Hi, I am an Alcoholic and my name is Michelle. My sobriety date is April 24, 2015. By the grace of God, I am 6 months sober! I would like to share a little of my experience, strength & hope. I started drinking at a very young age. Although I do not remember my first drink, I remember my first drunk and my first hangover! My mom nursed me by holding my hair back while I hugged the proverbial porcelain God! From that day on, my memory of that night and the time afterwards, was a feeling of accomplishment. I had heard my mom telling her friends the stories of my actions that night and laughing about it, and I laughed with them. I felt like I had belonged to a more “mature” group. I always had older friends which maybe contributed to me acting older than my age. It was never a problem to find a drink in our house. It was always around! Our house was the “cool” house from what I remember. My dad smoked weed and my mom brewed her own Kaluha and made pitchers of Long Island Ice Tea! They would take vacations and leave my younger sister and I with our Uncle, who was only 6 years older than me! WOW… those were some amazing parties!
When I was in 7th grade, a note was passed in class and was intercepted by Leslie’s father when she came home from school. It had mentioned that I brought Vodka to school and was passing it around in class. Leslie’s father did the right thing by alerting the school the next morning. Well, that particular day I did not bring alcohol to school. They checked my locker and called my mom into the school. I was expelled in the 7th grade. My family was mortified! Somehow, after 83 days I was able to return to school. I remember feeling ashamed but mostly I felt oddly accepted. The summer before starting high school my parents divorced and our family was divided. My sister and I lived with my dad for the years following because my mother was a lie, cheat and an alcoholic. We wanted nothing to do with her. I never wanted to be like her! But to my dismay, I was heading down the exact same path. My drinking continued through high school.
Fast forward a few decades through this progressive disease called alcoholism. I’ve lied, I’ve cheated and I, too, divorced. I AM an alcoholic. I had become exactly who I didn’t want to be! My life had become unmanageable and this disease was killing me! Mentally, physically and spiritually. I felt I had no reason to live, no purpose for life and thought there was no Higher Power that could ever relieve me of this insanity that I called my life. The obsession and compulsion I had to drown myself in alcohol was all that was in my head! My biggest question at this time of my life was “Why was I so depressed?” I asked myself that every single morning from the moment I opened my eyes, all throughout the day and would finally end once I passed out at night! I had everything I thought I had wanted in life. I had two beautiful children, a husband, a house, a dog, nice things and had traveled the world. However, I just existed! I felt I had no purpose – yet all of these things required so much of me! The NERVE!
As the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “I was restless, irritable & discontent.” This was me! For years I tried to deny to myself that I was anything like my mother! I was going to do “life” differently. I would raise my children better, I would not cheat on my husband and I would NEVER become an alcoholic! Well… you can fill in the blanks of how my life had turned out! April 20th was the dreaded day! My husband had finally given me my last chance to make things right for myself and for our family. He called a treatment center and asked them to take me. I was done! Alcohol was not working for me anymore. My life had become a mess of chaos and insanity that I could not hide anymore. I knew that I could not live like this anymore and that something had to be “fixed.” Come to find out, that something was me- the root of all the chaos and insanity in my life.
I arrived in Fort Myers on April 24, 2015. All I knew was that I was to have a bed, food and no alcohol. Other than that, I had no idea what to expect. I had never done anything like this before and had no clue of any expectations. I just knew I was leaving my children and my comfort zone for the unknown. But I knew that I could not do this alone because I had tried before. I had to surrender to the idea that I needed someone or something greater than myself to restore me back to sanity. Going into Treatment was the best thing that has ever happened to me! It allowed me time to detox from my addiction, take responsibility for my actions and learn to “Let it Go!” I learned so much about myself through counseling, therapy, sharing in group sessions and from the wonderful staff that really did care about me! I learned that my mother could only do what she knew how to do. “I am not my mother” was something that I have come to believe through my recovery and that I will not hold onto that resentment. It was suggested that once we leave treatment to do “90 meetings in 90 days!” I did and then some!
My new found addiction was to hear, share and give service to others just like me. Even though our stories are not exactly the same there are always ways to relate. A bond of love, support and caring because you know each other’s pain. In the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, I found an indescribable peace within myself that I had never had before. I wanted what they had, to be happy, joyous and free. Free from the fear, pain, resentments and self. I NEEDED that in order to continue to live.
I found a sponsor fairly quickly and started working the steps with her, I read the big book, attend meetings and I just don’t drink. “Just for today” is all I can do. I have had an amazing 6 month journey! It is something that I NEVER imagined could happen. I NEVER thought that I could live my life without alcohol. My perspective on life and its contents has changed tremendously and I know that as long as I continue on this journey with the support of the AA fellowship and the understanding that it is God’s will & not mine, I will always remain a grateful alcoholic.
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