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My Story of a Relapse

Lynny, Snohomish, Washington

My name is Lynny and I am an alcoholic. 

I grew up in a very violent alcoholic home where both my parents were drinkers.  I lived in isolation with only my love of books taking me to homes and places that I longed to be.  I could not develop relationships and friendships because I never could invite anyone home . . . not knowing what shape my parents would be in.  I was embarrassed and ashamed and lived in constant fear (emotional and physical).  I swore an oath that I would never be like them . . . I would never drink.

I left for college when I was 17 and met my dorm buddies . . . we got totally polluted the first night I was there.  It felt good.  I liked the feeling of powerfulness that the bottle gave me.  I made good friends for the first time and was accepted and loved.  I turned into the "life of the party" when I was drunk.  I was able to communicate and connect to people for the first time.  I was "fun" for the first time and people were drawn to me as I was crazy and always up for anything.  I continued binge drinking through my 20's & 30's.

I was always able to work as I kept my drinking to the weekends. . . . Weekends were a constant blur . . . but I longed for them so I could drink.  I married and had two beautiful children.  I remember being a Mom to babies and waking up hung over and not able to function well at being a Mother . . . so I quit drinking . . . attended AA (but never worked the steps).  I remained sober for 11 years, mainly because my job and motherhood kept me busy. 

After 11 years of sobriety I had a relapse that lasted 4 long years.  These years became a total hell on earth for me.  To this day I don't remember why I took that first drink after 11 years.  I remember being in the grocery store and seeing a bottle of wine and I grabbed it . . . went home and drank it.  I suppose, looking back, I thought that I was cured.  Going 11 years without a drink had proved that I no longer had a problem . . . NOT!  Big time Ego issues with me!

Soon after my relapse I was drinking daily.  I would often start in the morning and pass-out or blackout before my husband got home from work.  I had worked for a large company for 33 years and took an early retirement.  I put all my energy and days into perfecting the "art of being a drunk."  I became a master drunk. 

I would constantly hurt myself, mainly from falling down.  Falling down stairs, falling off the deck, falling over furniture.  I broke my neck and the surgeon said I was lucky I didn't die.  I woke up one time in the yard . . . burned crispy on one side because it was sunny and hot outside.  I started telling lies about how I had hurt myself.  I started hiding bottles all over the house (I am still finding empty bottles in the strangest places). 

I would wake up every morning sick, scared and totally ashamed of myself.  I would promise myself that I wouldn't drink that day.  One time I got to 10am before I went for my daily bottles of wine.  That was a good day. 

I always went to different stores as I didn't want people to think I was a drunk.  A couple times the store refused to sell me wine. . . . as I said . . . I am a sloppy drunk and didn't fool anyone.

The last time I drank was two weeks ago.  I drove while intoxicated and woke up not remembering anything.  I was horrified.  I felt in my heart that it was only a matter of time before I killed myself (by my drunken actions).  The fear I'd been living with for 4 years hit me and hit me hard.  I'm still waking up in the middle of the night in sweats . . . fearful, alone and hurting so terribly that I cannot describe the pain. 

I went online the next morning and searched "AA Chat Groups."  I found eAA and it has been a lifeline for me.  I feel accepted and I no longer feel alone.  I've made it a priority to work the steps, and to reunite with God. 

Today I feel grateful for my relapse because it showed me my "bottom" and it was not pretty.  I am happy to be sober today and plan to work the program "one day at a time".  I say the Serenity Prayer whenever I have bad moments and immediately feel at peace.  I know I have a long road ahead, but with AA and God I am feeling better and full of hope for lasting sobriety.

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