Tonight I take my 1 year cake. I decided to share my speech on this site, since it just about sums everything up. To anyone who thinks they might have a problem with alcohol, there is help out there and you can get better. Don't despair, there is a GREAT life out there for you, without alcohol. AA may or may not be for you, but please reach out to someone.
Coming into AA one year ago was essential for me to realize that alcoholism is my disease. Yes, I had tried to quit before, unsuccessfully, but I always thought it was my will power that failed. On the first night coming into this room, someone shared about the allergy concept, discussed in the BIG BOOK. And it clicked in my head. It made me feel like something legit was going on inside of me, and finally there was a chance for me to get help. REAL Help.
That night I went home and grabbed the big book I had on my book shelf, the one given to my husband by his mom when he was young partying college kid. I always thought she was kind of a prude or goody goody, not having had a drink in 18 years. Now I realize I am so much like her, and so many other women out there.
My drinking increased from “party status” to REAL drinking after I had kids. I would get through my day at work, and look forward to drinking once I got home. At first I made myself wait until after they were in bed, but it soon became with dinner, then 5pm the minute I got home, and on weekends it was acceptable to drink at lunchtime. Shoot, I could be convinced of mimosas for breakfast. I justified that it would make me more patient and fun for my kids (then 5 and 2). But really I drank the first 2 drinks so fast to get the buzz that by drink #3 I was no longer as patient as I had hoped. And I tired way too quickly.
From the outside it looked like I had it together, but the guilt inside is what was tearing me apart. The next morning is always when the guilt set in that I wasn’t a good mother. I didn’t listen to them as much as I should have, I didn’t remember every little detail about the night before. Maybe I snapped at them. I didn’t play with them like I should have, because I was more consumed with getting my next drink and relaxing. I wasn’t PRESENT, and today I was going to do better and not drink....Or as much....Or, nevermind, it’s 4pm and I can have 1 drink tonight. But we all know, 1 drink doesn’t work.
My rock bottom was when the guilt became so overwhelming. I got my butt into a meeting, since my mother in law went to them all of the time and swore by them. And that’s where I learned I had a problem not to be ashamed about, a problem you all could help me with. You reached out and talked to me and made me feel welcome. You cheered when I took chips, you hugged me when I came in the door. And you were funny so I wanted to come back. The best was that there were so many people in here I could relate to…the first time I shared I found out *L has kids the exact same age as I do. Moms, guilt, you all got it.
At first I was upset that I couldn’t drink like a normal person, like EVER again. But as the months passed by and the daily experiences with my family happened, I realized I wouldn’t trade this for anything, because I found God and my relationship with my family is REAL and guilt free. AA got me to where I needed to be.