This past month I made it to one year of sobriety for the third time. This trip on the carousel has definitely been different in that I brought absolutely nothing to the table other than a willingness to change. I have to say that my life is remarkably different and that I am becoming a believer in the notion that there is magic in the twelve steps.
Prior to quitting this time around, I now realize that I was walking up to a very dangerous fork in the road that would have cost me my life. Now while I’m not the tiniest of ladies, I’m not a big girl either, yet I was consuming a large bottle of vodka a day, sometimes two large bottles of wine, but mainly the vodka. Why I thought this was normal behavior I will never know. Anyways, my days were spent consuming vast amounts of vodka followed by popping migraine pills. I began to spend more and more time in bed. Not only was I completely dehydrated and malnourished but my drinking also made my potassium plummet and I suffered from constant heart palpitations and muscle spasms. This once runner and soccer player could now barely walk down the hall, much less down the street. Any sort of physical exertion was just out of the question. Frankly, I was at the point where I was about to exchange the long time love of my life for a harder and faster fix and it would have killed me due to my weakened state.
I guess I can say that I never really decided to get clean. It was more like I was out of options. I had no money and I couldn’t get a job to save my life. God had me cornered and I began to desperately seek His help, but the only response He kept giving me was to give up alcohol. I told Him that I didn’t understand because my seeking was for a job. I told Him that He did not understand what He was asking of me. I told Him that alcohol had nothing to do with my problems. I also told Him that alcohol is the love of my life, that it is my everything. He refused to budge. It would be months before I would realize why getting sober was the key to everything else unfolding in my life, much less the fact that it was the key to me staying alive.
And so I very reluctantly, quit drinking. It was horrible. Oh my God, was it horrible. I literally did nothing, but scream into a pillow for the first sixty days. I did not realize how dependent I was until I no longer had my magic potion in my cup. I was scared of everyone and everything. I was paralyzed with fear and mundane tasks brought about serious panic attacks to the point that I was retreating from places more than I was going to them. I was literally a dear caught in headlights for the first three to four months of my sobriety.
It was during this time, that God placed me into a church. Mind you, I had previously made a solemn vow to never be a part of a church again, to never get close to any Christians ever again and to certainly never ever get close to any pastors ever again. God obviously had other plans and decided that my being completely upside down was the perfect time to place me into a new church. He knew that by the time I realized that I had become an integral part of a church again that it would be too late and He was right. I also have to hand it to these people as they have done a good job caring for the crazed lunatic that is/was myself though I do keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I do keep wondering why they haven’t thrown me away yet and wondering when they finally will, but this is one of my character defects and I am working on changing these thoughts as I come to terms with the events that created them.
As I sit here typing on this last day of August, I can say that life is very different in a very good way. Yes, I have my list of character defects, but I am aware of them. I no longer crave alcohol either. I do still spin, but I am starting to catch myself earlier and earlier and am able to stop that spinning almost immediately. I am told that this is the program of Alcoholics Anonymous in action. I am told that my ability to catch my spin before I actually spin out of control and do something stupid is proof that the AA program works. I am learning how to deal with life, something I apparently never really learned and I thankfully, no longer resemble a deer caught in headlights. I guess you can say I am getting my chutzpah back. I have great friends and really good, solid people around me; people that really do care and I know that I am loved. I am in the process of obtaining a new career position and have plans to begin publishing some of my fiction works in the next year or two. I guess the biggest difference is that all of these struggles have walked me across that bridge to where God is my everything and for this I am most grateful.