By Cali W., Transformations Alumna

My name is Cali. I’m 29 and my sobriety date is May 1, 2019.

Growing up, I always felt like I just didn’t fit in. I could blend in, almost like a chameleon, but I always felt like a background character. I always felt out of place. Constantly restless and most certainly discontent. So I really do believe that the first sign of my disease was the spiritual malady. As I entered my teen years, I started drinking every now and then with friends. I didn’t see it as a problem, just something everyone was doing. And it made me feel like I wasn’t out of place, even if for a short time.

When everyone around me had a good buzz they stopped. I, on the other hand, kept going until gravity stopped me, or I was left praying to the porcelain god. The physical allergy had emerged from my disease. Not that I knew that.
As I turned 18 I discovered my drug of choice, and I had arrived. It made me feel invincible. Like I could be whoever I wanted to be, no longer stuck inside my own skin. It was the solution I had been searching for my entire life. It was a relief. But, in only six short months the external unmanageability crippled my life and I was able to stop at that point. Maybe I hadn’t crossed that imaginary line yet.

But my disease still owned me. Without my solution, I was left feeling restless, irritable, and discontent. I tried to fill the void with relationships and starting a family, anything to distract me from myself. But my internal circumstance only became worse and after five years dry, I picked up. And the relief of my solution washed over me, followed more swiftly by the consequences of my using.  I entered a volatile relationship. I lost my children. My house became the trap of the neighborhood. Everything I had accomplished while dry went up in almost literal smoke. I had drawn the line in the sand and crossed over.

The next four years would be spent with feeble and short-lived attempts of sobriety during which the mental obsession would overtake me and bring me right back to running. My physical allergy would kick in and nothing else seemed to matter but chasing the high. I convinced myself I was happy, but in reality, I was just numb. And finally the internal unmanageability, the true unmanageability became apparent. I reached the internal bottom. I couldn’t imagine a life without drugs but I didn’t want to keep getting high. I was desperate.

My mom and my grandfather found me an opportunity to send me to rehab in FL at Transformations. On May 1st, 2019 I boarded the plane and began my journey of sobriety. At Transformations with the help of the amazing staff, I truly started to see my life and my choices for what they were. I learned what I suffered from; Alcoholism. They helped me understand my disease and learn how to surrender. I took the suggestions and Transformations helped me find an amazing halfway house.

Once out of treatment, I continued to go to meetings. I found a sponsor that understood her own disease and had a solution that had worked for her; The 12 steps. She took me through my steps and guided me to have my own spiritual experience and discover a solution for my alcoholism. I found a connection to my higher power and through that connection the mental obsession to use has been lifted.

Today, I sponsor women and share the message of AA. I have peace within and happiness that is way better than the numb feeling I spent so long chasing. I can and want to sit with myself. I am no longer afraid of my own thoughts. I like myself today.  Furthermore, my children and my mom have moved here to Florida with me and I get the blessing of being a mom again. My relationships with my family are stronger than ever. I show up today. I am a reliable employee. I have stability and a community of people from AA that are the most amazing people ever. It’s a serious disease, but we have serious fun too! Transformations and AA saved my life and moreover they gave me a life worth living!

If you or a loved one are struggling, please reach out!

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