Am I home?
How did I get here?
Where's my car, did I drive?
SH*T! Who's the guy in bed next to me?
Those were the questions I was asking myself the morning after my 37th birthday and:
- another night of drinking
- another night of blacking out
- another morning of being hungover
- Another morning of hating myself
He (thankfully not a complete stranger – knew him from back in high school), laid there snoring away oblivious to my tears and annoyance that he was still passed out when all I wanted was him awake and OUT of my space! The tears continued streaming down my face as I questioned how I could keep living like I was.
I was miserable.
I HATED myself.
I was drunk all the time, blacking out more often than not. My business was suffering (I was losing clients left and right). My relationships were suffering. I was suffering. My need for alcohol had become a daily thing – most days needing to crack open a beer and drink it to stop my hands from shaking and to just ‘function' enough to get my day started.
For whatever reason, that morning was my rock bottom…or at least the beginning of it. I saw two options – kill myself or seek help. Thankfully I chose to seek help. To keep a long story short, after a few phone calls I was finally connected with an outpatient alcohol addiction therapist and began meeting with her and started AA meetings that very evening.
I'd like to say I was magically cured and that enough had been enough at that point, but it wasn't. Even after attending 2 AA meetings that very day, I ended up back out drinking right after I left the second meeting. And the drinking was hard core binge drinking for a few days – days I don't even remember… I just remember coming out of the stupor (at a “friends” place) wondering where the time & days had went & what the hell happened over the course of those 2 days.
A few weeks later I was on vacation with family and ‘hid' by the pool while they all hit the ocean every day – the pool had a little tiki bar, making it easy to drink! As we headed back home, I found myself at a fork in the road. Once again realizing I couldn't continue doing what I was doing. My life was a mess on so many levels. It was those few days in the car with NO alcohol and nothing to do but think that helped me have a coming to Jesus meeting with myself and admit that ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH. I had to get my crap together – if not for me, at least for my son! And at that time, the only thing that kept me going was my son – I did't care about myself enough or love myself enough to think that I deserved any better than what I was doing to myself/my life.
So, once we got back I started doing 90 in 90 (what's known in AA as 90 meetings in 90 days) and meeting with the addiction therapist regularly. I got a sponsor and got my a** to work on digging into the reasons I had used alcohol to numb myself and not deal with things.
It wasn't easy. But there was a crazy thing happening around those tables – people were loving me for who I was even though my life was such a mess…no amount of complaining, being pissed off, or just trying to push them away kept them away! They were giving me little glimpses of hope – a hope that I so desperately needed but didn't know I needed it then…a hope that I could change the financial messes, that I could find happiness and enjoyment in doing things without alcohol, that I could have meaningful relationships, that I could take back my power and be an empowered, confident, happy woman.
They were living lives that I WANTED but didn't think I deserved or could ever have. And they taught me that all of it happened one day at a time, one meeting at a time, one step at a time, and that life would get better if I chose to believe it could happen and work the program.
And slowly, VERY slowly, I started to change. I started to look at myself differently. The shame and guilt of so many things started to lift. I started enjoying life….without drinking! I started laughing more. I started smiling more. I started enjoying people. I started liking myself a little more and a little more and a little more.
That morning after my 37th birthday was several years ago.
I've now been sober since March 3, 2014 🙂
You may be doing the math and wondering why when I started AA doesn't match up with how long I've been sober. That's another long story, and I'll share a different day. But for now I'll leave you with – I relapsed two years in, but it was the best thing (really it was!).
Anyway, it's been a LONG process. It's been a HARD process. But oh my goodness, I wouldn't change this journey of mine for anything. I am a completely different person and my life is better than I ever imagined possible! And while alcoholism is only part of the puzzle of me and my journey, it's a big part of why I am who I am today.
I don't know what you're going through right now, but you are worth fighting for. You are so worth it – and isn't it time to say enough is enough and take back your life???
Don't ever let anyone dull your sparkle!