So I have to say, I feel a bit inadequate in terms of my blogging, as I don’t do it every day, like most of the amazing blogs out there! I’m a bit challenged with my time as I’m trying to keep my FT job and market my Memoir, and run my household and walk Lucy, and be the dutiful wife and take time each day to check in with my friends….so today’s blog is my recovery story featured on the Clean and Sober Voice website.
Check it out – and Happy Friday!
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. But it was never the taste that made me chase it, it was the alcohol buzz. The effect that it produced was one that I loved and craved. Then, when I tried cocaine at age 16 for the first time and that combination together, it was like BAM! I’ve arrived! Within a few years I was dating a drug dealer and my usage increased. My 20s were a bit of a blur and wild, but by 30 I had become a “recreational” (3 day weekend) cocaine user and a 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 a typical “party girl” and weekend warrior. By 32, I had racked up my first DUI. I also moved over 22 times during these years and kept jobs for 3-4 years until I knew they’d find me out. 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.
At age 37, I received my 2nd DUI in San Diego – a town I had been living in for the past few years – and sitting in that jail cell for 11 hours really made me think and made me think that I needed to do something different. At first, I didn’t think I’d have to quit drinking all together, I wanted to see what my DUI attorney had to say. It was highly suggested to go to an AA meeting. I waited 6 weeks to walk into a meeting and while I was sitting in my first meeting I knew I needed to be there and I knew that my problem was pretty bad. I left that meeting and went out and drank for a week – during that week I had my moment of clarity. I realized that everything bad that had happened to me during my life was from drinking and drugging. I may want to give the sobriety thing a try. So, that’s what I did. I had heard hope in that first meeting and I walked into recovery with complete blind faith. I had no idea what to expect as I knew nothing about sobriety.
I got sober the AA 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 didn’t want anyone in my family or corporate life to know what I was doing, so treatment wasn’t an option for me. 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. AA doesn’t work for everyone, but its just 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 anymore, I don’t wake up in stranger’s beds and I don’t have to wonder what happened the night before. I’m completely free from the wrath of alcohol and drugs. I can save money and be a contributing citizen to my community and I get to work in a job that I value and like! I have had so many great things happen in recovery because I make clear choices today. I was 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 and 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. I wrote a Memoir recently about my experience, strength and hope in recovery and its been able to offer others some hope and inspiration, and that makes me feel so complete and blessed. You can find it on Amazon Kindle.
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 just so happy that I don’t HAVE to drink today. I am a strong supporter of AA and helping others and being of service. I met my husband in recovery and we’ve been able to run our own programs and maintain our healthy lifestyle. We recently moved to South Florida and are so blessed to be able to have the kind of life we have today. We both know its because we are sober and live our lives today by the spiritual principles outlined in the program.
I am grateful I don’t need a drink to manage my life and I’m grateful I’m not waking up with a hangover. I’m happy that I get to have choices today – healthy choices on who I want to be, not who alcohol and cocaine want me to be. As Sir Elton John once said in an interview, “My biggest accomplishment in my life is getting sober, its not the grammys, the money, being Knighted or the records I’ve sold, its my sobriety!”