So, I’ve not posted for a while – mainly because I’m bloody exhausted! As you can gather from the title, I am now officially 1 month into my sobriety (well, I will be tomorrow…). It has been quite a journey so far, but a good one I think!
I got back from the UK ready to throw myself back into the AA programme, and that I did…however, on 7th April I had a relapse, and decided it would be a great idea to drink 1.5 litres of wine…and then walk straight past my AA meeting (in the pouring rain) and into the nearest bar…where I proceeded to read Harry Potter (?!) and drink a few beers. When I had finally come to my senses and admitted defeat, I called my sponsor, who very kindly came and took me home.
Following that, I have worked really hard. I go to at least 4 AA meetings a week, although this week it will have been 6, and I see a therapist and a psychiatrist. I have started some medication to help with cravings, and went on a women’s 12 Step Retreat last weekend. All this has added up to 1 month of continued sobriety.
I won’t pretend it has been easy – certainly not! But I think the pride and surprise that I feel to have achieved 1 month without alcohol speaks volumes – I am truly an alcoholic!
During this time, my husband and I have officially separated, although circumstances dictate that we still have to live together. Surprisingly, this is not actually too bad – in fact, we are getting on much better as “friends” than we did as husband and wife.
My life is changing immeasurably – I feel like a better person – the person, in fact, that I believe I was born to be and the one I was before life and my inability to cope took hold. I am a better Mummy to my son, and a better friend to the ones I love.
For those who don’t know much about AA, it is heavily focussed on spirituality (NOT religion), and turning yourself into a less self-centred person; understanding your character defects and working to change them, and becoming more compassionate to those around you. It truly is an amazing programme, and one which I think could be useful for everyone, not just alcoholics!
I can’t tell you how many amazing people I have met, and now have the good fortune to call my friends. The strength and courage found in those rooms of AA is awe inspiring, and totally addictive! Going to meetings, for me, is a privilege, not a chore!
Of course, not all is rosy in my world – I am facing my life as a single Mum, I am currently living in a foreign country with no visa (here on my husbands!) and no work permit. I will be returning to England in December, which I am dreading – I will be leaving the comfort and safety of my AA life here, and facing lots of changes when I return. I don’t have a job to go back to, and don’t know where I will live. I am terrified of my parents and what they will say. BUT, I am living life on life’s terms – I cannot change what has happened in the past, and can only work hard on my sobriety to ensure a better future. Without sobriety, I have a very rocky future indeed.
The retreat I went to at the weekend was fabulous – we had a real laugh and a good cry and there was some really interesting and inspirational sharing. It makes me feel so “normal” to be around all these women who have been in a similar boat to me, and have not only lived to tell the tale, but are having a fantastic time doing it!
There are times when of course I miss alcohol – I mourn for the loss of this friend who has been with me for such a long time. I feel sad that we won’t share these fun times together again in the future. But the fact of the matter is, that 1st drink will end up killing me. It may seem dramatic, but it is true! Once I have one, I just cannot stop. I am powerless over it. So, the only drink I need to avoid is that 1st one! I do wish I could drink like a “normy”, but I can’t! I am baffled by people who have use for a cork…
As a very wise woman on the retreat said, “If I could drink like a normal person, I’d do it all the time”…