May 23, 2004 I quit drinking alcohol for good. On May 23, 2009, I will celebrate 5 years of sobriety. For me, this is huge. I began drinking at a young age. Too young. The longest time I ever made it without drinking was about 9 months, and this was because I was pregnant. I was never a typical, what you might call, alcoholic. I'd never had anyone tell me I had a problem, never had any problems with the law, none of the usual problems associated with alcoholics, but I definitely had a problem. I had considered myself a "social drinker" until I went to some AA meetings with a friend, and heard my story there. To be honest, I was ticked off. I was mad at my friend for dragging me there. I was mad that I might be an alcoholic. I went to the meetings, but I refused to talk for almost an entire year.
Honestly, I am so thankful that they allowed me to continue to come, love me where I was at, and let me sit in and listen. I learned so much during that time, and didn't even realize it. When I finally decided to make the decision to admit I had a problem, and that I was going to quit I had only drank two times in the last year. The weird thing was that when I made the decision I was done I literally shook inside for about two weeks straight. That was the hardest time to not take a drink ever. I wanted to calm that feeling down. Every time I wanted a drink though I would go to a meeting. I did a lot of meetings in the months that followed.
I wanted to quit drinking before something really bad did happen to me – like getting in an accident and getting a DUI, which entails pretty much a huge pain in the butt (fines, jail time, treatment, forced meetings), which in turn would lead to probably me not seeing my daughter, or what if I killed someone while I was drinking and driving (because I did do this). I mean, the list is endless of bad things that could have happened that were entirely preventable if I just didn't drink.
So, me quitting drinking led me back to the Lord. I no longer had my crutch to numb my feelings, or make me feel like I was worth something, or make me feel like I was so confident and talented and smart and funny and beautiful. I began to see the bars and alcohol in a whole new light — death, loneliness, destruction, death. I didn't want that anymore. I wanted joy, I wanted life, but also knew that my life the way it was wasn't working, even with the alcohol out of it.
Then in August 2004 I had a "God moment." I'd always heard about people having those, and would make fun of them, but here I was having one of my own. I'd grown up in church, knew what I was supposed to do, but chose to walk the other way. Well, I walked the other way, that is, until something bad happened. I was what I refer to as a "crisis Christian." "God, if you get me out of this, save me, heal me, whatever, then I'll serve you." It was on a Sunday morning in late August 2004 that I got on my knees in my house, and said whatever you want me to do, I'll do it." The next post I'll tell you what finally drove me to my knees — and man, I was a stubborn fool to wait that long.
PS that is a picture of my cat stretching, but it looked like he was raising his hands in praise, so I thought I'd post it! heehee