25 years From My First Contact with AA
Krista, Manitoba, Canada
I was 13 when I first called AA - I had been drinking already for over a year at that point - drinking until I blacked out and generally so sick - I was a mess. I remember Christmas that year, it was either just before or just after - I don't recall which, but I was so hung over at Christmas, I had cramps, was white, and my grandmother, bless her Soul, thought I had my period and told me to walk around - it would help. Goodness.
Of course, when I was 13, I was drunk when I called AA, and they said they couldn't talk to me drunk, but that someone would call in the morning - I refused to talk to them. I took another 8 years until I made it to my first AA meeting - it was just after Christmas and I was on my way to a detox centre that the military was sending me to. They had had enough of my behaviour after 1-1/2 short years in the forces, not to mention a stay at the base hospital after a suicide attempt (one of many).
It was amazing to get sober and see life differently, I had so many feelings going through me that I didn't think I could handle them.
It took three months for me to burst and turn back to the bottle - I spent more years slipping and sliding. I hadn't gotten more than 6 months sober in almost 3 years. I then did another treatment centre and stayed sober for 7 years. I had married a year after rehab and had a few kids.
Life was pretty good - of course, I was replacing alcohol with gambling, but that is another story for another time.
After seven years, a failed marriage, and life actually going pretty well, I decided that my life was different and that I was different - I could drink responsibly. For the most part - I was right. I would have 1,2,..4, 7 drinks and all would be fine - except for those occasions when it wasn't. Binges weren't that often.......... but I never really knew when they were coming and they weren't very pretty.
Binges were the terror in my life. I drank too much, and said and did things I regretted later. I'm not in the same place as when I was 21, in some regards I've never gone back to that life, but I have so much more to lose this time. I'm a married woman with children and a job that doesn't condone drinking. I have a home and the niceties of life. I just have so much more to lose and so many more people that I am hurting, including myself.
So today, after 25 years from my first contact with AA, I have two days sober and had I not gotten sick, maybe it wouldn't have even have been that long – who knows. I know what life can be like in recovery, not just abstinence, but true recovery.
I also know the slope back to the road to hell. That is where I am trying to climb my way back from. Today I am sober and grateful. I told my partner that I'm quitting this time - I've never said that before, I've always said - we'll see how it goes, for now, for a month, etc.
Just for today.