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|12-08-2010, 05:56 AM||#1 (permalink)|
bona fido dog-lover
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: eastern USA
Blog Entries: 31
My story - least
I didn't think I could make it sober one whole year.... but here I am, 59 yrs old and happily sober since December 8, 2009.
I never drank in high school in the sixties. I was an 'oddball' who was busy smoking pot with the only people who would have me - the hippies/ long hairs. It wasn't till after high school that I tried drinking. Wow! And it was legal! From the start I drank to get drunk, no social drinking for me. I wanted the high, the escape. I did ok for a few years but then started drinking too much and blacking out, doing ridiculous and dangerous things. I (barely) remember one party I went to, many years ago. I came home from that party wrapped in a blanket. To this day I don't know what I did or what happened to my clothes or who took me home. Ugh.
Fast forward a few more years and I was in AA, living sober and doing much better. From that point on (in my thirties) I was a non-drinker. Just didn't want it anymore.
Then back in March of 07 I started having just one glass of wine to 'relax' before the kids got home from high school. So I'd be calm and not 'engage' youngest kid when she started a fight. That glass of wine really did the trick.... all too well... and within a matter of months I was drinking all day, every day. I'd had so many years sober and just walked right back into that steel-jawed leghold trap...
I got addicted to wine so quickly it scared me. But I still drank. I drank to the exclusion of taking care of myself, my dogs, and my home. I wasn't paying bills and got into debt over never having enough money for necessary expenses cause I was spending it on wine. One to three bottles a day.
I thought I was 'ok' cause I was drinking at home alone - whom was I hurting?? My daughters were still in high school and they were very hurt by my drinking, especially my one daughter cause I'd picked her up from school several times obviously drunk. I prided myself on drinking at home so I wasn't driving drunk... but the truth is, I WAS driving drunk, either when picking up my kids or when going to get more wine. What an idiot. I was lying to myself and believing it, all evidence to the contrary.
It was in the fall of 07 that I first noticed that I was waking up with the shakes really bad and had to give up my usual coffee cause it made the anxiety so awful. I started having a glass of wine (or two or three) in the morning to quell the awful anxiety. If I didn't have any wine I'd pace the house until 8 am when the store opened up and I could get another bottle. At that point I started to realize I was going thru withdrawals EVERY DAMN MORNING!! I knew deep down I'd dug myself into a hole, but was still digging it deeper. I was drinking to 'medicate' my depression and anxiety but was only making it worse...
Finally in December 07 I admitted to my shrink that I was an alcoholic and wanted to stop drinking. I also called my dad and told him my problem. He was quite understanding and didn't condemn me, just encouraged me to get help to stop. But I couldn't stop, rather, I couldn't STAY sober. I'd get a few days sober, then drink to quell the anxiety. Then I felt like crap and hated myself for my weakness. I was sent to rehab/detox by our local substance abuse center - not once, but three times in the first six months of 08. Always started drinking again afterward. I felt like a complete loser and hated myself and wanted to die just to escape my miserable life.
I'd get a bit of sober time... days, weeks, months - then relapse. Over and over again. I was seeing an addiction counselor as a requirement for being sent (for free) to rehab. But I still drank. The longest I managed to stay sober was nearly six months... but relapsed for two horrible days in December 09, last year. I woke up after drinking for two days, sick as hell and thinking I was going to die. I wanted to die just to end my miserable existence. I went thru the w/d cold turkey cause I was too ashamed to go back to the ER and admit yet another failure.
I must have had an epiphany at that point cause somehow I managed to stay sober - out of sheer stubbornness, if nothing else. I took it one day at a time and stubbornly stayed sober. I was sober but still miserable. At some point in those first few months I started forcing myself to be grateful for my blessings. I made myself be grateful every day. Started posting on the Gratitude forum every day. And whaddaya know? It became a habit! A good healthy habit that filled the void in my soul that alcohol used to fill.
I started to deliberately practice kindness too, a little kindness to someone every day. I was starting to feel better, more human, and not hating myself all the time. It was around four-to-six months sober that I realized that I didn't have the desire to drink anymore. I felt so free!! Now I was staying sober cause I wanted to stay sober and not just from being stubborn. I started feeling happy again and content with my lot in life.
Now I'm living a life better than I'd ever dreamed possible. Still have the same ol' problems, but now I handle them a lot better, with maturity and acceptance and determination. I take better care of myself, and especially my beloved dogs. My kids respect me again and trust me again. I pay my bills on time and in full.
There were so many times in early recovery that I wanted to just give up and drink myself to death, figuring my life was a waste anyway. But with the support of my wonderful addiction counselor, and the caring supportive people here at SR I kept on staying sober. I didn't give up. And now I'm rewarded every single day for my strength and determination. I used to be horribly depressed and suicidal, now I'm happy joyous and free! I still have bouts of bad depression, but nothing like it used to be.
To those just starting out, or starting over, I will say this: NEVER give up on yourself. Keep trying. Keep on trying until you 'get it' or die - cause one or the other will eventually happen. I am enjoying my life for the first time in years. A better life IS possible if you just don't give up!
To the members here at SR: I LOVE YOU ALL AND AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR LOVING SUPPORT AND THE OCCASIONAL ASSKICKING WHEN I NEEDED IT! My hugs and deepest gratitude to you all.
I'd rather live in my car with my dogs than live in a castle without them.
Dogs may not be our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.
Don't wait for the Last Judgement. It takes place every day. -Albert Camus
Find the good and praise it. - Alex Haley
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