My story of drinking surely has changed. I started drinking at the age of 40. I started out with having a
glass of wine to relax and that it did. I would have a glass of wine maybe twice a week and enjoyed it. I
started going out with friends on the weekends for dinner and drinks and everyone thought I was more
fun and relaxed and easy going. I started to enjoy life or so I thought.
Alcoholism Was Sneaking Up On Me
After a year two nights became into every day. I would get home from work to cook dinner open a bottle
of wine. I would cook and drink and before I knew it I was in bed by 8:00 every night. I worked until 5:00
each day. Pretty soon I noticed that I could not wait to get home to open my wine. I started to think about
drinking throughout my day. I would look at the clock and count the hours to 5:00.
The Obsession Was Taking Control
I worked for a family business so I started leaving an hour early to get home to drink. I always made dinner
sipped on my wine. When the kids would go to bed, I started on my second bottle. I was now drinking two
bottles of wine a day. My wine intake was increasing but still I thought it was normal not a big deal. I notice
I was getting up later for work feeling awful. This is when I started having a glass of wine before work to
make myself feel better. I knew that was not normal but it got me started into my day.
I Created Ways To Drink Throughout The Day
At work I started to offer to go pick up lunch for everyone at work just so I could have a glass of wine. I though;
“Ok. Now I only four more hours till dinner and wine.” This was definitely not normal but I ignored it. After a year
of doing this and drinking almost all day I realized I have a problem. I confide in my husband. I have a problem
I Still Was Not Sure I Was An Alcoholic
My husband told me not to tell anyone not to put a label on myself. I was scared because I knew I could not stop.
I decided to go to an AA meeting. I went and could not say I was an alcohol. I said I’m Denise not sure if I’m
alcoholic for about 3 months until I started identifying with everyone’s stories in the rooms. I was an alcoholic
for sure. I went to the noon meeting for four and half years.
I Did Not Make An Effort To Treat My Alcoholism
I would go late and leave early with no sponsor. Certainly, I was not doing my step work. I was miserable.
Wishing each day away, I was 45 and not happy. I was dry of alcohol but empty. We all know what this got me.
Yes I was drunk again and in relapse. I could not stay sober.
I Justified, Rationalized And Denied My Alcoholism
I thought it’s been a while I can drink. It was ok for about two weeks. Then I was right back to drinking
everyday morning, noon, and night. I did this for a year. My family and friends started questing my drinking.
I would deny it and started hiding bottles around the house so I would never run out keeping my drinking
under control in front of friends and family. I thought I had them fooled. The only one I was fooling was myself.
After another year or so back to AA I go. I could not stay sober.
I Made Dishonest Efforts
This time with a sponsor that I lied to. I would go to AA and tried “controlled drinking”. My daughters were
getting angry they were older know and noticing I was not working the program. My life was spinning
out of control. I went from a 5-day work week to a 4-day work week so I could have another full day of
drinking. The kids were at school I thought I can sober up before they get home, well that never happened.
My Life Became Unmanageable And I needed To Make Excuses
My life became unmanageable. I was lying. I was skipping from one liquor store to the next. I would make up
stories and tell people I was overworked tired and stress. Sickness was showing all over me.Keeping up with my daily
activities was impossible. There wasn’t an hour of the day that I wasn’t drunk. No longer caring about my home or work
because I was a drunk. I could not stay sober.
I Went Back To AA For The worst Reasons
Bad intentions set me up for failure once more. Only going to AA to make my family happy all the while I was still miserable,
We know what happened,.I drank. In my insanity, I thought a change in location would work. My family lived in Florida.
My oldest was married and one in college. It was just my youngest and me. We moved to Florida in July 2016.
I said to myself, “When I get to Florida and I am settled, I will go to AA and stop drinking.” Less than twenty-fours hours in florida and I was off to the wine store..
I Was Not Going To Let Alcoholics Anonymous Work
One month is all I could hide it from my family. Family came over for the talk. I was busted. The talk stared out with;
“You need rehab”. I was so against that a 30-day program. “I’m not that bad!”, I proclaimed. The intervention was
intense. Pressure to go, I went to Rehab..
Off To Rehab
Rehab was 30 days. It seemed to go well. I came home sober stayed sober for 4 months. Again I started drinking.
I though[ “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I get this?” Going through the motions when I got out indicated
that,I was not ready. They say, “When the pain gets great enough we will change.” The pain was not great enough.
My family gave up on me. My daughter moved in with her sister and I was off to sober living. I have never
felt so lonely and like a complete failure in all my life. Disappointment, pain and same seemed to be all that
was left of my life.
I Am Back To Alcoholics Anonymous For The Right Intentions
This time, I got sponsor and I work my steps and stay in recovery. I must this for me and my girls. This is the hardest
thing I ever had to do, I will die. There is no choice. The guilt and remorse I feel is unbearable. The pain and heartache I
have caused is disgusting. My girls need their mom back and I need to find myself.
Recovery Must Come First
Recovery must come first. Putting it second never worked. I’m taking care of myself with the support of my girls,
I’m finally ready. We all are ready. Praying to my higher power every day to guide me in my journey is my only hope.
At forty-nine years old, enough is enough. Nine years of in and out of AA must stop. Support and friends in AA is wonderful.
The beautiful women in sober living with offer great wisdom on sobriety. They have something I want.
Sober Living Is Key To My Recovery
The wisdom in the house is incredible. Sitting back and just listening to the suggestions, stories to gain the knowledge
from the experienced women made me realize I was finally having an open mind. This is a new beginning for me that I’m taking seriously so I can pass the message on to other women who need help and are still suffering.
Unlocking Hope with An Autistic Child Requires Acceptance
Unlocking hope with an autistic child sometimes requires giving up hope and accepting the the gains your child makes. Allowing your child’s accomplishments to be be their success. This allows you to live in the beauty of their own expression.
My Youngest Hope Was Born
My dear Luke was born April 12, 2006 at nearly 10 pounds and arrived a very healthy baby. He is the youngest of my three boys and developed quite normally in his infancy, reaching all the expected milestones in his growth and development. Having been a mother to two other children to compare my experience, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. At around 18 months Luke was beginning to speak, I remember the day clearly when he had sang the word “Dorothy” mirroring the children’s band and television show from Australia called “The Wiggles”. He would occasionally say the word “Dada”, and I had hope his first “Mama” would surely come in short order.
A Suspicion That Something Was Dreadfully Wrong
Around 20 months I began to notice something peculiar. He was not making eye contact as frequently, and seemed obsessed with turning door handles and flipping light switches on and off in rapid succession. I also became greatly concerned that he not only did not develop new words in his vocabulary but the two that he had just two months prior were no longer being said. Luke’s father and I have been in the medical profession for many years, we both intuitively knew that something was dreadfully wrong with our child. We had hope that this could be simply speech delay, but I had a strong suspicion that was not what we were dealing with. We made an appointment with a developmental pediatrician and were seen within weeks. That was a day that I will without a doubt remember always.
Diagnosis Of Autism
The doctor had a kind disposition, and a gentle nature as he placed Luke on his knee to gain an attentive audience from my son. He waved his hands slowly in front of Luke’s face to see if Luke would look up and into his eyes. He did not. Instead he pushed off his knee and went to the closest light switch and began his ritual of turning it on and off. Then Luke twirled in circles and did the excited arm flapping motion that I noticed was a new habit as of late. The doctor reached into his desk and pulled out printed off literature and I saw the heading even before he handed it over to us. Autism. It was what I feared and yet expected. My hope was dwindling.
What Does This Diagnosis Mean?
The literature bore a bold dark font for all to see. So impersonal and cold. Those six letters changed the course of our family’s life. He began going over the statistics, my then husband asking if he was certain of the diagnosis, and in the middle of this discussion I asked abruptly “What do I as his mother need to do to give my son a chance at normalcy doctor?, that is what I am most concerned with, not the statistics at this point”. This interruption was curt and I instantly felt badly for doing it in such a fashion.
The doctor smiled and had a look of empathy and compassion in his eyes. He seemed to understand that this is the reaction of a mother that just received devastating news, and I just wanted to hear solutions, if there were any. Even as he continued discussing the diagnosis, I began thinking about Luke’s future. Will he be able to attend a normal school? Will he have friends? Or willhe drive? Can he have a career? Is he denied falling in love? Surely he is not robbed of marriage and children. Will I ever hear the word “Mom” come from his lips?
Living In All Possible Solutions
We were told that after the age of five if the child has not developed speech then they likely will not. Intense early intervention was of paramount importance, and thus began my quest to “fix” this “problem” and give Luke a chance. I began taking my son to therapists (speech, occupational, and physical therapist respectively, along with other modalities of care employed in his treatment plan) spread across the valley. We rose at 6am and did not return home until 5pm, We did this Monday through Friday.
Moving And The Toll On Our Family
This took its eventual toll on the family and I began to look into consolidation of his services within one entity. My then husband and I could not find such a place in our city or the surrounding area so I researched out of our state. I found a private school for children with autism. It seemed to be the solution and the key to unlocking my son’s mind. We made the decision to move across the country to enroll Luke. The move was a challenge for all. My then husband only visited once monthly as he had to sell the medical practice and continue to see his patients until the practice exchanged hands. Luke began school immediately.
Results And Acceptance
Progress was slowly coming along, exceedingly slow. His fifth year of life came and went. No speech had developed. I began the process as a mother of accepting that my son would not mainstream into a class with normally developed children. Speaking may never come to Luke. Once I came to accept this, I began to appreciate what Luke could do. I no longer compared him to other children. My son was successful with toilet training. He learned how to use eating utensils. Luke began communicating with an iPad with software that allowed him to make requests. He even formed full sentences.
Decreased Frustration Created Better Connections
These tools greatly decreased his frustration, and made life infinitely easier for all that cared for Luke. I also accepted that I may not hear my son verbalize the words “I love you Mommy”. His non verbal communication was just as effective in conveying love. We shared love when I held his hands. Luke and I swayed and danced. We shared connection when he ran over to kiss me. He would get almost nose to nose and look into my eyes. All of this and so much more spoke volumes of his ability to connect and show love. Only when we let go of what we feel life should be, we can simply appreciate all the beauty and love that presently is before us. We let go and allow the fears to fade. This allows the pain to cease. Freely loving to unlock hope.
I dedicate this blog to my precious Luke David. I love you with everything that I am baby.
Working the steps is the difference in my recovery today. What keeps me clean is far more beyond myself and my own choices. I used to think that to stay clean all I had to do was go sit in the meeting and come home and that was it. It is far more beyond that. I’ve been in the rooms quite a few times and I’ve learned that my way is not the way to keep me clean.
Working The Steps
The first suggestion that I took this time around coming into the rooms is to work the steps. I never thought that working the steps would help me at all. I mean why would I want to dig up Old Wounds? But as I have started working the steps and I’m currently on step 6 I have begun to learn a lot about myself. Yes there’s a lot more work to do on myself but I got to dig deep in the fourth step and uncover issues that were affecting me that I thought I had gotten rid of. Currently I am on step 6 and facing my Character defects which seems to make them all come out at once.
Meeting Makers Make It
Another thing I heard is meeting makers make it. Anything that I put before my recovery I will lose. I learned that when I’m too tired or don’t want to go to a meeting that’s when my ass has to get to a meeting. I may not always hear something in a meeting but I may just be helping another addict by being at that meeting.
Service In Sponsorship
I just celebrated a year clean and my sponsor told me that it’s time for me to start sponsoring. She suggested this since I have worked my fourth step and have a year clean now. And within the same week a girl that just moved into my house, who I’ve known for a very long time, asked me to sponsor her. I told her to give me a gratitude list every day for a week, and then I would sponsor her. The type of happiness I got when she asked me is unexplainable. I believe this will definitely help me in my recovery and help me stay clean.
Giving back what was given to me. Without recovery today I’d be that hopeless helpless girl out there searching for more ways and means to get more. Today I found the light at the end of the tunnel. I love my life and myself today. My name is Lauren, and I am a grateful recovering addict.
My self esteem is one of the things I have lost in my active addiction. It has proven more difficult to get back than a job or drivers license. I never considered myself to be superficial, but I was happy with myself on the inside and on the outside.
Life Changed In Two Hours
On June 15, 2016 I relapsed, and those 2 short hours, on that one single day, changed my whole outlook on life. That night I was intoxicated, and I jumped of the roof of my apartment complex. My boyfriend at the time locked me out of our apartment because I relapsed and he didn’t want to deal with my drunken escapades. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking, but I do remember climbing up there and consciously knowing what I was doing and I didn’t care what happened to me.
A Constant Reminder
Til this day I told my parents I must have fell and I don’t remember what happened, but I do, very clearly actually. I’m pretty sure they know it wasn’t accidental, but we don’t ever talk about it. I had to get reconstructive surgery on my nose. Additionally, I broke my patella (knee cap) so I had to have surgery and have to have a second surgery to replace the screw. I am going to have issues with my knee for the rest of my life and the pain is a constant reminder of what I have done.
Conflict Of Selves
This whole ordeal has made me immensely self-conscious about my looks. One of my teeth were knocked out during the fall. So I never want to smile and when I do smile, I think everyone is looking at my teeth. I am also embarrassed about the scar that goes right down the middle of my nose, and my nose is crooked. I will never take a picture with my head straight because I think it is way more noticeable. It is hard for me to feel good about myself on the inside when I have so many insecurities on the outside.
I Am A Valuable Person
Some days are worse than others, but I try not to wallow in self pity because it could have been a lot worse. Had I fallen backward instead of falling forward that night I could have died or even been paralyzed. I did learn from that experience that I do not want to die. To help with my self esteem I think positive and challenge all of my negative thoughts. Thoughts like I am ugly, I am a loser or even no-one likes me. I remind myself that I am a valuable person and I deserve to feel good about myself. I am working on myself to acquire more self confidence. Some days I struggle more than others. I just need to always remember to:
“Love yourself. Enough to take the actions required for your happiness. Enough to cut yourself loose from the drama-filled past. Enough to set a high standard for relationships. Enough to feed your mind and body in a healthy manner. Enough to forgive yourself. Enough to move on.” – Steve Maraboli
Getting pregnant with my son was not planned. And, being a mother wasn’t a choice. I got with my son’s father and after 3 months I was pregnant. We went to the hospital because I was having really bad stomach pains and throwing up. They did tests and came back and told me that I was pregnant. I couldn’t even explain the type of emotions I was having. Especially because I was still using at times.
Easier To Stop Being Pregnant
Once I found out I was pregnant with my son it was a lot easier to stop. I had already stopped doing it as frequently when I got with my son’s father. The thoughts I had throughout the pregnancy were up and down. At first I was like I don’t think that I am in any condition to raise a child. And then I was very excited to have a family of my own, with my son’s father. My pregnancy was exhausting. Several times I was hospitalized for dehydration.
Introduction To Unconditional Love
Once I had my child and held him in my hands I knew what unconditional love felt like. Once I looked my son in the eyes I knew that I had made the right choice. Everything was going good for a while, but I started building a resentment against my son’s father. He wasn’t helping much with my child.
A Mom’s Desire To Quit Using
After about a year or so when I stopped breastfeeding my child I started to use drugs again. That’s when I felt like I was incapable of being a good mother. I slacked on teaching my kid some things that I should have been teaching him. I was there when he started walking, crawling, eating regular Foods. But I wasn’t actually there in the moment. The drugs were consuming me. And many times I thought I could quit for the sake of my kid and I just couldn’t.
A Mom’s Insanity
I love my child and he was very important to me but he still couldn’t stop me from using. My child went through a lot because of me. I brought him with me on drug deals and drug dealers houses and so on and so forth. I went through that Insanity for a couple years in my kid’s life.
Desire To Be Reunited
I went to Ace in 2015, and that’s when Ayden started staying with Justin, his father, regularly. I figured once I graduated I would be able to get my son back. When I did graduate Justin actually started letting me take him regularly to where I was staying because I was staying clean. I started to see where I slacked with being a mother, and the things that I should have been teaching my son. I opened my eyes to how much this kid has grown, and it was amazing.
Growing Through Milestones
I thought that that was going to be my chance to be a real mother. After about 17 months I went back out for a few months. I felt like I had given up on myself and my kid. After the insanity of a few months I came to a transitional house because I knew it was time to surrender. I was sick and tired, but I was also emotionally less. My son was doing all these great things and growing through milestones in his life around that age, and I felt like I just couldn’t enjoy them because the drugs had made me feel nothing anymore.
A Mom’s Awakening
My son’s father kept my son from me for almost 2 months. My heart felt as though it was broken into pieces. When I started seeing my son again that love filled the void that I had. And I opened my eyes and realized that I was putting him through what my mom put me through. I was introducing him to the chaos I had in my life at such a young age.
There For My Son
In the past year we went through some battles. My son got diagnosed with absence seizures, and since being diagnosed we’ve been to a couple appointments for testing. I realize that I’m not a bad mother. I’ve just made bad choices. Today I’m able to be here for my son. I’m able to recognize his growth and be there and cheer him on when he notices the accomplishments that he has made. I was able to be there for my son this past weekend when he swallowed batteries. I was actually able to drive him to the hospital to find out what was wrong and then stay the night with him and make sure that he was okay.
A Lovable Connection
Today me and my son have a lovable connection. He’s such a lovable kid and very smart. I get to be there a hundred percent today and In the moment. I’m not continuously ditching my responsibilities as a mother to go get high. My son starts kindergarten very soon and I get to be there to send them off to school on his first day.
Blessed By Unconditional Love
Now back to what I said about I didn’t choose to be a mother, but I’m sure glad that I am Ayden’s mom today. I couldn’t even begin to explain the unconditional love that we have. And that’s a blessing all in its own. Being a parent isn’t always fun and games it comes with responsibility, stress, and other factors. But being able to teach this little human being that came from me and watch him grow into such a handsome well mannered young man makes it well worth it. My name is Lauren, and I am an addict.