Updated: Feb 8
Hi, my name is Sarah and I'm an alcoholic.
By the time I fell through the doors of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) I was on my knees willing to do whatever I had to do to get out of the mess I was in. Self will and self knowledge had defeated me and I was a shell of the person I once was.
It didn't all start out doom and gloom. I had good times with friends, drinking in the park and house parties. But I always drank more and took more than my friends, alcohol lit me up and, I believed, made me the person I so desired to be. At 18, life's big decisions came and I wasn't emotionally mature enough to handle them. Riddled with guilt, shame and remorse, alcohol and drugs became my medicine for life.
At age 21, I moved to England, taken in by family who were so desperate to help me. My family suffered a lot of pain through my using and drinking but I couldn't see it as I was so wrapped up in self. I had to be let go of by my family and once out on my own again things got a lot worse. Another six years passed of partying all weekend, debt, evictions, men, children. All the things I thought I wanted in life and got were never enough to make me stop. Children, a partner and lovely home... Nothing was enough.
After my relationship fell apart, I sought out church. I was desperate. I came to know Jesus but I wasn't getting any better. Truth is, I didn't know I was sick, I was just seeking God to fix all the external stuff, thinking I would stop and become happy in life. Four years with Jesus in my life, I was on the verge of losing everything - my kids mainly - I needed a solution.
I went to AA. I was educated that I suffered with an illness. When I put one drink in, I have an allergic reaction and I craved more. So the answer was just don't put the first drink in. OK... But I can't not put the first one in... Why not?! Because I've lost the power of choice, I have a mental blindspot - my thinking tells me it will be different this time and it never was. My thinking is twisted, I can't trust it, I need God to direct it. I just end up buying the drink and putting it in against my own will because I have the illness of alcoholism, and no human power can help me, I can't help myself...
I had to listen and learn about my illness, and get full acceptance that I am a hopeless alcoholic without a program and God to help me get through everyday. The program wasn't easy but it was a damn sight easier than the misery I was living, so I got stuck in, going to meetings, found a sponsor to take me through our big book and became honest about all the stuff I was carrying. People in the rooms gave me hope, they had peace and laughed and told me it's all going to be ok. What I came to learn was alcohol was but a symptom of my illness. I SELF ME (ISM) was actually my problem in life. Once the drink was down and I had God in my life I took a good look at me, the people I had harmed and went through a process of putting all my wrongs right. And I did that. I do daily practices to keep me connected to God. Most importantly, I pass the message on to the still suffering alcoholic addict.
What I have been given is a spiritual tool kit to help me through life, it's up to me if I pick it up as no one can do it for me. I will never be recovered from the disease of alcoholism. It lives within me. What I do have is a daily reprieve on the maintenance of my spiritual wellbeing. Simple really, find God and ask him to help you everyday. I found that the void I had inside me could only be filled by Jesus.
Everything I have today is AA and God given, I have three beautiful children that I am emotionally connected to, we have adventures and joy, a roof over our heads, a job. Today, I have love all around me. What I have today, really is a life worth living, and it was all given so freely from God and others who walked the path before me. There is a solution available for anyone who wants it, there is no pill or magic wand to cure alcoholism but there is God and a program of recovery. I hope you find both and get well.
God bless you all, Sarah x