My goodness, it seems like I haven’t done a “Working on Me” post in forever. Then again, I was sort of off the grid for a period of time due to all the reasons that most of you know already. With all the stress, anxiety, depression, and problems that kept pulling me further and further down into the abyss; I simply was unraveling quickly. Which brings me to what I wanted to chat about in this post.
Alcohol Addiction: My Story
Most of you know that I’m a recovering alcoholic. In fact, last week on Tuesday, 08/14/18, I celebrated my 3rd. year anniversary of sobriety. Don’t get me wrong, there were no band, and streamers floating in the air. Yet, in some weird way, it was happening inside my head.
You see… This wasn’t my first rodeo of sobriety. Oh, no. I remember celebrating my first year of sobriety back in November of 2009 amongst all my AA members, sponsor, and friends alike. I was so proud back then, and I had maintained my sobriety for another year and a half after that milestone.
Yup! I fell off the wagon in May of 2011. All it took was a simple question from my then boyfriend, “Can’t you just have one drink with dinner?” Note: We were on a little extended weekend trip to Baltimore, MD. We were in love and living together, and Disney bluebirds were flying around our heads. Oh yes, woodland creatures were humming love songs… Aww, being in love and being stupid all wrapped up in one disastrous little package just waiting to be opened up like Pandora’s box.
For an alcoholic, there is no such thing as ONE DRINK.
One drink back in May of 2011 turned into a cheap box a wine a day, if not vodka mixed into Lemon/Lime soda. Most of those drinks were not in a lovely little wine glasses… Oh, no, no, no. Tumblers were my thing. Several tumblers of poison.
Fast forward to May 2014 through to August of 2015. The company I was working for went belly up. (Naturally, during a recession). I applied for jobs on a full-time basis, job interviews one after the other and was growing more and more depressed. The then boyfriend and I were engaged at this time, and our relationship was strained to say the very least.
December of 2014, my engagement had ended, but I was still living under the same roof with him. January 2015, I finally landed a job. However, by that point, I was too far gone in depression and alcoholism, I had lost that job, plus the two jobs that followed.
Between the months of March and August of 2015, the number one thought on my mind was suicide. I was a full-blown mental mess. I attempted twice and obviously failed at it. (Thank God).
August 14th was the last drink I ever had. August 16, 2015, was when I went into the hospital. I was now homeless, scared half out of my wits, and it was then that I learned of my mental illness/disorders. (Bipolar 2, Severe Depression, Anxiety/Panic, PTSD, and OCD).
Since August of 2015, so much has happened. I mean, really… A lot can happen to all of us in three years, right? But for me, a whole transformation took place with the help of my therapy and psychiatrist. The medication being tweaked God only knows how many times, right down to moving out of a shelter to now living with my friend and roommate.
These past couple of months were very challenging to me, personally. It brought back all these memories and feelings of hopelessness. I never admitted out loud to anyone, but the thought was in the back of my mind… “Maybe, if I had one drink, it would calm me down.” That by far was the scariest thing to think of doing. I was actually having dreams about drinking. That scared the piss out of me even more.
Last Monday, the 13th, when my car croaked. I sat there for an hour and a half waiting for a ride to get back home. I wasn’t alone, I had my friend, JT with me that day. But, for that time period of sitting there, I was really thinking about a drink.
Later that evening, when I was sitting in my bedroom, I had broken out the book my therapist had given to me; “The Language of Letting Go” – Daily Meditation on Codependency by Melodie Beattie. I took it upon myself to read The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. #3 Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. #4 Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. #7 Humbly asked God to remove all these shortcomings.
I also turned to one of the angels that I collect. On it, is the Serenity Prayer;
I prayed really hard that evening for guidance. I apologized to myself for even thinking of drinking again. I accepted that I was only human and under the circumstances, it was only natural to have thoughts. “As long as they were just thoughts and not act upon them.”
I’m sure you all know the expression, “God works in mysterious ways.” Well, I surely believe in that. My clarity and situation finally turned around for the better since that day/evening.
Yes, in my head on that Tuesday, August 14th of last week… There were streamers floating and whistles blowing inside my head. I made it to my 3rd. year of sobriety anniversary. I literally thank God, my mom, my friends, and all my fellow bloggers for giving me the strength and helping me push through instead of going down all over again.
Question: Has anyone ever experienced thoughts of relapsing after they were sober from alcohol or drugs? If so, how did you overcome those intrusive thoughts?
Thank you all for reading.
Take Care & God Bless,