I grew up feeling out of place
I grew up on a council estate. I have 4 sisters, a brother and both my mum and her fella were alcoholic, but I don’t think that’s why I am. I believe I was born this way. I grew up feeling out of place and as though I never fitted in anywhere. I have always felt from a young age that I should have been somewhere else and could never get along with people. I hated life and wondered what the point in it was. I really believed that I was born into the wrong family or swapped at birth. I could never feel at home in my own family. I thought that one-day my real parents would come and get me and I would feel alright. I always had that feeling that I needed to be looked after. Life scared me and people in it never seemed to do what I wanted them to do. I found alcohol when I was about 14. I was in a park near my house with a bottle of vodka with a few of my mates. I hated the taste but I loved the feeling it gave me and the confidence it gave me was amazing. The world just didn’t seem that bad anymore and neither did the people in it. I loved the feeling of being drunk and did whatever I could to get alcohol from that day on. I was kicked out at 15 because of my behaviour. I found myself at 16, pregnant and sleeping on a beach in Wales. I was sent to prison for the first time as a result of my drinking. As soon as I came out I was drinking within an hour. I could not stay sober. Staying sober was unbearable for me. When I didn’t have a drink I felt so crap I just wanted to die. I found myself in hospital through overdose many times: trying to commit suicide. I was admitted to mental hospitals and saw many doctors. I was diagnosed with mild schizophrenia and manic depression at the age of 19. I was homeless and had lost my 2 children who had gone to live with my mum.
At the age of 20 I had spent 8 years in and out of prison and homelessness. Everyone was trying to help me but I was so manipulating that I would lie, steal, cheat and destroy anyone who I’d come into contact with. I would wake up every morning so ill, shaking, desperate and scared because I had no choice but to drink. After some years the drink stopped working for me, it no longer did what I wanted it to do. No matter how much I seemed to drink the pain of life was still there. So I got to the point where I could not drink, the consequences were so horrific. I couldn’t not drink because life was just too painful. The day would come when what had happened just didn’t seem that bad and my own mind would trick me into drinking. My problem with alcohol was when I picked up a drink I could not stop! And no matter what had happened the day before I always, always… No matter who I had hurt, no matter what the consequences were, I would pick up a drink again. I made so many promises to people, with all the good intentions and deep, deep certainty that I really meant it. It was always one more attempt to stop and one more failure for years.
Then I came to the point where I wanted to stop. That’s when I came here to AA. I got a sponsor, did nothing and didn’t stop drinking. Something happened to me I got to the point where I had collapsed in my bedroom. I held my head in my hands crying, begging God to help me “Please, please help!” I needed a way out. I came back to the meetings and I felt deep down that I was willing to do whatever it took to recover. I was willing to forget all of my thinking and do it someone else’s way. I got myself a sponsor and was willing to do whatever she suggested. I was completely honest with her. I got myself a big book and worked through the 12 steps of AA. I needed a sponsor to do that. I am very excited about AA because from the day I gave up and did what was required of me I have completely changed the way I see things. The way I think is a million miles different from the way it used to be. I have something today that is priceless, worth more than anything and that is peace of mind.
I have followed suggestions and everything in my life has taken care of itself. My life is much better today, I don’t even think about drinking. Today drinking isn’t important to me I just need to maintain what I have found on a daily basis. I need to do everything suggested as if it was one suggestion because if I leave out one thing I may as well do none of it. I need to do this stuff no matter how I feel, what I think, who’s around or where I am. If I just do this stuff everything will be ok. And I know I can live a happy sober life today. I live quite an amazing life today and I have 5 beautiful children and a wonderful partner, we have a lovely home and I know that it’s just going to get better. I believe this now. None of this means anything without AA. AA needs to come first above all else, even before my children and before anything in my life because AA is the only reason I have what I have in my life today. Even if I am feeling ok I still need to do this stuff. I love my life today and I am so happy and I have AA.
Without good direction from my sponsor and my willingness to take that direction this wouldn’t have worked. I never believed this would work for me. I came here because I was completely desperate, I could never imagine living a happy, sober life. Today I can and that’s all down to AA, a God of my understanding, and the result of working through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Through good sponsorship and being sponsorable I have changed from a scared girl who could not live life sober. I have found the solution to my life at the time, to take away all the sick painful, twisted thinking. And the pain and heartache that living life brought me that took me to such desperation I tried to commit suicide constantly always failing because deep down all I ever wanted was to just feel O.K. I never did experience feeling O.K. and having peace of mind so my only option was to die. I, for whom it was impossible to live a day sober, who walked through and over anyone or anything to get money for alcohol. If I weren’t drinking the crippling obsession would take every thought, every moment I had until I got it. Then this would start all over again as soon as I opened my eyes. I really believe I’ve been to hell, that I was living it for years. Then I went through a process by going to AA, getting a sponsor, getting a big book and working through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
As the result of taking the 12 steps I have changed into a woman who can live life sober, who doesn’t think about drink, who has peace of mind and a life beyond my wildest dreams. I could never have even dreamt a life like this: I can be a responsible mum and watch my children grow up not constantly fearing the day they are taken away as a consequence of my drinking. Who can without thought or fear meet people in every day life, who can walk this earth a free woman providing I take these actions on a daily basis. I live my life on a daily basis truly believing as long as I’m doing the right thing the right thing will happen and that if it doesn’t seem like the right thing for me it’s meant to happen anyway. What will be will be, God’s will not mine.