discovered this fabulous thing that would free me of all my inhibitions. I was always the one person who would get drunker than anyone else, never know my limit and occasionally blackout. I drank the same way all through my teens, my twenties and thirties, but was extremely successful in school and work, and managed to fit in well with the “work hard play hard” crowd. It honestly never occurred to me that maybe I was an alcoholic – never. And certainly no one else suggested that to me.
A few times in my twenties I tried to control my drinking unsuccessfully, but I didn’t think too much of it. By age 36 I had a successful career, loving husband and two beautiful children. But after two year-long sober periods while pregnant, I was beating myself up daily unable to figure out how I could possibly be so weak as to not be able to control this one thing in my life.
I simply had to drink at night, it was not an option to go without.
Nothing bad happened (except a few embarrassing nights out with friends, but those were few & far between with kids), but I was suffering deeply inside. I had a little window that year… there was one moment when I Googled “Alcoholic”, with tears streaming down my face – I couldn’t figure out how I could be sober for so long while pregnant and so quickly go back to the way I was!! That window passed and about a year passed by, with depression and anxiety slowly starting to fill my life. Finally one night I broke down, I looked up at the ceiling and begged God to help me find the strength to solve this hell that I was in. I didn’t know where to go (obviously not AA, since I did not really believe I was an alcoholic). I just remembered hearing somewhere “help is out there” so I did my best to find something – the next day I called a private addictions counselor. I actually envisioned in my mind that the counselor would tell me the way to drink responsibly! I had a brutal reality check as I learned the cold hard facts about alcoholism. I loved that first meeting as I knew instantly that I could not deny what I was being told, I accepted that I was powerless almost immediately (it was hard, but I was honest with myself and the facts).
The week I stopped drinking was brutal, absolutely brutal. I was told “it will pass” and I held on to this belief. The next two months were also extremely difficult. I continued with the counselor weekly and tapped into some deep rooted issues. When I told my family and friends all of them were shocked and resisted the idea that I had any sort of a problem. But only I knew the internal hell that I had been living – I had reached rock bottom internally.
I have been sober now almost four years. The first year was very difficult. I had to discover who I was, learn how to socialize, how to live without alcohol. But now, my life is everything I hoped it would be. It amazes me how much I can do now – the world is my oyster. My relationships are deeper and more meaningful, my depression and anxiety gone, my personality the same but better, and I am truly happy. Many days go by when I don’t even think about alcohol. Social functions are just that, a chance to socialize, not a chance to drink. And I compare my perspective on life now vs. the last few years of drinking as looking at life with a crystal clear lens versus a dirty, muddy window. Life is beautiful, and I intend to live it to the fullest.”