Where to begin…..perhaps with the ending. I’m going to in-patient treatment in 8 days. Bestowed upon by God. As always, he is taking care of me! Writing this is my way of perhaps helping another person like me and it is also very therapeutic for me.
Without going into all the details, I am an alcoholic. I started drinking at the age of 13 and have been going strong since. I am now 61. I was what they called a “functioning alcoholic” for much of my life. I’m college educated and have had some great jobs. I’ve raised a daughter on my own, been an accountant for a large restaurant company, worked in the legal field for many years, but mainly I obtained a job as a trainer, then a manager, in a large Healthcare IT company. I traveled all over the country on a weekly basis and trained doctors, nurses, clinicians and their office staff on how to use medical and billing software that our company had developed. It was a great job. I got to travel for work… all expenses paid and work with people on a daily basis. I was well paid for it. But of course there were down falls to the job as well. I was on call 24/7. Travel was exhausting and my home life was brief and became un important. When I managed a team of trainers for this company, I would often receive calls from my team when they were stuck in an airport depressed. They just needed someone to talk to and I was a good listener then.
All of my jobs included drinking. It was almost a prerequisite. Especially my years at the IT company. We would have weekly drinking parties at the corporate
headquarters as well as almost daily lunch and dinner with drinks with clients or co-workers. I had already been warmed up for this since I was 13. So life was good, so I thought. My alcohol consumption increased significantly during this time. When the company was bought out I was laid off. More time for drinking! I then ended up moving to several different cities for different jobs and trying to be happy. But an alcoholic can never really “be happy” or satisfied. They just cover up their pain with alcohol and run away. Always running.
My family decided I needed help, so they sent me to in-patient treatment in Great Falls, Montana for 45 days. It was not my decision and I did not really work the program. I just did what I had to, to survive. After in-patient I then went to a sober house but left after only a few months. In the last years of my disease I drank daily. First thing in the morning, at my job (which were usually temporary positions), after work until I would black out and pass out every night. The mornings were hell until I had that first drink. My physical health began to fail. My internal organs were trying to shut down, my blood pressure was sky high, my feet and ankles were swelling, my legs were so weak and crampy that the last couple of months I could barely walk.
I had to be wheel chaired into the emergency room the last 2 times I was in the hospital. The last time I “thought” I knew that I had to find a way to get sober and was determined not to drink again. I had been living with my sister in Columbia Falls when I started drinking again. She kicked me out once again for drinking in her house. So I spent most of the last of my money from the sale of my SUV on a hotel room in Kalispell and stocked up on wine. I don’t remember most of that stay but according to the receipt I was there for a month before I was kicked out when I ran out of money and wine. I spent the next two nights sleeping on a park bench when the police picked me up and took me to the Warming Center. It was very embarrassing and humbling for me. I had hit my rock bottom. I thought I had before many times but those had never been this extreme. I had nothing….no home, no vehicle, no money, no job. I had pushed all my family and friends away. I just wanted to die. But once again God came to my rescue. Little miracles began to happen. The volunteers at the Warming Center were amazing people. They had been through similar experiences and showed their empathy. Sleeping in a big room with people of all diversities makes you realize what is important and what is not. Again “humbling” is the word that comes to mind.
While I was staying at the Warming Center a woman who volunteered there called Peggy’s House (A Ray of Hope) to see if there were any available beds. She took the time to call me and told me to go there and fill out an application. The next day I found out they had room for me. I was blessed by God again. During this time, I had also started going back to AA meetings at the Alano club. I would go to 3 or 4 meetings a day. The Alano Club and the fellowship there was a tremendous influence in my new sobriety. I learned how to ask for help and was amazed at the outpouring. I was so wrapped up in myself that I didn’t realize that God was there for me and always was. A few days later, when I went for an addiction evaluation and was told that I need ed intense treatment for my addiction and was able to start an Intensive Outpatient therapy. There I was hooked up with the manager of the sober house I had previously lived in. She was another blessing from God. With her help and expertise, I was able to get a bed date into a facility that will concentrate on helping me with my recovery. And this time I am ready and willing. Buy the biggest blessing I have received is the love and support from my daughter. I was on the verge of losing her as well but she sees in me the strength that I have and that I can do this! I have given over control of my life to God and am willingly receiving the help I need. “Let go and Let God”, one day at a time.