My Story of Alcohol Addiction …
I took my first drinks of alcohol in high school. I had gotten myself a fake I.D. I would go to the store with the intent of buying alcohol. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. The worst thing that happened to me in high school as a result of drinking was that I got my dad’s pick-up truck stuck in the mud. It was around 11 o’clock at night and I proceeded to walk about 5 miles home. I was so drunk that I thought I could take the keys from the truck and start a car that was parked on the side of the road and drive myself home. Once inside the car I heard someone outside say, “Get the gun.” Upon hearing this, I proceeded to exit the car and run as fast as I could away from that house. The policeman came to my house the next morning as I had left my purse with driver’s license in the truck. He told my father about my getting into the car. My father took me to the owner of the car and made me apologize. I was mortified!
In college I had a group of friends that I partied with A LOT. Our schedule of drinking was every Thurs night thru Sunday night. I didn’t really get into trouble in college, but did a lot of drinking. It was at this time that I realized after 1 or 2 drinks all inhibitions and shyness disappeared. I became jovial and personable, and everything seemed right with the world. I could actually carry on a conversation with a guy. Being sober this was almost impossible because of my shyness. We all blacked out a fair amount, but there was always one of us who knew all that had happened the previous evening. We watched out for one another.
After college I moved to the Seattle area. I had family here and thought it would be a good place to find a job in my field. I did find a job, got married in 1988 and settled down. I had my son in 1991 and my daughter in 1993. I had a 10-year-old step daughter who lived with us. I drank very rarely while my children were small. For years I drank only on the weekends and would share a 6 pack with my husband on weekends. I didn’t start drinking heavily until my kids were in high school. It happened very gradually and over a period of time. One Christmas I had gotten lots of wine as presents. I felt compelled to finish it off. Each day after work I would come home and work on it. I progressed until it was gone. It seems about this time is when my drinking started to escalate. Many times I would drink every day after work. I began to look forward to it. On weekends when I was home alone (as my husband was working) I would start drinking in the afternoon. I would always have a list of chores to accomplish, but would only finish a few of them. When my daughter was in high school I had a bad episode. I had been to ‘happy hour’ with a friend and had downed many draft beers. On the way home I picked up a six pack, which I would frequently do. Once at home I continued drinking. I was outside smoking and tripped over a dog dish on the patio. The next thing I knew I was face down on the concrete. Blood was all over my shirt. I ran into the bathroom to clean up and realized I had chipped a front tooth, had a fat lip and black drinking. I was outside smoking and tripped over a dog dish on the patio. The next thing I knew I was face down on the concrete. Blood was all over my shirt. I ran into the bathroom to clean up and realized I had chipped a front tooth, had a fat lip and black eye. When my daughter got home that night she was very concerned for me and insisted I go to the E.R. I really didn’t want to go, but eventually relented. When my husband came home that night he was mad and disgusted with me, but did drive me to the E.R. They checked me out and gave me a head CT. Everything was okay. I felt like this was a wake-up call from God to stop drinking. I did stop for a while, but eventually I started again.
Through my teens, twenties and thirties, I never really had hangovers. In my forties this began to change. I would be tired and dragging the next day at work. There were times at parties where I embarrassed my husband from my drinking too much. He would always say “you don’t know when to stop!”
When “Total Wine” opened in Lynnwood across from the Alderwood Mall, I shopped there from time to time. I felt like a kid in a candy store. Once I bought about 5 bottles of different wines and spirits that I thought would be fun to try. I hid them inside a coffee table, thinking my husband wouldn’t find them. I came home one day the next week to find all bottles emptied and sitting on the kitchen counter. I was mad, but didn’t let him know it. My thought at the time was, I can always get more! However, I knew he was doing it for my own good.
Over time my husband and daughter became concerned about my drinking. My husband encouraged me to get help. I told my doctor I was drinking too much, but she didn’t really know where to refer me. Over the course of my drinking I have developed pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. I know that drinking is not good for either of these conditions.
In looking for treatment options, I went online and looked for local A.A. meetings and attended one on a Saturday morning. It was a woman’s meeting called “Women in Recovery”. I really enjoy this meeting and still attend every Saturday. I can feel the encouragement, positive energy and concern each time I attend. I got an AA sponsor and started working the Twelve Steps of the Program. I have made this meeting my home group and have a service position. With the help of A.A., I was able to cut back on my drinking, but was unable to get completely sober. Through the encouragement of my sponsor and others from AA, I checked myself into an outpatient treatment program for alcohol addiction. Here is where I learned about why I was drinking and how detrimental it is to your body. Through this 9 month program I was able to start building up sobriety time. It didn’t happen right away, I had a few relapses. I do feel like the treatment facility was instrumental in helping me get sober. Alcoholics Anonymous helps me maintain my sobriety. Today I have 2 years and 9 months sobriety and am so happy that I was able to break this addiction. I know this happened by God working through the outpatient treatment and my AA program.
Today my life is much different than when I was drinking. “I’m living life on life’s terms.” I am always mentally present for my family and friends. My relationship with my husband is so much better. My relationship with the rest of my family has significantly improved also. I feel 100% better physically and mentally. I would be lying if I said I don’t miss alcohol. I wish I could enjoy alcohol like a normal person, but I can’t. I know that I must stay away from it to avoid harmful health consequences and to maintain healthy relationships with family and friends. Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me in my quest to sobriety, and in return I enjoy participating in AA service. My involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous enables me to continue my sobriety and it helps the still suffering alcoholic out there searching for help too.
- Eternally Grateful Recovered Alcoholic