Archive for the ‘ Hitting Bottom ’ Category

My Sister Kicked Me Out

By Donna
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By Donna

What was your lowest point?

I reached my lowest point when my sister and brother-in-law put me out of their home. I was sent to the ER and there a social worker talked to me about the ramifications of my disease and what I could do about it. They sent me home, but I had no home to go to. I called a friend and he came and picked me up and gave me a home under the conditions that I do something about my alcohol problem. I called the AA hotline and found out where the meetings were in my area. I went to my first meeting and sat in the car. I nice gentleman came up to me and invited me in and it all changed from that day forward.

What Did You Do to Change?

I went to AA meetings everyday. Those people in those meetings changed my life forever. The first year, I took care of myself by going and listening to the people of AA. They loved me until I could love myself. I am now sober 4 years and they have been the best, clearest and special years of my life. It is an easy program, but you must do the work and the work is hard, but not hard if that is what you want out of life. My life has changed because of Alcohol Anonymous and the 12 Steps and the people and I am very grateful to it. My children are very happy with me and my life is different now. We have to work everyday of our lives to work this program and with the help of my Higher Power, I am able to do that.

Lessons Learned

  • Life is so good when you have a clear mind. I am able to think and deal with life on life’s terms now. I’ve learned that there are tons of people out there just like me that have beat this disease. You can do it too.
  • It is a life-long commitment because this disease if terminal. If you don’t get sober, you will die a slow horrible death.
  • I’ve learned that there does not have to be pain and suffering everyday of my life. With the help of AA, I have learned to live my life on life’s terms. Life is good!

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June 26th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

Humiliating Myself With Alcohol

By Victory
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By Victory

What was your lowest point?

Winding up in a rehab, or having blackouts, wasn’t the bottom for me. It was when I couldn’t look myself in the mirror without feeling like a poor excuse for a human being. How many times can a man be humiliated, and disgraced in a lifetime? Throwing up, the dry heaves, the body shaking and horrible blackouts were only incidents that came with the alcoholic territory of life.

Then I saw others in the process of recovery who had smiles on their faces and life was getting better for them. They also seemed to have some kind of belief in a higher power of their choices that they couldn’t even see.

What Did You Do to Change?

I changed when I went to rehabs with the Veterans administration who directed me to A.A. meetings when I left the rehab. What did I have to lose? Yeah, I know I was giving up my best friend, (alcohol), who later became my worst enemy as I progressed downhill and I never thought the roller coaster would slow down.

I took suggestions from recovering alcoholics. I got a sponsor to guide me through the 12 steps. I made connections with others who could show me the sober way. I acted as if and prayed to a higher power that I fully didn’t understand. I received hope and took the program serious and discovered I can’t get drunk if I don’t pick up a drink. God bless A.A.

Lessons Learned

  • A.A. meetings
  • Sponsor
  • Roller coaster

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June 26th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

I Was Sent to Prison

By T.C.
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By T.C.

What was your lowest point?

I was sent to the Mary Francis Center which is part of the Dept. of Corrections. I did not want to be there for I felt it was a waste of time. I had already been to two 28 day rehabs and prison once before. I thought I was a hopeless case and not worth the effort. I was to be there 10 months.

With counseling, therapy and meetings (AA and NA) daily it still took my infinitely patient counselor 2 months to convince me that I had the power to help myself and that I was worth the effort and had as much right as anyone else to be happy. I decided to do whatever was necessary. After all, I had nothing left to lose.

What Did You Do to Change?

I had to learn to change my whole way of thinking. I was first asked to work on a positive attitude. I was to look for something positive in everything; people, places, situations. I decided to start with one of the first rules of manners: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Well, needless to say I hadn’t much to say for about a month. Thinking of something positive about everything presented its own challenges at first. Sometimes the only thing nice I could think of was, ‘It/he/she could be worse.’

With my mouth shut, I learned to hear and see more of the world outside of my own and I saw that I was no different than anyone else. In a facility with 100 other inmates I saw plenty of examples of the kind of person I did not want to be. I also saw amazing changes in people that were honestly trying to work the program. These were people that I had judged to have more anger in them than I did. I watched their faces begin to change and, not to sound corny, but fill with light.

It would take many more words to describe the change I saw in these people. There was one in particular in my assigned group that I witnessed this amazing change that gave me the inspiration and hope that I could do this for myself. I started working the steps honestly and to the best of my ability with the help of others whether they were good examples or bad. It was hard work and at times very painful. In this situation the phase, ‘No pain, no gain’, is very true. Fortunately, if done thoroughly, each painful experience does not need to be felt again.

Through it all I found out I had more courage than I ever thought possible. I have now been clean and sober for 7 years. I have my own home, car and the state has been thoughtful enough to provide me with my own breathalyzer in my vehicle for a couple more years. That’s okay, it’s better than no license.

I got my daughter back and learned to be a decent mother. She is now in college and sorely missed. It took awhile to gain her trust and to get to know each other. I realized that the best way for me to be a good mother was to just be a good example. I had started getting high when I was 12 years old and wasted the next 30 years of my life. My daughter was the only good thing to come out of it.

Now, life is good. I’m learning all that I can and working on being the best person I can be. In every moment of every day I never forget that I am an alcoholic and drug addict.

Lessons Learned

  • Deal with your past then leave it there.
  • You must walk all the way through the pain to get to the other side. On the other side the pain is gone and only a memory of it is left.
  • You have the power to help yourself but you do need others to help you learn how to help yourself.
  • Use the tools that the 12 step program gives you everyday.
  • Be good to yourself, be good to others.
  • And remember, you are worthy and deserve happiness.

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June 26th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

I Had No One and No Where to Go

By Donna
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By Donna

What was your lowest point?

When I almost lost everything. I was thrown out of my sister’s house. My children wouldn’t talk to me. I had no one and no where to go. It was the most frightening time of my life. I wound up in the ER and a social worker told me about Alcoholics Anonymous.

What Did You Do to Change?

I called a friend and he came to get me. He allowed me to stay with him that night. I called the AA hot line and in desperation went to a meeting the next morning. That is when I started to regain my life. The people in those rooms loved me until I could love myself. They taught me how to live a happy and free life. My friend allowed me to stay with him while I dedicated my life to getting sober. I will forever be thankful to him. I will be sober 4 years on 10/12/2010. And, I will not drink, just for today. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I have my family back in my life.

Lessons Learned

  • The lesson I learned is that, I did not realize what a wonderful thing life is until I got sober. When your head is clear and you can live life on life’s terms, everything is so, so much better. It is a simple program, but is by no means easy to do. It takes hard work, but is so well worth it ~ and I had a lot of help from the folks in AA. My Higher Power helps me every day of my life!

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June 26th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

I Tried to Commit Suicide

By Carl
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By Carl

What was your lowest point?

On December 31. 1972 at age 11, I had my first glass of bubbly to bring in 1973 with my parents and their friends. That first glass turned into 38 years of drinking! The final ten years were cluttered with blackouts, arguments, bitterness and loneliness. On December 3, 2009 at age 48 I attempted to take my life. As a matter of fact I succeeded for a moment in-time and on their third try, I was resuscitated. I did not see the white light nor a choir singing, there were no birds chirping or the sound of his soft graceful voice. I was still here and now I had to answer to questions to which I had no understanding.

What Did You Do to Change?

The first question was from my wife, “do you hate us this much that you had to end your life”? I answered “no, it was the booze, it took me by the hand, it convinced me I was doing it for you. I think I am an alcoholic.” She vowed that I was not coming home until I was cured. Two men visited my bedside, they were from AA. We talked and I liked what they said, specially the “your not alone in this, we can help” part. They convinced my wife to take me home when I was allowed. After my release from hospital, I attended my first AA meeting. They met every morning Monday-Friday. The group is fantastic, they made me feel like a person from the get go. But, when out of my mouth came those words, “my name is Carl, I’m an alcoholic” the tears wouldn’t stop. I was introduced to the Big Book and given a list of meetings. They told me to do as many meets a day, 90 in 90! And from that day I have attended Big Book Studies, chaired meetings and enjoy speaker meetings. I got a home group and a sponsor by second Month. To my surprise, I have not turned to the bottle when burdens of life turn on me, I turn to the rooms of AA, the fellowship and my higher power who I call God. I have learned to keep my ego at bay and allow my Zen to be the guiding way of justice. I have 12-stepped a few and sponsored part-time as a fill-in. I try to be as active as I can, helping where I can and who I can be of help too. I’m coming up to 10 month’s sobriety and absolutely enjoying life on life’s terms. I just wish this miracle could have happened to me sooner.

My Name Is Carl and I am a grateful alcoholic.

Lessons Learned

  • Alcohol is not your friend! A friend doesn’t lead you down the one-way path of destruction to death’s row!
  • A friend doesn’t put a loaded gun into your hand and help to pull the trigger! Alcohol is not your friend!
  • Good Orderly Direction is my definition for God. He or She is my higher power that directs me down the path of recovery. God is my salvation, my Friend.
  • Accept life on life’s terms, live in today. Don’t forget yesterday, but don’t dwell on it, let it go and be done with it. Why worry about tomorrow? It will come soon enough and become today, and we live for today not yesterday or tomorrow.

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June 26th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

Embarrassed Myself With My Boyfriend’s Friend

By Molly
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By Molly

What was your lowest point?

My lowest point was when I went out with my boyfriend and his friend. I drank too much and flirted with his friend, he left me there and I barely remember taking the cab home. I am a successful businesswoman, but my life was so “stressful” I drank a lot to deal. I have a lot of low points. So embarrassing. Another night I “fell asleep” on my arm and got “Saturday night palsy” so my arm did not function for two months. Hard to explain to others. I went out plenty of nights not remembering much. I am in my mid-thirties and did this since I was 21. I make good money and am self supportive, but drinking was my way to unwind.

What Did You Do to Change?

I just stopped drinking. I guess I hit my “bottom,” which was strange because so many bad things happened prior that others would consider their “bottom,” but I just got tired. I haven’t drank in exactly three months. I work out constantly and my body is in excellent shape, better than I was in my 20s! I didn’t turn to anyone, I just stopped. I guess I’m not a true alcoholic but I really did have a problem. I read a lot, watch TV (got hooked on True Blood, Law and Order SVU) I guess I really got used to being in my own company. I work, go to the gym, read. I don’t hang out with he same friends which really is not good because I feel lonely other than my boyfriend. My boyfriend drinks and keeps beer in the house but it doesn’t bother me. I take it one day at a time and try very hard.

Lessons Learned

  • I would say do other things than drink. Keep yourself busy. It’s hard for me to give advice to those of you who are true alcoholics and need AA because I really didn’t need that, I just take one day and keep busy. I think that’s the key. Keep busy with things other than drinking. Also you may not be able to keep the same friends. Most of my friends were “drinking buddies” who I went out and got hammered with, I can’t do that anymore. So I basically have no friends right now and I am forced to enjoy my own company. Good luck and you can do it!

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June 26th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

Getting a DUI Was the Turning Point

By Balaam
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By Balaam

What was your lowest point?

My lowest point was going through blackouts, going to jail, prison, rehab, my wife saying she was going to leave me. However getting a DUI was the turning point for me and that is when I made an effort to go to alcohol school, and got introduced to going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

I completed the alcohol program and did the AA meetings required by the court but I had a couple of relapses. My last drunk was on my way to a meeting.

I was taking my wife for breakfast and she got angry with me and I said fine no problem then am heading to a meeting but close to the meeting I went to a bar with no intention of drinking.

What Did You Do to Change?

I was scared the last time I got drunk and could not believe it. I felt ashamed and humbled by this last drunk that I went to my sponsor and told him what had happened. I started working the program and being of service and changed my friends. Today an going on 3 1/2 years sober and clean and it feels great. My wife left me in sobriety, I still cannot see my kids but life goes on and am learning to deal with life on life’s terms not my own. I did it my way and it did not work.

I have learned to trust my higher power and I will not trade my worst day sober for my best day drunk. My head is a dangerous neighborhood so I never go into it alone. I have my sponsor and a lot of great AA friends to help me on my daily life sober.

I could never hold a job because I fired myself constantly and today I am learning to run my two businesses. It is challenging and frustrating but worth it.

Am learning patience, self control, budgeting and my life is so much better. No more hang overs, no more blackouts, am the boss now! Who would have thought that a drunk and an addict like me would stop drinking and using, much less run two businesses? My family can’t believe it neither can I!

I am a miracle of God’s love for me. I got a second chance when some people never get this opportunity.

There are only three places an alcoholic like me can go 1. Jail, prison and mental institutions 2. The Cemetery. 3. AA meetings.Am glad that I went to 1 and 3 and not to number 2, the cemetery or death.

My life is so much better today and things happen for a reason and we learn from it and learn to move on. No pain no gain.

My higher power is in control of my life and I am hanging on for the ride of a life time. He is the pilot and I am the passenger and will not give up my seat no matter what.

My grandfather and grandmother passed away while I was drinking and I my wife left me in sobriety. How worst can it get? Life gets better if you are tired of suffering.

Lessons Learned

  • Go to AA meetings it will change your life
  • You will get new friends and a new life that is worth living
  • All you need to do is accept that you have a problem and that you need help
  • if I can do it so can you my friend
  • Stop living in denial and accept that we can never ever again drink.
  • We are not normal like others, we are abnormal drinkers and users

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June 25th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

Withdrawals Almost Killed Me

By One Day at a Time
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By One Day at a Time

What was your lowest point?

I started using at a very young age, 13. I am now 22. I have been clean now for a month and this is the longest I have been clean in 8 years.

What Did You Do to Change?

I started using ecstasy and drinking and smoking weed. Progressed to cocaine and finally to Oxycontin I’ve had many, many low points. But Oxycontin was by far the worst and most dangerous of all my addictions. When my daily habit of 5 or more 80mg Oxycontin a day came to be, I realized very quickly that I physically could not live without this substance, and when my dealer ended up in jail and I had no where to turn I went through the worst withdrawal possible.

It was January 2nd, my brother’s birthday, and my heart stopped pumping blood to the rest of my body. I thought for sure it was the end. Everything I had been avoiding could no longer be avoided, and I knew then and there that I had to do something.

So I ended up on methadone and was clean for a year besides the methadone. I just got off my methadone and am now fully clean and it’s terrifying.

I know I need to seek help to deal with all I’ve been avoiding for 8 years. I don’t even know what that is anymore. I just know I’m at high risk for relapse so I’m working on finding help.

The guilt and shame I carry with me day in and out is overwhelming and the anxiety is unbearable. I have hurt so many a long the way of my selfish, destructive path. I had a great childhood so I don’t know where this came from and these are things I need to figure out so I can live a happy, healthy life.

Everyday I live in fear that my addiction will come back to haunt me. I have all the support in the world, but I am my biggest enemy and I will continue to battle myself until these problems are solved.

When I started using so young, I never grew up. I am a smart girl, and very articulate. I know I’m capable of anything. I owe everything to my parents, and the loved ones that have stuck by my side for the last 8 years of my life, and who continue to stick by me. I am clean now, but its just for today and will always be one day at a time.

I know I can’t turn back time, but I can do my best to better my future. And hopefully overtime make it up to those I’ve hurt along the way. They never deserved to watch someone they love slowly kill themselves, they never deserved to be taken advantage of.

I will do everything in my power to make this right. I am seeking an out-patient program because I only want to move forward, I never want to look back.

I am and will always be a recovering addict.

Lessons Learned

  • I have learned to love. I have learned to forgive. I have learned that I’m certainly not alone.
  • I hope to one day write a book for myself, and maybe publish it if I get the opportunity. I want to tell others my story from beginning to end, I don’t want anyone to feel alone. No one will ever be perfect, and you have to accept yourself and your past before moving forward.
  • I just want to be content with my life. And I think I’m close. Everyday is a new day, a new opportunity but not everyday is happy, and its not always easy to be positive. Just know there is always someone, someway, somehow.

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June 25th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

The Lows Just Kept Getting Lower

By Unwritten
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By Unwritten

What was your lowest point?

I would be lying if I said there was a single low that changed me. Truth is the lows just insist on getting lower.

Could have been the first seizure or the first DUI where I stood in court shocked at my own demise or my marriage breakdown.

Could have been 3rd seizure at the wheel, or loss of job and money. It could have been my next seizure in front of my three year old. I was lucky to come to and live through to sobriety yet again albeit with ER.

Truth is it changes. But you are the one who is in the driver seat. The extent of the change is over to you and your sense of self and how much you care about YOU.

What Did You Do to Change?

I got better at believing I could manage whatever hand I was dealt.

I started seeing drinking as a naive denial of who I was.

I wanted to be me. And I needed to be sober to achieve that.

I somehow knew I was better sober, even though I felt flat from time to time, like it could be for week at a time, I soon learned that this was normal or at least hormonal or whatever. The best thing I knew though was that it would abate.

I started reading about alcohol abuse and joined in chat rooms. The more I interacted with other abusers the more determined I became. And for me, I suddenly realized how childish and self focused it was. I at once felt embarrassed and naive and childish and not who I was meant to be at all!

At 42 I realized my life was already half over and damn if I was going to waste the second half!

I quit for my daughter and for me. I still don’t like me much but I like me better sober than drunk and I love my daughter. I will not let her life be compromised because of my childish and immature wants.

Lessons Learned

  • Dont give yourself such a hard time, you are not infallible.
  • Dont be scared of others, we are all in the same boat most of the time
  • Deal with problems as they arise. I found delaying solving something lead to drinking. Ring now. Email now. They won’t bite!
  • Do something for someone else. Listen to others and ask more about what they were saying!
  • Do volunteer work
  • Initiate friendly associations
  • Forgive yourself for setbacks but don’t give yourself the all clear to slide again
  • Beware, the Wolf is always at your door.
  • You can live beside the wolf. Just don’t let him into your house.

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June 25th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »

I Lost My Kids

By Nicole
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By Nicole

What It Was Like

It was beer for breakfast lunch and dinner and when I got too drunk a rock of cocaine everyday.

I thought because I rented a room everyday that I wasn’t homeless. The constant throwing up and the trip over weight gain. I didn’t realize that I had gotten hooked way before crack on pink hearts and Dexatrim.

I loved how after I had a baby that I could loose the baby fat fast and thought that I would feel better. I drank my mom’s liquor all day while she was at work thinking she would be happy if I had the house clean. Heck she was a functioning alcoholic. It upset her that her stash was gone.

What Happened?

I lost my kids because of my drinking and using, and not knowing how to raise any children because we were latchkey kids and enjoyed every bit of it.

I got sick of relapsing and going from program to back home with my Mom and jail for open containers.

I got sick of losing all my clothes to SRO housing every time I relapsed.

Lessons Learned

  • My last trip to prison was it. I was in need of help. A correctional officer let us have a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and as a result, there are no more drug programs and since then I have learned self control, I took back my dignity and became a citizen of society.
  • When I was released a program that I wrote to while I was in prison, they picked me up from the bus station. I joined a mental health out-patient program where I found out that I also had P.T.S.D. from using and being homeless a lot of years. I learned that living with my mom was homeless.
  • I am a drug counselor now and a peer advocate for mental health.

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June 25th, 2015  in Hitting Bottom No Comments »