To The Outside World

I would drink on good times. I would drink on bad times. Life had been unmanageable for quite some time now and I had had enough. I was desperate.

To the outside world, I had raised 3 beautiful teenagers and I was successful in my career with each and every new challenge, qualification or job role I undertook. To the outside world I had built the most beautiful picture of a strong independent woman who had her life under control! “I don’t know how you do it Shona” they would say. “In the face of adversity, you show us all how it’s done!”

So I held on to this every time I closed the front door and opened the fridge to pour my first drink of the evening. This would be followed by many more bottles…I deserve this, I would tell myself. Look how you manage your life. You have nothing for you, so treat yourself to another bottle…

Up until the actress crumbled. Diagnosed with PTSD, I was given the largest flashing green light possible to drown myself in self-pity while sipping on any alcoholic beverage that took my fancy… Fast forward 11 months and the wine was now vodka, only I had added painkillers to the mix in attempt to escape the trauma that poor me was going through.

My daughter stopped me from taking my life. Today I thank god every day for this.

Within 48 hours, I walked into an AA meeting fully aware that my life was unmanageable. It was at the first meeting and the week that followed that I knew I was undoubtedly an alcoholic and for that, I will always be truly grateful for today things are so different to the darkness and dishonesty that had ruled me before.

I was promised that if I followed a simple programme, bought a Big Book, got a sponsor and did a few daily suggestions that my life would be transformed. I had nothing to lose now but everything to gain so I did it all (and still do) religiously morning and night, day by day and those promises come true daily.

I worked through the first 3 steps and my sponsor took me on to step 4….to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. With daily calls and strong guidance and the daily commitment of suggestions I then moved on to step 5 and it was here that I had a spiritual awakening that I can only describe as out of this world! By admitting to God, to myself and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs I was finally free. Free from the darkness of the past, free from my obsession with alcohol. A miracle had occurred and I felt instantly that all was going to be ok.

I continue to work the programme day by day and I continue to feel that freedom daily. I have become grateful, for everything. I see beauty in things I would once have viewed as ugly or inconvenient and I have an internal peace that I could never have dreamed of.

In 5 short months and with 5 small steps of a 12 step lifetime programme, my life as promised has been transformed. I can be a parent, a friend, a strong reliable family member and I am now a business owner! All because of AA and the Road to Recovery Group!

I will continue to work the steps and while doing so carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic, for if it wasn’t for the people before me I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s now my turn to give back and I know that my higher power will continue to give me the strength and courage to be who and what I am required to be.

Road to Recovery Group Plymouth