Freedom to do ANYTHING! Substance Abuse Recovery

teenager

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 – feel a part of.   But it was never the taste that made me chase alcohol, it was the effect – the buzz.  The effect that it produced in me is one that I loved and looked forward to. When I tried cocaine at age 16 for the first time – it was euphoric.  And that combination of alcohol and cocaine together, it was like BAM  —  I’ve arrived!  Within a few years, I was dating the local cocaine dealer and my usage increased.  My 20s were a bit of a blur and wild, and by 30 I had become a “recreational” weekend cocaine user and  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 your typical party girl and by age 32, I had racked up my first DUI.  I had also moved over 22 times during these years and would keep jobs for 2-3 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.  They were my solution.

In November 2003, I was drunk and typing in my journal about how messed up my life was.  I knew I needed help, but I was too scared to ask anyone.  A few months later, 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 that I needed to do something different.  In May 2004, urged by my attorney, I walked into an AA meeting.  I left that meeting and quicker than you can say alcoholic, I went out and drank for a week – during that week I had my moment of clarity.  My first real A-HA moment; I realized that everything bad that had ever happened to me during my life was from drinking and drugging.  I figured I had nothing to lose and that maybe I’d want to give the sobriety thing a try.  So, that’s what I did.  I had heard Hope in that first meeting and I clung onto that Hope and 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 it’s just what worked for me.

battle mental illness

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, I don’t wake up in stranger’s beds and I don’t have to wonder what happened the night before and who I pissed off.  I have been 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 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.    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 am grateful I don’t need a drink to manage my life and that I get to have choices today – healthy choices on who I want to be, not who alcohol and cocaine want me to be.

That drunken journal entry turned into a Memoir that I recently launched via Kindle, “Last Call, A Memoir”.  It’s a story of my experience, strength and hope.  My hope is that I can help someone – anyone – that may be able to relate to my life as a “social party girl” and realize that they too have a chance at a better life.   A life where they will be able to wake up in the morning and have dignity, integrity and self-love – because that’s what living a clean and sober life has given me.  I also have a blog where I write weekly about living a life of recovery.

You can find and you can find my memoir on Amazon Kindle.  “Last Call, a Memoir”.

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