This is an excellent article from a new friend from Georgia. She has recently completed one full year of total abstinence. She is a writer and has her own Blog titled, “Memoirs of an Alcoholic”. I love to post these types of articles— more proof that it works if you work it! Success leaves clues…
Go, Go, Go…
It has been said that an alcoholic’s growth is stunted from the time he or she begins drinking alcoholically. I believe it. When I made the decision to get sober on March 27, 2011, I felt 15 all over again. In fact, I’m not sure I ever truly became a woman. For too long, I lived life drunk, hungover or obsessing about the next drink—growing up merely got in the way of my fun.
The life of an alcoholic requires careful strategy and exhaustive planning. When there is pain or discomfort, it must be numbed immediately. When there is a social event, pre-party drinks and to-go cups are necessary. When the hangover is excruciating, the excuse to miss work must be original and convincing. Life is no longer life—it becomes a web of lies and secrets that keep you sick.
For me, the most difficult part of sobriety has not been in giving up the drink, but in dealing with life on life’s terms. Alcohol had become my solution to everything—sunny days, rainy days, times of joy, moments of sorrow, new jobs, lost jobs… and the list goes on. Once I surrendered to the notion that I am powerless over alcohol, I then had to replace doubt with faith, despair with hope and darkness with light. Not always an easy task.
One year later, I have the proper tools to live life to the fullest and take each day as it comes. But here’s the kicker: I have to use them every day to find freedom. Which also means, I gotta deal with my problems sober. The more I cope with life the right way, however, the easier life becomes. I still experience hurt, pain and disappointment, but the feelings are manageable.
Chapter 2 in the Big Book claims there is a solution. When I first read those words, there was a sigh of relief: I believed I would read the chapter and learn how to drink like a normal person again. Much to my dismay, I realized there was only one solution that required abstinence and a whole lot of working on me. Alcoholics are known for finding the easy way out, and there was nothing easy about the work ahead of me. But, I did it anyway. I was desperate for something greater, something beyond myself that could provide more meaning.
Attending 12-Step meetings gave me hope because I wanted what other Fellows had: serenity. I had to admit complete defeat in order to regain power. Funny how that works. When I finally surrendered, I was no longer alone; I had God on my side. Yes, I gotta deal—but the rewards far outweigh the hardships. It’s a wonderful life indeed.
Alison Broderick is a freelance writer who is passionate about carrying the message of recovery to those suffering from the disease of addiction. She lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband and two boys, ages 8 and 6, and devotes much of her time toMARR—a non-profit treatment center in Atlanta that provides lasting treatment through gender-specific programs.