A Recovery Perspective

My name is Fay and I’m a recovering alcoholic.  I grew up in the Bay Area and went to college, got a masters, married, raised kids, and built my career.  During most of that time, alcohol and drugs were my fuel.  I started using as a teenager when my brother died.  That didn’t make me an alcoholic.  It was just the reason I turned to drugs and alcohol.  I felt uncomfortable, lonely, and different.  Drinking and drugging changed that.  Partying meant no pain and not being alone.  I spent most of those years buzzed, but the good grades, sports, leadership positions, and promotions – they were proof that life was on-track.  In college, I discovered most people don’t blackout when they drink.  But, alcohol and drugs were a social norm and part of the fun.  And I fit right in.  Two decades later, they stopped working for me.  I began to...

Continue reading
  3002 Hits

Don't Give Up Before the Miracles Happen

My name is Tara and I am a recovering alcoholic. I remember always feeling less then. Never being good enough. Just wanting to be accepted for me.  To be able to have my own voice and not care about the influence of others. Something was always missing inside. I thought alcohol solved all my problems and took away all my insecurities. My mom sent me to many treatment centers. It wasn’t until I realized for myself that my life was out of control and I was slowly dying that I could be open to get help for myself. In treatment I found God again, but this time was different. The day that I let go of everything and accepted that I have no control over people, places or things, only over myself, I began to heal. I forgave myself and others. Sobriety has given me a life I never imagined possible....

Continue reading
  2917 Hits

Beyond My Wildest Dreams

At some point during childhood, it's safe to say all of us have dreams ... career dreams, dreams of what the future will be like, dreams of something better. Knowing what I know now, I never imagined living my dreams would involve me as an alcoholic becoming sober at age 19. Like many of us, I started using because it was fun and exhilarating; now I know I was trying to escape the reality of an abusive home, a sex-addicted father, and an alcoholic mother. My using took me to what I sought to escape: abusive relationships, flunking college, physical illness, destroyed relationships, sexual assault ... you name it, it was there. By the grace of God, I found AA just weeks prior to my 20th birthday. Each day, I desperately kept coming back. Today, at 4.5 years sober, I have just graduated college, am applying to Physician Assistant school, am...

Continue reading
  2900 Hits

An Unlikely Addict

I am a nurse; I am also an alcoholic and a drug addict. I lost everything to my addiction and spent four months in jail because I stole drugs from work. In the last 11 years I have worked my 12-step program as if my life depends on it ... because it does. I have been sober since leaving jail; I don't ever want to go back there again. I regained my family's respect, my nursing license, my hope and the life I no longer wanted to live, but now am grateful for every day. I wrote a book, 'An Unlikely Addict,' to try and help other addicts from suffering the same fate. If I can do it, you can do it. Work the program as it is laid out for you, just as it is laid out. Work with others. Love yourself again, or maybe, like me, for the first...

Continue reading
  3296 Hits

Light Journey

After spending more than half my life in and out of jails, rehabs and prisons while battling drug addiction, I was a dead dog on the road of life. Down in the darkness of death’s doorstep, in the depths of despair, the Light began to dawn. Then everything changed. By the time I entered the recovery house, I was already a successful author, having written several books on personal finance, identity theft and consumer issues. I had appeared on hundreds of radio and television talk shows as one of the nation’s leading credit experts. Writing was an essential part of my life, but something was sorely missing – my life was a miserable mess. I needed to do something different. I needed help. As part of my treatment plan my counselor arranged for me to write out my moral inventory in the form of a memoir. For more than an hour...

Continue reading
  3141 Hits

Peeling The Onion

The darkest days of my mental illness and addiction were spent hopeless in a bathroom throwing up and frantically stuffing my mouth with food. My struggle with anorexia, bulimia, over-exercising, and compulsive and destructive behaviors began at too young of an age. I can remember that I took my first drink at the age of 12, and at age nine I began to realize that by not eating and exercising I could lose weight. I took all of my behaviors to the extreme, not knowing where the beginning or the end was. I lived a life of unconscious for a very long time. However, age 18 is when I began my journey of sobriety, and then at age 27 emotional sobriety. I am now 28, I have still more work to do, but I now realize my behaviors are a result of my beliefs of myself. I now make CHOICES everyday...

Continue reading
  3318 Hits

Saving Grace

Addiction was nothing new to my family. There's a long line of alcoholics and my parents had been through this all with my brother years before me. The first time my parents dealt with addiction, they lost their son. I lost my brother, my niece lost his father, a small community lost a beloved friend. He was the kind of person that lit up a room no matter how dark it was. A truly amazing human being. My moment of truth came as I sat on my bed, crying and alone, holding my brothers t-shirt. My boyfriend had been arrested and incarcerated the very day I found out we were going to be parents! In walked my niece, beautiful and innocent but with pain in her eyes. "It's okay if you miss daddy, I miss him too!" That moment, I decided my child would never have to feel that pain. I...

Continue reading
  3114 Hits

The Day I Changed ...

There was a point when I went from being "dry" to being in recovery - a pivotal moment in my life. Until that day I had been in a 12-Step program, taking part, happy to be sober. But there was a nagging thought I frequently ignored. I felt that I was "unlucky" and that it was unfair others still got to party and I couldn't. In other words - I was a relapse waiting to happen. Then, one day - I had a moment of clarity - what some would call a spiritual awakening. It happened when I got real and said, "I CAN drink." I CAN have my old life back." But my higher power gave me this additional insight. "I cannot choose drinking and have my new life. It's one or the other." After that is was a simple decision - my old life ... or my new, better...

Continue reading
  3028 Hits

The “High Bottom” Drunk Who Mostly Drank Alone

I was a “high bottom” drunk and did most of my drinking alone. Most people I knew had no idea that I even had a problem. But, I had a problem, for sure. For years, I used to go home and get drunk alone in my apartment. There were some events that were bottoms, in retrospect. I got drunk at dinner with friends and acquaintances. It was embarrassing for them. They had never seen me like that. I knew they were embarrassed for me, and it caused me shame. When I told some people close to me, they told I was mistaken, that I could not be an alcoholic. But yes, even if you get drunk on two to three glasses of wine, you can still be a drunk. (If you drink like that, by yourself, with the sole purpose of knocking yourself out, every night, for 10 years straight… you’re...

Continue reading
  3128 Hits

From Recovery House to Buying a House

I am a person in long-term recovery and what that means to me is I have been drug-free for over 8 1/2 years. I started using at age 12 and couldn’t stop. I found heroin at age 17 and my life started to go down hill. Nothing was important to me but using drugs, not even my daughter. I was in and out of treatment for years until I finally threw my hands up and gave myself to recovery. The life I was living was disgusting. I was done with the pain and the shame of addiction. I am a proud wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and CEO of The McShin Foundation (Virginia’s Leading Recovery Community Organization). I came through McShin's Female Housing Program with nothing but about $40,000 in debt and wreckage. Living in that house years ago I never would think my life would be where it is today!...

Continue reading
  2593 Hits