The Late Bloomer

"I didn’t come from a home that had drinking as a part of it. I had two loving parents and I grew up feeling loved, valued and cherished. In 2003, though, I had 3 major events happen, that literally left me paralyzed to cope with life.

I had some friends who drank wine from time to time, so one night I decided to drink some too. It was during this time that I discovered the wonderful numbing effects of alcohol. It quickly became the “Calgon, take me away,” solution to my emotional pain.

I was a late bloomer to drinking, but I took to it like a sailor to water. If I was out with a friend who drank, they would say, why don’t you just have one? “One?? Why would I bother?” I’d think to myself. I wanted to “feel it.” The fact is once I had that first drink, a phenomenon of craving more would kick in. During the day, I would obsess about it and couldn’t wait until after work to get some to take home. At times, I wondered if I was an alcoholic, but, I hadn’t lost my job, my home or my family. I didn’t live under a bridge. I had a picture in my head of what I thought an alcoholic looked like, and I didn’t fit that.

Drinking wasn’t a part of my married/family life, so I became very creative at planning, sneaking and hiding my drinking. It was actually quite exhausting! I didn’t want my double life being exposed, so it also produced a lot of anxiety, (one of the biggest reasons I started drinking in the first place!)

Over the years, I found that my drinking increased. What use to be a solution to emotional pain, became a reward for hard work, celebrations and then, for no reason at all, except I couldn’t wait to have it! Going to the liquor store was elating!! In the evenings at home, I would disguise my drinks so I thought my spouse wouldn’t know what I was doing. Many mornings I would wake up with such fear and anxiety as I couldn’t remember how the previous evening had ended. I would wonder how I even got to bed. I was sooo afraid to face my spouse. I’m not sure why I thought I was so clever, because most of the time, it was very obvious to my spouse and those around me, what I had been doing!

It was such insanity! Drinking…waking up in regret…vowing to stop…only to pick up again one or two days later. I ruined many holidays, times out with friends and family. I caused great insecurity and sadness with my children and spouse.

At one point, after one of these unfortunate times, I decided to go to Alcoholics Annonymous. I got a sponsor who with another person, took me through the steps. It was there I learned that I had an illness that I had no control over. Regrettably, I didn’t follow the suggested 3 parts of the solution to my problem and went back out to drink.

Finally, after one of the worst of my regretful evenings, I woke up and heard bits and pieces from my spouse, about what had happened the night before with some treasured friends. I made a decision that I was too embarrassed to face them and that my family would be better off without me. I was filled with self-hatred and loathing. I couldn’t seem to stop this endless cycle. I felt like the worst kind of failure. I decided right then and there that I had to end my life. It was an impulsive decision that almost worked. I ended up in the ICU for a few days because my heart was trying to stop. While there I had an amazing spiritual experience with God…the same God I came to know as a child. He surrounded me with His love and peace and the assurance that everything was going to be okay.

I left there and went to a Recovery Center. There, I was able to press the reset button on my life. When I returned AA was waiting. This was well over a year ago and my life has changed 180 degrees. Today, I am very involved in AA. I follow the program daily. I have made ammends to my family and friends. Each day, Irely heavily on my higher power, God, and am growing spiritually. The obsession to drink has been removed. I attend AA meetings on zoom, sponsor others and enjoy taking them through the steps.

Today I live with peace, serenity and joy. God, through the program, is taking the wreckage of my past and turning it into something beautiful and useful for His purposes."

If this person’s story resonates with you, please message us and we can put you in contact with this individual. You are not alone.