I have been in recovery for fifteen months, my last drink happened while I was sat at an airport after spending a great weekend with my son and grandsons in Sweden. I had a lovely time and I was feeling great, but the temptation for a taster of gin hit me from nowhere, my head saying “go on no one will know”. The next thing I know I was back at home not remembering how I got there, my daughter couldn’t get hold of me, my manager told my husband I didn’t turn up for work. Chaos was back in my life all because I didn’t have step one.
I went to AA 30 years ago when I had chaos and consequences because of my drinking, but when the consequences stopped I would believe I wasn’t that bad. I always isolated myself from everyone and drank on my own, I was known as a net curtain drinker. I would go to parties and not drink but I knew my bottle was in the wardrobe to drink when I got home. I would drink to oblivion and wake up the next day with a raging hangover. I stopped drinking when my youngest was 5 years old because my husband threatened to leave me and take my kids. I stopped for my kids. I was sober but still very Unhappy, discontented and disconnected from my family and AA friends. I would go to meetings when things were tough. I heard stories from old-timers, and when I said I wasn’t that bad, I was always advised to watch out for the YETS.
I heard I should get a sponsor and follow the twelve steps, from the old-timers.
I did get a sponsor but I know now I wasn’t being honest about myself. I talked and talked highlighted pages in the big book, but never took action.
When my son turned 15 I thought it was safe to drink again, I did this at weekends and before long it got progressively worse, and all the yets happened.
I was arrested for drink driving, nearly lost my job and marriage, I went into treatment for 6 weeks, I came out of there and went to AA again hearing shares and I shared back but it was usually how bad my life was.
Three of my siblings have died from alcoholism but I didn’t think I was that bad really.
I came back into AA after my last drink but went into a different meeting when I hear shares at my home group abut recovery from members of that group. I began to listen to this group, I kept hearing the same thing-get a sponsor, a big book and follow a few suggestions.
I got a sponsor and she showed how to read the book that I had for 30 years. I discovered I was spiritually sick. After step 5, I felt free for the first time in my life.
I discovered all my defects were keeping me sick, having I higher power who I chose to call god and I feel free for the first time in my life.
I have been connected to my family and my AA friends since august 18.
I am a grandmother to five now, and I see my daughter and I allowed to babysit, things normal people take for granted.
My gratitude list every night is getting bigger and I have experienced this spiritual awakening.
I have a shiny new toolbox that I use every day. I have a tool for every defect that comes up. The self-pity and intolerance tool get used a lot. Instead of hearing things in AA I started to listen. My Preoccupation with alcohol and what people think of me has been removed a day at a time.
I am a very grateful and happy alcoholic today. I now see the life I have always had through new eyes because all is well with my soul.
My sons live abroad and I visit them often and they take me to the nearest meeting that is on near them. I feel very blessed and free from the bondage of self. My first spiritual awakening was a rush of emotions that came from my heart it made me cry, but in a good way, this was after I was asked to do service at a woman’s day centre, I was advised a member of my group would meet me, this was a man known as teardrop Mark. When he turned up in his work van, I thought what on earth have I got into I was beginning to think I was an extra in trainspotting, but what I witnessed was a man with humility and kindness, after this service felt amazing. Taking action and doing service is the key to my recovery.
Bridie C, Road to Recovery Group.