"I did not use a 12-step program. I did change my entire life, inside and out."
Social worker and mommy
Sober since December 2008
Currently living in Denver, CO
My name is Jessica, and I’m an alcoholic.
When I found Sober Recovery, I thought that I had hit a rock bottom, I thought I was desperate. It’s really difficult for me to go back and read my initial post. What brought me here was the fact that I got so drunk in the morning on a Sunday that my husband couldn’t communicate with me. He called my parents; they all decided to call 911. Obviously I don’t remember much of it. I was a walking talking drunken mess, ultimately told that my blood alcohol was .568. That’s not a typo. I refused to go to rehab, refused to go to detox and was reluctantly sent home with a handful of benzos to prevent seizures over the next few days. When I got home, I Googled alcoholism treatment and information, and Sober Recovery came up, and I posted with shaky hands, shame and very little hope. Little did I know at that moment, I wasn’t done yet.
I drank alcoholically for many many years. One day I found an old diary of mine from about 20 years ago. One of the entries ended with “All I do is drink and cry.”
My parents were both alcoholics. They sobered up when I was 19 and going away to college, after a particularly ugly confrontation about their drinking that resulted in me threatening to contact Child Protection out of concern for my little brother (who I protected and raised). They haven’t drank since.
Before my hospital incident I had been hiding my drinking on top of the very public drinking I was doing. Hidden bottles of vodka in dresser drawers, in closets, on top of bookshelves. I even added vodka to beer on several occasions so that it would seem like I was really getting buzzed off of a couple of beers. I thought it was genius. I was killing myself, and I knew it. I had such a self-loathing thing going on, and I was never sober long enough to really think about it.
Fast forward three weeks from the hospitalization, I showed up to work drunk. I had been taking morning shots (something I had told myself I would never ever do) for a while, to kick the shakes and withdrawals. A lot of times I’d throw it back up and try again. I had a meeting with my boss that day and in the end she sent me home with a coworker and called my husband who decided he was also done with me.
I haven’t drank since that day, December 17, 2008. I found a counselor who specializes in addiction; saw him a few times a week at first. He recommended a few horrible books, and a few fabulous books that I devoured. He taught me guided relaxation, meditation. We talked about my family, about my future. We talked very little about alcohol, it wasn’t the real issue. I had absolutely no idea how to celebrate, grieve, quell boredom, or otherwise live without alcohol; I had to learn for the first time. It was terrifying, and at the same time it was a wonderful experience. He taught me it was ok to feel. He told me that I needed to prepare for when life takes me to my knees, because it will. I did not use a 12-step program. I did change my entire life, inside and out.
My life is beautiful now. I repaired my job, my marriage—I have an amazingly perfect little boy—and moved in to the home of my little dreams. I work hard; I live honestly; I play. I sit with myself with a stillness and acceptance that I love who I am and where I’ve been, without the fear of who I will become because I am in control. For the very first time.
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