Do I want what she has?
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|Sat, 09-11-2004 - 9:17am|
I remember when I was still drinking, and really depressed, miserable, filled with self-loathing, anger, and resentment.... I was thinking that suicide would be a better alternative than to feel the way I was feeling. I even believed that my DD, who was 8 at the time, would be better off without me!
I was at work, and I walked into the office to copy some papers. I heard some laughter and merry conversation. I saw a co-worker, who has what I believed, was an extremely stressful job, laughing at a joke and encouraging someone else with kind words and some helpful suggestions. I wondered who this person was, and why she was so happy. Later, through a series of conversations, she told me she was a recovering alcoholic and a regular member of AA. I watched her over the following months and I wondered if it was possible that I could ever have the kind of peace and serenity and absolute joy that she had.
When I finally realized that alcohol was a part of my problem (not realizing yet that alcohol WAS the problem) I went to this wonderful woman to ask her how she was able to get sober.
I wanted what she had.
She took me to my first AA meeting. I learned that I had a disease that would ultimately end me in jail, or institutionalized, or dead. I learned that my THINKING was the problem and that my drinking was only a symptom of my disease. I got a sponsor who lovingly and patiently showed me how to work the 12 steps. It was suggested that I try an outpatient program and that greatly enhanced my recovery. I learned about the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of alcoholism. It was suggested that I attend meetings daily for at least 90 days. After all, I drank everyday, so an hour a day at a meeting seemed a pretty good trade-off. I was given a list of phone numbers for women in recovery and I was told to call them any time day or night. My sponsor talked with my husband and daughter to help explain some of the problems I was facing. She felt very strongly that my family was critical for part of my support system - and that keeping my family in tact was so important. In time, I learned to change some of my behaviors - for example, I would learn to sit quietly, or go for a walk, pray to my Higher Power, and call a friend whenever I felt overwhelmed with emotions - especially anger and resentment. I learned to do some things that improved my self esteem - such as do something for someone else without expecting anything in return. I learned about the basics of self-care - eating, sleeping, exercising - all the things I had overlooked when I was drinking. I learned that doing esteemable acts would result in a good self-esteem. I learned that looking at my part in arguments was extremely beneficial. I learned that I was not alone.
Today, I consider myself free from bondage of alcohol and drugs. I laugh freely and I anger far less quickly. I had to make some changes in the way I did things and the result was an internal change - a new-found peace of mind and a happiness that I cannot adequately express.
Did I want what my friend had? You betcha!!!! Today, through some effort, work, self-examination, I am truly happy, joyous and free. It wasn't easy. It didn't happen overnight. Some days are harder than others - that is life!!! But I don't think about drinking today. I don't have a physical craving. I enjoy going to AA meetings and love the comradery and friendship I have there. Most of all,I love the laughter.