The following is the first of Addiction Recovery Miracles. I'm praising God that the first true-life story I share on this blog is that of my brother, in Steve's Journal. Continue to read each week as Steve and others share how God released them from the chains of alcohol and drug addiction.
A warning, these journals are full of the true pain of an addict. Some of the thoughts expressed may be difficult for young or those emotionally fragile.
My last ninety days have been a rollercoaster emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I guess things were going good for me in April. I had two months sobriety at that point, my finances were coming along. I was feeling good, working regularly, and thought I was moving in the right direction. I was trying to do recovery on my own. I went to lots of AA meetings and honestly thought I was doing well, and had everything under control.
Then payday came.
I got off work Friday at 10 PM. On the way home I started thinking about a drink. I don’t know why. I knew it was a bad idea. But I caved in, grabbed a bottle of vodka, telling myself, “it’s okay, it’s only one bottle for over the weekend, and I’ll be clean and sober for my next shift on Monday.
I finished that 26 ouncer that night, woke up Saturday feeling like *&^%$ . From experience I knew that another drink would make me feel better.
So I went out and got another 26 oz bottle, and some beer.
The whole following week, the cycle continued. I called in sick to work every day, and just stayed home and drank and slept.
I didn’t eat when I was drinking. So by the time a week went by, I was weak, sick, and broke.
I was already three months overdue on my rent, but my landlord was willing to let me catch up slowly. So I sobered up, went back to work, and got on track for about another three weeks.
Then I went and did the whole cycle all over again, falling deeper into debt, falling deeper into depression, afraid of being alone, scared, believing I had no future or anything to live for.
The only thing stopping me from ending it all was my two daughters. I couldn’t hurt them with my death. So I cleaned up again. And for another few weeks, I was good again. But I was constantly lonely.
At this point I had an understanding of God and of His power, but my ego and shame would not let me give myself over to Him, even though I knew He was the only one who could save me.
Then I started drinking again. And this time I didn’t care. After a week of drinking hard core, I drove to the drugstore, bought a bottle of sleeping pills and a bottle of vodka. I had given up. I couldn’t go on. I thought that while it would hurt my daughters and family, that it was better to end it, instead of continuing to hurt them with my drinking for years to come.
I wasn’t afraid to die, and was looking forward to it. No more pain, suffering, or loneliness. No more hurting or abusing the people I loved with my drinking. I downed all the pills, drank the full bottle of vodka and lay down on my bed, expecting the end to come quickly, that I would never wake up. I even put my bible on my bedside table and a picture of my daughters.
But I didn’t die. After a while I felt only foolish and very sick.
I continued to drink and think about suicide, looking for the easy painless way out.
July 18, 2012, I finished yet another bottle, went to bed and thought of how I could kill myself in the morning. It was down to slitting my wrists or poison. I couldn’t bring myself to cutting my wrists, so I grabbed a bottle of household cleaner and a bottle of window cleaner. I sat on my patio smoking and thinking about finishing the job this time.
It took me eight hours to finally lift the bottle of household cleaner and drink it down. I went to bed expecting to never wake up. But a couple of hours later I woke up sicker than I ever was before, but still alive.
My sister Irene came to check on me. She knew I was bingeing again. Irene, also an alcoholic, took one look at me and said she couldn’t handle it anymore.
I told her I tried to hurt myself. She said to call 911 myself, that she could no longer deal with me and left.
I felt so alone, so helpless. Even if Irene who also struggled with alcohol addiction had abandoned me, I was truly alone.
But Irene had not abandoned me, anymore than God had. She went home and phoned the police.
The cops came, talked to me until the paramedics arrived to take me to the hospital.
I spent the next three weeks in the psychiatric ward where my mother, my sister Christine and her husband David, and Irene and her husband Bill rallied around me. I couldn’t let my oldest daughter Alisha know, not wanting to scare her. And I couldn’t tell Kristen, since she had washed her hands of me a year earlier.
With my mother’s love and that of my sisters and their husbands, I realized I wanted to end this misery. Get normal. Get help. That I did have things to live for.
I had finally reached a point of complete destruction, humility and surrender. I was now ready for God to work His miracles on me. My ego was crushed so I was able to open my mind and heart to allow Him to heal me body, mind, and soul.
I have to get alcohol out of my life, and get the therapy to allow God to show me the real me.
Now, August 2012, I am here in Inner Vision Recovery, scared, overwhelmed, uncertain, but willing and knowing this is my best and last chance to regain my life and sanity.