Sober doesn’t Suck! is a safe place for people to share their stories of facing alcoholism, addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.
I recently received the following article from one of my readers, Nancy. I’m honoured to share her words, hoping someone will find comfort and hope in them.
If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.
Nancy’s Story of Alcoholism
I got drunk for the first time at age 13 at a teenage drinking party in Avalon, NJ. There was a large punch bowl filled with grain alcohol jungle juice and I was eager to try alcohol, as it was a constant in our household growing up. I wanted to be cool and fit in – feel a part of.
But it was never the taste that made me chase alcohol, it was the effect – the buzz. The effect that it produced in me is one that I loved and looked forward to. When I tried cocaine at age 16 for the first time – it was euphoric. And that combination of alcohol and cocaine together, it was like BAM! I’ve arrived!
Within a few years, I was dating the local cocaine dealer and my usage increased. My 20s were a bit of a blur and wild, and by 30 I had become a “recreational” weekend cocaine user and daily drinker. I also had a thriving career, so I was considered a high-functioning alcoholic. I was able to make my weekend drug use and daily drinking work within my lifestyle, as I only hung out with others that drank and used the way I did.
I thought I was your typical party girl and by age 32, I had racked up my first DUI. I was able to maintain pretty well, but I knew I had a problem, I just didn’t really care. Alcohol and cocaine were the two things that made me feel normal and happiest. They were my solution.
In November 2003, I was drunk and typing in my journal about how messed up my life was. I knew I needed help, but I was too scared to ask anyone. In March 2004, I received my 2nd DUI in Carlsbad, CA. Sitting in that jail cell for 11 hours really made me think that I needed to do something different.
Needed to do Something Different
In May 2004, urged by my attorney, I walked into a 12 Step meeting. I left that meeting and went out and drank for a week. While I was drinking during that time I had my moment of clarity. I realized that everything bad that had ever happened to me during my life was from drinking and drugging. I figured I had nothing to lose and that I should give this sobriety thing a try. I had no idea what I was in for, but that’s what I did. I had heard Hope in my first meeting and I clung onto that Hope and walked into recovery with blind faith.
I got sober the 12 Step way; 90 meetings in 90 days, I got a sponsor, I worked the steps and I did what the woman in recovery told me to do. I’m grateful I got sober the way I did and I’m so appreciative of the Fellowship where I got sober. I wouldn’t change a thing. 12 Step programs don’t work for everyone, but it’s what worked for me.
I’ve been able to live life today free from the bondage of alcohol and drugs. I don’t hang out in seedy places, I don’t get DUIs, I don’t wake up in stranger’s beds and I don’t have to wonder what happened the night before and who I pissed off. I have been able to get married in recovery and share my journey with someone else who gets me and who is also in recovery. I rescued my constant companion dog, Lucy, and she brings me so much joy. I have been able to maintain and make new friendships – I get to live and participate in my life today.
The freedom I have today is just amazing and the fact that I get to live my life today without lying, manipulating, cheating and stealing is all just gravy to me. I am grateful I get to have choices today – healthy choices on who I want to be, not who alcohol and cocaine want me to be.