I want to be the daughter and granddaughter that I never was for years.
My life was a dark blur. I was a blackout drinker since my very first drink at 5 years old. And I chased that feeling and the blackouts from that day forward. As I progressed from being a binge drinker to a daily drinker, I shut my family out. From having a good reason to no reason, for years, I refused to have anything to do with my parents simply because I didn’t want to deal with anyone. All I wanted to do is to drink and use alone.
I had no desire to stay sober when I first went to recovery meetings at 17. But I kept coming back. Rain or shine. Drunk or sober. They welcomed me, no matter what shape I was in. They supported me, no matter how obnoxious I was. They talked to me when I wanted nothing to do with anyone of them. Eventually, I opened up. It took me a few years, but my desire to drink was finally lifted, and the desire to be in recovery and start a new life washed over me.
When I was deep in my addiction, I didn’t care about anything but my next use. I didn’t care about work, school, family, or anything else that’s supposedly important in life. I just wanted to hide and hopefully never wake up again. A friend of mine gave me his support in my early sobriety, and I really want to thank him with all my heart. I had to be away to visit my family in Taiwan when I was only 3 days sober. And being home had always been my trigger. However, that friend talked to me, day and night. No matter the time difference, he was there for me. Without him, I might not have gotten here today.
Today, with 6 years in recovery, I’m back in school again. I’m in a healthcare MBA program, and I want to make positive changes in my life and others’ lives. I used to go to the local juvenile hall and bring recovery support meetings in there for hospitals and institutions, and I really enjoyed doing that a lot. I had to give that up about a year ago because I started to travel home more often because my grandparents are not getting any younger. And I wanted to spend more time with them if I can. Since I’m in recovery now, I can really be present for them like they were for me when I was young.
Right now, I’m just focusing on school and family. I want to make up the lost time with them due to my drinking, and I want to be the daughter and granddaughter that I never was for years. And with my schooling, I want to be able to make an impact on others’ lives, preferably by sharing the message of recovery. I want to be there for others, just like others have done for me. Hopefully, in the future, I will be able to have a career where I can simply help and support others through the rough times and help them see there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The most positive change I did for my life as a result of being in recovery is to connect and be connected. I resolved the conflicts between my family and I, and we’re a family again today. I started to make friends inside and outside the recovery world. I’m enjoying my life everyday as it is.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows on the road of recovery. I still have dark days. And on those days, all I can do is talk to another person in the program and play the tape through. Knowing and understanding what’s going to happen to me if I ever pick up again is my best defense against my next drink.
Now, I have something to compare my drinking days to. Today, my life is so much better than it was when I was out there, chasing that feeling to just not feel anymore. I honestly am not positive all the time. I tried to, but I often failed miserably. On the days that I feel down, I make sure I don’t go into my old pattern and just hide from the world. I get up, go out, and force a smile on my face. They said fake it till you make it, and that’s been my motto that I live by on a daily basis. The best thing I learned in recovery is that I’m not alone. I always thought nobody would ever understand my pain, and I’d never be able to have friends, but as it turns out, none of those beliefs were true.
Today, I have a sponsor and friends that I can share my troubles with. I can consult with them when I hit a wall. And they will help me through the problems no matter what. Also, I can share my stories with them without fearing any negative judgments. Today, I’m not alone, I will only be if I choose to isolate.
The one thing I want to say to those who are still suffering from the disease is just stick around and give it a shot. I’m glad I did. Giving myself a chance is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I got a second chance to do it right and live the way that life is meant to be lived.