By: Karen. B, Transformations alumna
Hi, my name is Karen and I’m an alcoholic. My sobriety date is January 30, 2013. I remember my first drink of alcohol at the age of 13 and my last drink on January 29, 2013, at the age of 47. I was born and raised in Northern Virginia (still here), and come from a family of alcoholics and drug addicts. I didn’t really care for the taste of alcohol, so my early years of addiction were filled with drugs – a lot of them – every day from the 7th grade through 12th grade, until I got pregnant my senior year in high school.
I was able to quit using drugs during my pregnancy, but my son was born with a heart condition and died a couple of days later. So that I wouldn’t feel the pain of that loss, I went right back to using drugs daily. After the birth of my daughter a couple of years after, I was dry for about 3-4 years. I wanted to be a responsible parent, and since alcohol is legal, I started drinking. I was a daily drinker in no time. I did not care about the taste, I liked the way it made me feel. I was a functioning alcoholic.
I met my second husband in my mid-30s and had my third child at the age of 40. Needless to say, I picked right back up after she was born, but I also started using benzos on a daily basis. This is when my drinking and drugging really took off. The blackouts started and sometimes both substances just stopped working. I couldn’t find that buzz that I was looking for anymore.
At some point in my mid-40s, I began journaling/praying and asking God to help me. In January of 2013, I began reading the book of Proverbs, and on January 23rd my prayers were answered. I was quiet long enough to listen to God, and I picked up the phone in a moment of desperation and called Transformations. I didn’t realize that alcoholism was a disease and that my insurance would cover my treatment, so that was a selling point for me. The following week, I prepared to tell my family about my decision, and on January 29th, I got on a plane. By the time I arrived in Florida I was in a blackout, but somehow still willing and ready to surrender from this disease that had a hold on me my whole adult life.
I was in detox for 10 days and treatment for 30 days, scared out of my mind. I remember thinking, what have I done? How will I live without drinking? Then someone said to me “One day at a time,” and somehow that sounded like something I could do. Don’t get me wrong, I had my doubts about this new way of living, but with the help of God, Transformations, and AA, I have been able to open my heart and mind to this new way of life that I had no idea existed. I got a sponsor, worked the steps, and realized I didn’t have to do this alone. All I needed was to work the program at the time – I wasn’t looking to make friends. I was here to be sober. After a couple of years, I began to form relationships that are now a huge part of my life and my sobriety.
Today, AA is a very important part of my life, along with all my new sober friends. It didn’t matter how much I drank, or how often, what mattered was what I did when I was drinking, and I don’t have to live like that anymore. I drank and drugged one day at a time, and today I choose to stay sober one day at a time. I never thought I would say this but I am a grateful recovering alcoholic.
If you or a loved one are struggling, please reach out!