A Story from one of Judith’s Clients
A Predictable Course
Life was not bad and I never thought I had problem drugs and drinking. I drank socially and did drugs occasionally. The first thing I learned when I came to AA was that Alcoholism is a disease. It is primary, progressive; it runs a predictable course, chronic and fatal. And when I looked back that was very clear to me.
After so many days, weeks, months or years, I’m not quite sure when, because the disease didn’t let me know which phase I was in, I was drinking everyday and using drugs just to feel normal.
The Drinking Never Stopped
I was in my second relationship by this time and with my first baby boy. All I could really remember was I wanted to be a good mother so bad and my son was so beautiful. I managed to stay off drugs, but the drinking never stopped.
About the time my son was six months old I started using heroin. I was in love with this drug and loved how it made me feel and not feel at the same time. Again, the beginning was fun, but one year later it was a nightmare.
I had another child, a girl and this time, the state stepped in and took this child, because I was totally strung out. Her father’s sisters’ family took her to give her a future. I was sad until I got home and started drinking and my so-called friends convinced me I was doing the right thing – and of course that’s all I needed to hear.
Nine Months in Jail
Things got worse and for the next three years I spent a lot of time in and out of jail. In 1990, I was arrested for petty theft and spent time in jail and camps. I also had another child, a girl, with my third boyfriend (all boyfriends were alcoholics and drug addicts). The first child lived at first with my sister, second with her aunt and now third with her grandmother and father.
I spent nine months in jail and swore I would never drink or use again. I thought all I needed was a job, someone to give me a chance. I got out and stayed sober for about a week – that was the longest, most boring week I had ever experienced.
I Wanted What They Had
I was drunk and using by the end of that week. I had attended an AA meeting when I was in jail and I wanted what they had. I was attracted to the programme and where they were in their lives after sharing with us. I never forgot that.
A month later I took my daughter and went back home to the border town where I was born, entered a rehab and started going to meetings. It was tough. Living life on life’s terms and having to do everything sober for the first time was scary.
I Had to Learn How to Do Everything
My first visit to a department store was scary, I was so uncomfortable. I did not know how to shop. In the past I went to a department store, to any store, to steal, not buy anything. Everything was new and different. I had to learn how to do everything a new way all over again, which taught me how to be humble.
I thought I knew everything and found out how I knew nothing.My reasons for wanting to go to a rehab and meetings were to get my family back and get a job, an apartment and a car. But oh, how I changed.I’m so glad that my sponsor helped me to slow down and keep it simple.
Miracles Have Happened
All I had to do was not try drugs or drinking one day at a time. I have managed to put together, by the grace of God, ten years. The miracles that have happened to me in the past ten years are great.
My two older children never came to live with me, but I have a wonderful, active relationship with them. My baby daughter, who is now ten, lives with me and I have a boyfriend who is also in recovery. Life is good.
And I owe it all to AA.