I was a binge drinker for a long time, but managed to sustain my schoolwork and my job by restricting my binges to weekends. At some point in my twenties I couldn’t deal with my feelings anymore and had completely lost my sense of self and my drinking was no longer restricted to weekends. Before long I was a daily drinker. I would set limits for myself – I won’t drink past 10:00 turned into I won’t drink past 11:00; I won’t drink past midnight. Every limit I set, I broke.
Things were getting progressively worse but I couldn’t see it. I was lucky to have not lost my job or any of my “stuff.” When a relationship I was in ended, my drinking really escalated for about six or seven months. I was 33 years old, couldn’t stand myself and was dying on the inside. A close friend I depended on finally said to me “You’re killing yourself and I can’t watch.” I knew she was right and I walked into a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous the next day. That was in January, 2007 – nine years and eleven months ago — and I haven’t had a drink since. Why I needed to drink one day and the next I didn’t is a complete mystery to me. Somehow, God intercepted. Willingness and grace intersected and I just happened to be standing at the intersection.
Recovery has given me so much! It has given me a community and it has given me a relationship with God that I never thought possible (I thought he had abandoned me, but he was always there.) I guess one of the things that helped me most in the beginning was that people really cared and wanted me to stay sober. They told me that I was helping them, which was something I couldn’t comprehend until I started sponsoring people. Today, I actually love myself. I have a real relationship with God and I’m living my life. Things I used to say I was going to do (or wanted to do), I’m actually doing. I’m in a loving relationship and have good connections with my family. Of course, I still have character defects, but today I can recognize them!