I’m April – A Recovering Addict, Wife, Mom, Daughter, And Friend
Hi, my name is April and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. On July 7, 2018, I will have seven years of sobriety – thanks be to my Higher Power, whom I choose to call “God.” I am truly grateful to be sober today. I have an amazing life and the people who love me tell me I am an amazing woman. I believe them…..although I say that humbly. I am amazing! I am a miracle! But, God knows there was once a time when there wasn’t anything amazing about me at all. In fact, I used to be a very negative force in the world. For many years of my life I was an alcoholic, drug-addicted mess who caused chaos and destruction wherever I went. I was a lousy wife, a horrible mother, a selfish daughter, and I was completely incapable of being a good friend to the many women in my life who loved me anyway. But, those days are a thing of the past. The old me is dead and gone. I have been restored to sanity and I am grateful that I now have the capacity to be a good wife, mom, daughter, and friend. I adore my life today.
Fifteen Years Of Alcoholism and Addiction Landed Me in Rehab
I could write a novel about my history with alcoholism and addiction, but I will spare you the details. I will tell you that I went to rehab when I was 34 after my husband threatened to leave me and get full custody of our two daughters. I can’t say I blame him. I got a DUI in Colorado with one of my daughters in the car. When I checked myself into the treatment center, my life was in shambles. I wanted to kill myself. I was a wreck of a human being. I was hopelessly addicted to alcohol and Klonopin and I had to go through an excruciating detox to get off the stuff. I spent ninety days in treatment. I went to inpatient for a month and then continued with outpatient. I relapsed six months after rehab and went on a binge that lasted a week. It was so horrible, and I felt so bad about it, I jumped right back into my recovery program at Alcoholics Anonymous and I haven’t taken a drink or drug ever since. I have found freedom from the bondage of alcoholism and addiction and I have learned a new way to live.
Do You Have a Problem With Drinking or Drugs? You Can Find Freedom Too
When alcohol and drugs are the center of your universe, the thought of getting sober can be terrifying. You wonder how you will function as a human being without chemicals to keep you going. In sobriety, you come to terms with the fact that you have no idea who you are when you’re not loaded – and you are horrified at this realization. You carry a lot of shame and guilt for your drugged or drunken episodes and you drink more alcohol or take more drugs to numb the pain. Indeed, addiction is a vicious cycle that can keep you in bondage for years. Sobriety is about breaking the chains. I want you to know that there is hope for you – no matter how hopeless you may feel. You CAN find a new way to live and find peace, freedom, self-acceptance, love, and forgiveness when you make the commitment to get sober and stay sober. You may have done some ugly things when you were drunk or high, but you are a beautiful woman who deserves to live a life filled with joy. God wants you to have everything lovely that life has to offer. To encourage you to take the brave first step in your sobriety, I want to share five things I adore about being a sober woman, wife, mom, daughter, and friend. I hope that by sharing a little bit of my life with you, I can help motivate you stop the madness of addiction and get into recovery if you are struggling with a substance abuse problem.
# 1 I Am A Free Woman
When I was active in my addiction, I was a slave to the drugs and alcohol. I am truly grateful that I am a free woman now. I feel freedom and lightness in my spirit and it is lovely. I have the power of choice and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I am free to spend my time and money on things that make my life better and I am able to devote my attention to the people I love. But, I will tell you that my freedom wasn’t free. I had to give up the drugs and alcohol, which was REALLY difficult. I had to surrender my will to the God of my understanding. I had to go to a lot of meetings and work the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and go through growing pains………. and it was all worth it. FREEDOM! It’s a beautiful thing.
# 2 I Have A Loving Relationship With My Husband
Ladies, I want to tell you that there are good men out there! I know because I am married to one. My husband has been unwavering in his commitment to stick with me through better or worse – and God knows we have been through the worst together! When I was high and drunk, I was a terrible wife. I made life miserable and I created one crisis after another for my husband to have to deal with. Even though I was mad at him at the time, I am so glad he forced me to go to rehab. He saved my life. Today, we have an awesome relationship. My husband is my best friend. He totally supports me in my recovery and he is one of my biggest cheerleaders. I love that we practice Zen meditation together. Don’t get me wrong – we still disagree and have to confront difficulties as they arise. But, there is no one else I would rather walk my path with. He has forgiven me for my past wrong-doings because I have made a sincere amends to him. We are truly enjoying life together. I adore him.
# 3 I Am Blessed With Two Daughters and I Am an Awesome Mom
I love being a mom. It is my greatest joy in life. Sobriety has given me the sacred opportunity to learn how to be a good mother and take really great care of my kids. It wasn’t always that way. I told you I got a DUI while driving drunk with my daughter in the car. I used to pass out drunk in their beds while I was reading them bedtime stories. They would come into the bathroom when I was throwing up and ask me what was wrong. It was awful. I carried shame and guilt with me for a long time about how I was as a mother, but I have forgiven myself and my daughters have forgiven me too. We have a great relationship and I am a good role model for them. Sobriety has given me this precious gift.
# 4 I Get To Take Care Of My Mom in Her Old Age
God bless my momma. I put her through so much when I was in my addiction. I was verbally abusive to her when I was drunk, and I would steal from her to support my drug habit. I kept her up many nights worrying about me. I would get myself into situations I couldn’t get myself out of and she would save me (something I would later learn is actually enabling behavior). She never gave up on me, though, and she stuck by my side through everything.
Now, I get to be a good daughter and that is a really good feeling. My mom is 77-years-old, and she has trouble getting around. Plus, she has some health issues. I help do things around the house for her and take her to doctor’s appointments and things like that. I adore the fact that I get to be of service to my mother. I get to give back to her after taking so much for so long. This is just one of the many gifts I have experienced in recovery.
# 5 I Have Amazing Relationships With The Women In My Life
Today, because I am a sober woman, I am a great friend. The friendships I have in my life today are a true blessing. When I was drinking and drugging, I was totally self-centered. It was all about me all the time. Even though I had friends who continued to love me in spite of myself, I was just downright rotten to them. I would play the victim and whine to them about my mess of a life, even though I created it. They would try and help me, and I would resent them for it. Now, my friendships are healthy and based on a mutual respect. I care for my friends and I express my love to them on a regular basis. It’s no longer all about me all the time. I care about what is going on in their lives and I make them a priority. I am truly grateful for my sponsor and my friends in A.A. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without them.
My Life Isn’t Perfect, But I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way
I don’t want you to think my life is perfect, because it isn’t. I still have my struggles and stresses, but they are manageable. I am in recovery from alcoholism and addiction and I am not living in insanity, which by itself is a true miracle. I have peace of mind and I am comfortable in my own skin. What a gift! I used pray to God to let me live someone else’s life. I also used to pray that God would let me die because I hated myself and the life I was leading. Now, I thank God for the life He has given me. I don’t take it for granted and I work hard to keep it. I have shared a little bit of my story with you because I want you to know that you CAN find victory over alcoholism and addiction. Sobriety will give you a life worth living. If you feel trapped in the addictive cycle, get help. You’re worth it. Are you wondering if might be an alcoholic? Here are 24 signs of alcoholism in women. Think you might be addicted to drugs? Take this quiz.