“One was too many and a thousand was not enough.” ~AA When I hit rock bottom, I was emotionally numb, spiritually bankrupt, and terrified of dying by the snares of alcohol. NO, it is not an exaggeration. I was right where my life experiences had taken me. Somehow, by the grace of God, I found myself in the rooms of AA. It was there that I realized I needed help to stop drinking. AA is not for everyone, I get it, but it sure was/is for me.
No, I am not lost in my past. No, I am not rehashing old negative scenarios that replay the drama in my life. No, RELAPSE is not part of my sober journey because if it were, I would be dead. I do not need to do “field testing” to know that I had a severe problem with consuming alcohol to escape my reality. The cycle was horrible-it went like this—feel sad or scared, drink, do stupid shit, blackout, wake up in shame and remorse, try not to drink, then cave under “stress” and drink… then repeat the madness all over again. It was evident that drinking was slowly killing me, my dreams, and the spirit of my girls! It was a fact—I could NOT stop on my own! I needed help, and it took, and still does take, an army of sober warriors to help me learn a new way of living. No, I don’t go to meetings every day, but I still go for the newcomer and my recovery. I used to look forward to making coffee, staying late to help, and chairing meetings as part of my service. It HELPED me live, breathe, and find comfort in being a newly sober, single mom who had to bartend to make the amount of money needed to live on my own with two children. Honestly, I was so messed up that I was unemployable and could not have a “day job.” I worked at night when my girls were with their dad. I was there when they needed me, and they were there when I needed them. Looking back, it was a huge blessing! AA was my life-saving haven of like-minded souls that helped me learn how to live without alcohol while working in the service industry.
“I GOT SOBER BARTENDING! If I thought, for one minute, that relapse was “just the way of those in recovery” I would have NEVER gotten sober. I would have continued to make excuses, delayed the inevitable and possibly picked right up where I left off, and that was at the gates of my own HELL!”
Everyone can recover if they want it. I WANTED TO BE SOBER MORE THAN I WANTED THE DRINK! I had to stay sober at all costs, or I would lose everything I valued, like my life and my children. Death was the label on the bottle, and I had to find my way in life without drinking the poison. This is MY journey and how I have been able to recover being around alcohol every weekend without romanticizing the drink, the party, the meetup, or the events surrounding alcohol. I watch so many people do what I used to do, and it makes me so grateful that I have a solution to my drinking problem—I DON’T DRINK! Not everyone is an alcoholic, and many can drink responsibly, but I can’t, so I don’t. Period! I did not recover on my own because I had help every step of the way. I could not have survived my old ways of thinking alone or without guidance. I will always stay connected and deeply rooted in my AA life. There are SO many that are recovering OUT LOUD that it melts my heart. This proves that together anyone can recover and stay sober and clean. WE are many, and WE are healthy, and recovery is now my happily-ever-after. I am here to tell anyone who struggles with alcohol; there is help.
“Keep coming back, if works if you work it.” ~AA
The bottom line, I was destroyed by alcohol since the age of 11. I recovered one day at a time. I needed to work, and serving and bartending was what I did to earn money. My do is NOT my who! I needed to work fewer hours to be with my children. I am at peace with who I am, and I am in recovery. I don’t drink because now I have a reason to live sober, so many reasons!