Beth in Cincy
Beth in Cincy, Ohio
Day One — I Did It!
Hi, I'm Beth from Cincinnati. I found this virtual room a couple of weeks ago. I have honestly been trying to get sober for a couple of months. In the past two weeks I have made it four days. It has been suggested to me that I attend face to face meetings, but I have been too afraid. Last night (I was wasted) I called our local Alcoholics Anonymous "hot line" here in Cincinnati. I talked to a lady for about two or three hours. She said that she would pick me up at 8:00 a.m. for a meeting. I forgot to set my alarm clock and just happened to wake up at 7:00 a.m. Naturally I did not remember anything, but I knew that I was supposed to be somewhere. I saw the lady's name and number on a piece of paper in front of me and then I "kind of" remembered. I called her and she picked me up.
We went to a "meeting," which turned out to be a big breakfast gathering at a very nice hotel. Everyone was well-dressed and I was in a tee shirt and shorts and probably looked hung over and tired. After breakfast the meeting began with a "sobriety countdown." The countdown began at fifty years and a man stood up. Wow! He had been sober for fifty years. They continued down through the years and people stood up and everyone clapped. The lady who brought me said, "They are going to go all the way down to one day and I want you to stand up." I said "No." She said that she would stand and hold me on one side and her friend would stand and hold me on my other side. She said that they were all there to hold me up until I could do it on my own.
The man said, "Anyone here with one day?" Along with my new friends, I stood up. I had tears running down my face. Everyone in the room started clapping (about 300 people!). I could not stop crying. My friend said that we had to walk to the front of the room and get my prize. So I began walking, still crying, and everyone continued to stand and clap. The gentleman who had celebrated fifty years of sobriety gave me a brand new copy of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous." As I later found out, I had "won the Big Book." People kept hugging me and giving me their phone numbers and sharing memories of their first day of sobriety.
I am still overwhelmed. I am not sure how to describe my feelings right now, but I wanted to let you all know that I would not have been at that meeting if it had not been for the encouragement I received from this room and the online meetings. Thanks for listening. I do not know what the rest of the day will bring, but I am going to a meeting tonight, thanks to some very good people and friends.
Hello, all. I made it through last night. I woke up in the middle of the night and tore my house apart looking for a drink. I did not find one and I was too lazy (or maybe it was God) to go out looking for one. I am scared today. I have to go out into that big world and earn some money. A lady is picking me up at 7:00 p.m. tonight. I will just be getting home from work. God, I hope I make it through today. I still feel the warmth and love from yesterday, but at the same time I feel like I am dying. Thank you all for your kind words. Well, here I go. ...
Beth in Cincy
Hello, Room. I got home at about 6:45 last night and I thought that maybe my new friend would not pick me up for the meeting ... maybe she forgot about me ... maybe I could just pretend not to be home and then I could drink and forget this whole thing. But she did not forget me and I found myself answering the door when she knocked. I thought, "Why am I answering this door?" I answered because I felt bad that she had gone so far out of her way to help me and I knew that I could not lie or pretend to her. So I went to the meeting. There was a man there who was celebrating twenty-six years of sobriety. He stood to say a few words and halfway through he saw me. He looked right into my eyes and smiled. "I'm so glad to see you here," he said. He had been at the Sunday breakfast gathering. He said that he was proud of me for standing up in front of a group like that on my first day of sobriety! He was talking to me but the whole room was listening. He said that it took a lot of courage to do what I did. I thought, "Don't make me cry. I don't have any courage or strength left inside of me. I don't know why I stood up."
But here I am at day three and I have made a meeting every day. People come up to me and hug me. I do not really like hugs and told someone that as she hugged me when I was leaving the meeting. She told me that they were all going to keep hugging me and loving me until I learned to love myself. That hit home with me because I really don't love myself; heck, I don't even like myself.
I went to bed at about 11:00 p.m., wanting to drink, but I had made the decision to try and fight (at least a little anyway), so I did not drink. I tossed and turned, but I could think. I was not passed out dead to the world. I could hear the clock ticking and I could hear the rain. In the past I did not even know when there had been severe thunderstorms during the night; I never heard them. I thought about all of these things and then I started going a little bit nuts because I just wanted to sleep. It finally came.
Today I am not hung over. I am a little afraid to go out into the world not being hung over; not being so sick that I just do not care about anything or anyone. I like not caring; I cannot get hurt and there is no responsibility to anyone or anything.
Today I feel a tiny bit better. Thanks for listening.
Beth in Cincy
Still Day Three
Hello all. Just a short note to say thank you for all of your support. I wish that I could be of more help to the new members, but I am just like them and I do not know the answers . . . yet. I can hardly stand. I have been home alone for about an hour and a half. I have been reading all of the e-mails from this group. I have also been watching the clock. ...I have made it ... I did not drink this last hour and a half. Something inside me is saying "No!" I just keep reading and sometimes re-reading these e-mails. You all have helped me stay sober this last hour and a half. Thank you. Someone is knocking on my door. She is always right on time; can't even give me an extra five minutes to run.
Beth in Cincy
Hello all. I noticed that I was not as shaky this morning. This is good, very good. But I still feel kind of yucky all over and I did not sleep well again. I did hear my clock ticking, the occasional car outside and I heard my daughter come home from work.
When I answered my door last night, I expected to see my new friend "Jen," but it was a different lady. She explained that "Jen" could not make it so she was there to pick me up in her place. I thought, "Well now, "Jen" could have just called and canceled!" I would not have minded one bit having to skip just one meeting. I could have found lots to do here all alone last night. Yeah, right. I would have gotten drunk. Something about all this AA stuff is freaking me out a little bit. But in a good way. I do not know who, what, where, when, or how, but I have made it to my fourth day and I am not dead.
When we got to the meeting I realized that I did not recognize anybody. There was not as much hugging, but a lot of handshaking and laughing. I even opened up a bit and soon found myself laughing. Someone asked me how my day had been and without even thinking, I said "good." I wondered to myself, "Why was my day so good?" I had all of the usual stress at work, I still have all of the same problems, and I am still afraid of not drinking . . . but then I realized that my day had been good because I DID NOT DRINK!! I fought all day yesterday with my urges to drink but I made it. I won yesterday's battle.
I am holding on for dear life here. Did I just say "dear life”? Just a few days ago I wanted to die. I can feel a touch of hope in my heart and soul today. I can see the glimmer of a tiny light ahead of me. Thanks for listening.
Beth in Cincy
Day Five — the Beast
Hello all. This morning I woke up and decided to give alcohol a name. I will call it the "beast." You see, yesterday the beast was tearing at my sobriety all day. Sometimes I did not even know where it had come from. This beast even had my mouth watering several times during the day. I had to take a minute to say a prayer and then I took a deep breath and the beast was gone. I did this all day. I did not make a meeting yesterday. I had to stay after work and help finish a float that we were working on. We are going to be in a parade tonight. A week ago I was trying to figure out how I was going to help build this float and not drink. I thought that I would run home real fast and chug a big glass of wine, then brush my teeth, get some mints and put on more perfume. I did not have to do that. What a relief. The parade is tonight and I was also trying to figure out how to drink without anybody knowing. God willing, I will be at that parade sober and may even enjoy it.
When I got home last night I sat at my computer and read all of your messages. It helped since I missed my face to face meeting. I also listened to a tape that my new friend had given me. I still had a hard time sleeping and I still heard my clock ticking. The ticking of the clock has become calming to me. But I felt good as I fell asleep. I did not let the beast get me yesterday.
Well, I have to go. I need to run to the grocery store. I am afraid to do this and have been putting it off because I know that the beast will be there. It will be in the same aisle as the milk, cheese, and eggs, calling my name. So I have to walk right by it. I think that it knows that I am coming, but it does not know that I have grown in strength these past five days. I will say a prayer and ask my Higher Power to help me walk right past that aisle with the wine that I loved too much.
Thanks for listening and have a nice day.
Beth in Cincy
Day Six — the Challenge
Hello all. I made it through the parade last night and I was sober. It was actually kind of fun. Today was a good day for me. I did not drink. I really wanted to, but I didn't. It is not that I want to drink anymore; it is just that I crave it because nothing feels "normal." I feel like I have to re-learn everything that I do because I do not remember how to do it sober.
Before I go on I would like to tell you all a brief history of myself. I am forty-three and have been drinking since I was fifteen. I got real sick in l999 and almost died. I lost everything: my children, my house, my job, and somewhere in all of that mess I lost myself. I got sober and stayed sober for about two years. I was in an alcohol rehabilitation program and then slowly rebuilt my life. I know about the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have read the Big Book. About two years ago I picked up a drink (I thought that I was "cured"). I did not put that drink down until last Sunday, when what I call a miracle happened. I know that I relapsed because I did not follow the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I thought that I could do it on my own. I have nowhere else to turn. I have to put my trust and faith in this program and I honestly believe that you all and AA have helped me stay sober this week. I want sobriety more than anything and I am willing to do anything. I am on the right road and I pray that God keeps me here.
My challenge is to overcome my fear of this coming weekend. I have been drinking from Friday night through Sunday night for almost two years non-stop. If I passed out I would wake up a few hours later and start drinking again to help me feel better. I cannot let the beast get me this weekend. I called a new friend of mine and she is going to pick me up Saturday morning and take me to a flea market; I have never been to one. Then we have a couple of meetings in the evening. I thank God that I called for help last Saturday night. I am not drinking right now and I have a lot of new and wonderful friends that will be here for me all weekend. When I think of AA I do not feel as much fear. I guess that is because I know that I am not alone and for the first time I really want this and I believe.
Hello all. I am still sober! I woke up this morning and the first thing on my mind was NOT a drink. Instead I asked my Higher Power to help me stay sober. This had been suggested to me numerous times but I always forgot. This morning however, it just popped into my head. It felt good to ask this. It feels like I am not alone today. I know that I am not really alone, since I have found you all and my friends at the face to face meetings. But now I feel like I am not alone inside of me. My heart, my soul, and my head are not going to fight off the urge of this beast alone today.
Yesterday I got up early and my new friend "Jen" picked me up right on time! I had a very nice time at the flea market. Several times during the day I had to stop and look around me. I was in wonder at all of the happy and, as far as I know, sober people. They were all talking and laughing and eating. Jen asked me if I was okay. I said, "Yeah, I'm doing well. I just can't believe that I am having fun." She just smiled at me. I am beginning to think that she is up to something; that she has plans for me. And now I am willing to let her guide me. I trust her.
Yesterday began as a cold, damp, dreary day. As the day went on the sun began to peek through the clouds. At one point it came out full blast and I felt that it was shining just on me. I felt warmth and I felt calm and serene. I thought, "Wow, here I am on a Saturday afternoon, outside in the sunshine and I am actually enjoying myself!" I have spent the last two years passed out or drinking and unable to go outside on a Saturday. I arrived home at about 4:00 p.m. and decided to run some errands. As I was driving I reflected that it had been a long day and that I could really get a lot done on weekends. God, I have missed so much. I used to be afraid of not drinking but today I woke up afraid of drinking. Today I want to stay sober.
Thanks for listening,
Beth in Cincy