I was born in 1977 and lived an uneventful childhood in the suburbs of Southeast Michigan. On March 17, 2000, I met my future husband while wasted on my 23rd birthday. On our first date, I ordered many drinks at dinner. When he insisted on paying, I told him, “You don’t have to pay for my alcoholism.” I said it jokingly, but those words would later haunt me.
We got married in 2001 and did the normal things people our age did. We finished college, had babies, got settled in our career fields, got laid off, found employment again, bought a house, moved a few times, etc.
In 2014 I lost my mom suddenly. This was the worst and best thing to happen to me. I often wonder what my path would have been if she hadn’t died. The whole year was just awful. A few months before losing my mom, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, we lost our old boxer to a stroke, then lost my mom, then my grandma a few months later, then our cat ran away, then we lost our young cousin suddenly, and then lastly, on the last day of that dreadful year, we lost my grandpa.
The good news is that within the first few days of 2015, we were on our way home from my grandpa’s funeral and received a call that our cat had been found, four months after he disappeared.This gave me immense hope that there is a much bigger picture and to have faith.
My drinking was going strong as I dealt with the loss of my mom. In the spring of 2016 I was diagnosed with Pleural Effusion. When I found out it can be caused by a bad liver, I opened up to my general practitioner. I was ready for inpatient rehab.
He told me not to go. He told me there would be many drug addicts there and it’s not a place for people like me. He gave me some information on a program their social worker ran, but all of information he gave went nowhere. When I finally did reach the social worker, she told me I couldn’t join the program because I hadn’t stopped drinking yet. It seemed like I would never be able to get out of the cycle.
2016 came and went and I tried my hardest to moderate my drinking. It didn’t work. All I could think of is that if a doctor couldn’t help me, then I was certainly an anomaly, and was left feeling hopeless. In early 2017 found the recovery community and started to explore sobriety. It took some setbacks and learning curves, but in March 2021 I will hit my two year anniversary of being alcohol free.
My favorite part of my recovery has been the spiritual growth I’ve experienced. I look at where and how I was then, and how I am now and it makes me so grateful for even the smallest things.
I can look at the horrific things, like my mom dying and me relapsing for the 100th time, and it reminds me of the many blessings I have received from these experiences. I am looking forward to years of personal growth in this area.
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