"I started isolating myself more and I wanted to crawl into a deep hole and never come out."
Sober since July 2014
Currently living in BC, Canada
When I was growing up, I felt socially awkward, out of place, nerdy and shy. I never had self-confidence and was constantly looking for ways to feel better, even if it was temporary. I was always comparing myself to other girls. They had better clothes, better shoes, better hair, prettier faces—heck, I thought even their hands and feet were prettier than mine. I have lived in this prison inside my head for 31 years now. In fact, I can hardly remember a time when I wasn’t self-conscious.
Of course social media and society’s unattainable standards on beauty makes it even harder for a person to accept himself or herself. I suppose being brought up in an abusive home is where it all started for me. I grew up in a very negative world. Every day was filled with yelling, screaming, name calling, judgements, nitpicking, bullying, wooden spoons being broken over our bottoms, belts being whipped and the list goes on. My mother was depressed and always stressed out so she didn’t know how to teach me to be strong. I do not blame her. I do forgive her and I even forgive the man who abused us thanks to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I was not the real me for many years. I hated who I had become and for all the mistakes I had made throughout the years. I was ashamed of myself and blamed myself for every failed relationship I have ever had as well as any type of abuse I encountered. I was selfish and self-centered. So alcohol was my solution.
It worked for a long time. I was able to function and manage my life for quite a while. However, the more I drank, the more depressed I became. Slowly I slipped heavier and heavier into the disease. It started affecting my sons, my relationships and my job. I started isolating myself more and I wanted to crawl into a deep hole and never come out. All of a sudden, the magic was gone. I remember at one point looking at my glass of wine and sobbing. I didn’t want to drink it anymore. I knew deep down that I had a horrible problem but I had no idea how to fix it. I couldn’t imagine being happy without alcohol and the thought alone depressed me even more. So I drank the glass of wine.
I thought my life was doomed. I had no hope or faith and I was slowly dying. My drinking had progressed and started becoming unmanageable. I began drinking earlier in the day, instead of waiting for my sons to go to bed at night. I started buying the bigger bottles instead of the small ones. My days started with trying to figure out how I would get through them in a somewhat fake happy state before I was able to sit on my couch with my drink again. Drinking was my first priority—not my sons or my relationship with my boyfriend or family. In other words, alcohol ruled my life.
That is, until I hit my rock bottom. I was caught drinking during the daytime by my boyfriend, who had called my parents over for an intervention. I had been lying to them for months claiming that I was sober. I had no manipulative words to say to them—I had no words at all. In that moment, a sense of calmness came over me and I knew that was it. I had sunk to an all-time low. My family stopped allowing my sons to sleep at home. They said I had to prove to them that I could stay sober.
Reality hit hard every night when their beds were empty and I was alone. Who have I become? I did not want my sons to hate or resent me when they grew up. And I certainly did not want to be the source of their problems. Instead, I wanted them to be able to come to me and have a great relationship. I had been with them almost every day since I gave birth and now they were gone because I couldn’t put down a drink.
My future did not look bright and it was finally clear. I needed help and I needed it now. From there I began going to AA meetings every single day and fully emerged myself in the AA world. I listened to all the stories with an open heart and started seeing myself in all of them. I finally began to feel like I related to people and that they understood me.
After 30 days, my parents let my sons come back home at night and everything was back to normal. I was under their radar, but after my time in AA they could tell that I was clearly sober. After 90 days, everyone noticed how well I was doing. I was calmer, happier and more myself. I met my sponsor and completed the 12 steps, which changed my life. I was able to clear my conscience and let a lot of resentments go that I had been hanging onto since childhood. Today, I have the tools to get myself through the occasional urge. I have serenity that I did not think existed before. I have forgiveness in my heart not only for myself but to those who wronged me in the past. The program is truly a blessing to me.
Today I am a student at college. I am going to be a Health Care Assistant, also known as a Care Aide or Nursing Aide. I will be helping people every day which is a gift! This is proof that the Promises do come true if you work for it. My sons are thriving in school, learning so much and I have been with them every step of the way. My family trusts me and I have had the privilege of taking my first sponsee through the 12 steps. Not every day is always wonderful but I am happy—happy to be living life one day at a time.
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